By Wayne Harada
A murder, a political scandal, a governor with a motive asking McGarrett for a personal favor, Danno trying to steer Family Court to enable daughter Grace to stay in Hawaii, the return of Wo Fat.
Just another day in the life of “Hawaii Five-0,” which had it all Monday (Jan. 21).
And the ratings verdict was on its side, too.
The CBS procedural, still courting a wavering viewership and basking in decent post-football special special episode on Sunday (Jan. 20), finished first in households (6.1/10), viewers (9.58 million), and adults 18 to 49 (2.2/06),) according to the Nielsen ratings.
However, it was a small dip compared to last Monday's (Jan. 14) ratings.
The “Five-0” team was in an absurd situation — investigate and book the murderer of a prostitute, found dead in the home of a Congressman’s home. Governor Denning (Richard Jones ) had imposing presence, not telling McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) why he had to make this probe ... till the matter was resolved before the final credits.
Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos), we find out, is at the crux of the bizarre case, and the revelation here is that he is a sharp shooter and a terror on ATV. Or, like the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” he hosts, he has a penchant to survive.
Danno (Scott Caan), in the whirlpool of fighting to keep his daughter here, probably needs to refocus on his work first; he was a lousy shooter, unable to bring down Wo Fat, in a predictable chopper segment (it rises from beyond a cliff, a favorite movie set-up), in a round of bullet exchange. Even with Wo Fat’s jammed gun, Danno has no whammo to shoot to maim or kill; guess the baddie still is needed to keep the story thread going. A missed opportunity means a re-encounter down the line.
The ratings God was good to all CBS comedies (each with a new episode) leading up to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), so “Five-0” surfed the wave from the build-up.
ABC’s “Castle,” the spoiler for “Five-0” in some weeks, logged double the audience of NBC’s upstart “Deception” in the time slot; the Alphabet Network is touting “Castle’s” general gains of 5 per cent in the 18 to 49 adults demographics, maintaining that the numbers equaled that procedural’s highest ratings since last October.
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A Matter for Discussion: 'Castle' on a cloud
Viewers also have openly wondered if one of “Five-0’s” problems is a lack of viewer-friendly promotion.
Like, the show very rarely gets “recommended” tips in such publications “Entertainment Weekly,” which prod viewers/readers to explore and consider tuning in on any given week.
That recent effort, to have viewers decide the ending the episode, got some additional press.
But: there’s been a noticeable lack of publicity and coverage on the “Five-0” team, outside of network promos. Even the current clips of CBS stars anticipating the upcoming Super Bowl, excludes McG and company.
On one rare occasion, there were national blurbs about the arrival of O’Loughlin’s newborn. But little else on any other member of the TV team.
People and EW regularly depict visiting actors at work (think Johnny Depp of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and more recently, the “Hunger Games” acting ensemble) or at play (anyone from Britney Spears to Rihanna), but seldom or never print pics of the “Five-0” delegation of performers.
And Sarah Lynn, a reader and frequent responder to this blog, makes a good point: Nathan Fillion of “Castle” won the People's Choice Award, and “Castle” landed the favorite drama prize — where was “Five-0”? This actor and this show are the prime competition for the locally-filmed series.
“It's just strange to me that the rabid fans can't even get H50 or Alex nominated, and the competition wins in those categories,” Sarah Lynn said in a recent response.
“I wonder if many of those rabid fans have disappeared due to the personal issues discussed here in the past. Some of the fan sites have also shut down or are no longer updating. FATD, I know you try to stay away from these discussions, but what do you think? I know I believe that stars' personal lives can drive away viewers. Is that part of the case here?”
Any other thoughts about this?