By Wayne Harada
Not surprisingly, CBS today (March 27) announced a bunch of season pick-ups for “Hawaii Five-0” and six other dramas, plus two comedies, three reality programs and two newsmagazine shows.
Even with disappointing ratings (“Hawaii Five-0” was No. 3, behind NBC’s “Revolution” and ABC’s “Castle” this past Monday), the Hawaii-filmed series will be back for season four, presumably to build up a catalog of shows for the 2010 TNT syndication deal that was earlier signed.
In the final Monday Nielsens, “Revolution” — returning after a hiatus — topped the key demos with 2.6, with 7.03 million viewers, followed by a demo tie of 2.1 shared by “Castle” (with 10.57 million viewers) and “Five-0” (8.61 viewers).
“Five-0” will go into repeats the next two weeks, with five more new episodes in season three, and while fans may cheer and applaud the homegrown favorite, the ratings/numbers must have producers and network execs in a quandary. What to do, with such tepid response, week after week? The show indeed faces challenges to deliver, the sooner the better.
Surely, the Eye Network has been somewhat cockeyed about the pickups. It needs “Five-0,” which is struggling under the 10 million viewers level each week and wavering in the 18 to 49 demographics, for the syndication agreement, but it rightfully extended the runs of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” “The Mentalist,” “Blue Bloods” and “The Good Wife” on the drama agenda. Yes, “NCIS,” the nation’s No. 1 drama, earlier was extended for another year, too.
The two comedies returning: “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike and Molly,” which join “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Band Theory” which earlier earned hearty approval.
Also returning: reality shows “The Amazing Race,” “Survivor,” and “Undercover Boss.” Plus news shows “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours,” both no-brainer renewals.
But on the comedy front, “Two and a Half Men” still is on the fence for its 11th season, but it likely will be green-lighted.
“CSI: New York” and “Rules of Engagement” are still awaiting pick-ups, along with “Golden Boy” (new this year) and “Vegas.” “CSI: NY” has lost viewers and ranking; “Vegas” is expensive to produce; and “Rules” has failed to rule, in demos and in viewership.
So here's a shout-out to “Five-0” for the pickup, but there’s precious little to cheer about — unless McGarrett and Company can clean house (dispose of unnecessary secondary characters), refocus (with tighter, brighter scripts and reclaim and polish the “Five-0” brand) and reemerge as a contender for the 2013-14 season.
We’ll be there. Aloha.