Archive for October, 2013

Does Kim’s hiring by CBS portend a 'H5O' successor?

October 31st, 2013

CBS’s decision to hire Daniel Dae Kim, the current  co-star on the eye network’s “Hawaii Five-0” and the earlier ABC hit “Lost,” is clearly a business venture anchored with a bankable entity.

By virtue of being an Island resident for a decade or so, Kim is positioned to become an on-screen personality who will become an off-screen producer or mentor of future shows. Under the CBS deal, Kim and his 3AD production company, will be free and fertile to create new programs for CBS and cable TV as a byproduct of his on-screen presence of two Island shows.

He is the first of the current “Five-0” ensemble to leap out of the procedural formula to the producing ranks with the prospects of putting his name on programs yet to be announced. Kim’s company is seeking a development exec to begin a new journey.

Sudden thought: Is Kim’s hiring as a behind-the-scene deal-maker a premonition that a show that  he would develop would succeed as “Five-0” approaches is sunset show? The buzz is that  the current “Five-0” could go perhaps two, or three more years.

By then, Kim should have his ducks in a row and become the next kingpin producer of a Hawaiian series.

Continuity of sorts, but with lots of  ingenuity and originality.

And he could  learn from Jack Lord, the original Steve McGarrett, who became a producer and director of a Hawaii-themed show after “Five-0” folded. The lesson here is: proceed with caution; dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Lord’s project,  called “Makai Range” or “M Station: Hawaii,” aired as a pilot in 1980, but was not picked up. Lord produced, directed and had a cameo in it, and the title referred to the research pier in Waimanalo, located a stone’s throw from Sea Life Park.

It probably failed because of a so-so plot that might have been a  “Five-0” episode, focused on the very site that appeared in “Five-0” many times. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but this one had one shot, and failed. It wasn't deliberately created as a spin-off of "Five-0," but it didn't have the jolt or beauty of "Five-0."

Of course, Kim is an astute actor and surely would be a savvy exec behind the scenes, and hopefully, his allegiance to living and working here  in the past and present, would continue into the future.

"I'm excited to be expanding my relationship with David Stapf and CBS Television Studios,” Kim said in a studio release.  “Creating original content has been a longstanding goal and I look forward to our future collaborations as a producer with 3AD."

The announcement came a few days after Kim’s former on-screen wife in “Lost,” Yunjin Kim, announced she was exec-producing an adaptation of a Korean drama, “Nine:  Nine Time Travels,” for ABC.

We'll have to wait to see what the guy Kim will

Friday primetime ratings: Some elements to ponder...

October 26th, 2013

Friday’s (Oct. 25) preliminary primetime overnight TV ratings weren’t particularly prime, but offered food for thought.


• ABC’s “Shark Tank,” in the 8 p.m. hour (9 p.m. Mainland) competing with CBS’ island-based procedural, “Hawaii Five-0,” logged  the best (2.0) rating in the prime 18 to 49 demographics, matching last week’s alex:terryranking, but compared with “Five-0’s” demos (1.4, same like last week), had fewer viewers (7.2 million). So "Five-0” led the hour with 9.32 million, but "Shark" had better demos. NBC’s “Grimm,” which finally appeared in this time frame, earned a flat 1.8 in demos, 6.13 million viewers.

•  NBC’S “Dracula,” in the 9 p.m. hour, had star power (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), but didn’t sink its teeth in the numbers as anticipated: 1.8 demos, 5.28 million viewers, compared with CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” with an enduring Tom Selleck, which pulled in 1.3 in demos, equaling last Friday’s numbers, and 11.02 million viewers, the largest audience of the  night. Still, “Dracula” — a scripted show in the slot, compared with a diet of news for the peacock network — joins “Grimm” in offering spooky themes and odd behaviors missing from the Friday landscape. “Dracula” is sucking in its share of the viewers, surely becoming a player against “Blue Bloods” on the block.meyersalex

With DVR and other delayed viewing, the numbers should change; some up, some down. It's always a see-saw.

*   *   *

“Kupu’eu (Fallen Hero),” Friday’s “Five-0” episode, upheld the loyalty and bonding of ex-SEALS. Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) was en route to facing personal and professional challenges, with the arrival this season of his SEALS buddy Billy Harrington (Justin Bruening), the ex-flame of Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth). But auwe, on a routine stakeout of a cheating spouse, both Harrington and Catherine are injured in an unexpected shootout. He succumbs in the hospital, she feels guilty of not watching his back, and lo and behold: potential storylines of an ex-working with her current flame’s buddy got shot out of the park, too. His aloha tribute, with most in appropriate Navy whites, was befitting a hero.

Not so reassuring: The re-arrival of McG’s mentor, Joe White (Terry O’Quinn), and Dad McG’s infamous red Champ tool box, which brought back agonizing memories of earlier segments with Mama McG and more questions, doubts and puzzlements. Who killed Dad McG? Sure, it matters — but when can we expect closure?

Kono (Grace Park) and her main squeeze Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) are still trying to sort out their problems politically and romantically. While she has been mostly underused over three seasons, her isolation (she’s been in Vancouver in real life) is somewhat damaging to the “Five-0” team.  No physcial presence means no chemistry. And in this episode, Danno Williams (Scott Caan) had to settle for a cargument with Joe ... right down to the issue of who gets the drive the new black Chevy Camaro. Nope, not Danno.

Not a bad episode, over-all, with a murder scene wiped clean, an assistant in love with his boss, Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) always the one with the means to pull in all the loose ends. But with continued concern about the past, the present is tense, with the imminent future undoubtedly tapping — again —  past plotlines and returning guest actors.

What's your feeling?

O’Loughlin has 7-year deal on his 'Hawaii Five-0' contract

October 25th, 2013

CBS has yet to announce it, but according to the Associated Press, Alex O’Loughlin indicates in an interview he’s signed up for two more seasons of “Hawaii Five-0.”

Turns out that it's not exactly true, says Peter M. Lenkov, executive producer of “Five-0.”AOL

“I think they just misunderstood what he said,” says Lenkov. “He (O’Loughlin) has a seven year contract.  I think they thought he signed on for a couple more years. Not really accurate.”

The series, shot in Hawaii, now is in the midst of its fourth season and also has debuted on TNT with its syndication deal, where season one episodes are shown. So O’Loughlin is committed for three more seasons beyond the fourth. He doesn’t often dwell on the longevity of the series, so the thought was that he’s gained additional years to his contract.

O’Loughlin, 38, who portrays the rebooted Steve McGarrett, was interviewed at an Australians in Film Awards dinner Thursday night at the InterContinental Hotel in Beverly Hills, where the Aussie native was among the honorees.

He also said that he’s eyeing a career beyond television, meaning films.

“Like I read Doug Liman’s script, ‘Everest,’ which he’s about to start directing — it’s amazing and it’s invigorating. But it’s also heartbreaking at the same time because it feels so far away from me at the moment,” O’Loughlin was quoted.

He admits, too, that he’s lucky to live in Hawaii though “I’ve never played one character for this long. And it’s network TV, too, so it comes with its own set of challenges from the artist’s perspective. But I’m very lucky. My kids will get to go to good schools, we all eat organic food, and I live in Hawaii.”

Cole Horibe in 'Kung Fu:' Will he jumpstart Bruce Lee phenom?

October 23rd, 2013


Cole Horibe’s signing as the leading character of  “Kung Fu,” a Broadway drama blending martial arts action with staged choreography, likely will jumpstart renewed interest in Bruce Lee, the master of the form.

Horibe, 28, will be the second Hawaii performer portraying the legendary Hong Kong action star, albeit in live theater form in New York. Jason Scott Lee earlier played the title figure in a 1993 film, “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” which tracked the Chinese superstar’s career. Though the surname was the same, actor Lee was not related to the martial artist Lee.

Horibe is expected to put his own spin on Lee when the show, written by renowned playwright David Henry Hwang, premieres Feb. 4 in a limited engagement at the Irene Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center off-Broadway, at 480 W. 42nd St., between 9th and 10th Ave., several blocks west of the hubbub of Times Square.

jasonHoribe, a Hawaii actor who had been known primarily as a dancer thanks to his success of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” last year, when he finished as the second runner up, told me after copping the role in the New York production: “My initial response that this was simply fate. I have so many similarities to Bruce Lee and have always shared his dream of combating the Asian male stereotype in Hollywood cinema. Next occurred the realization of what a tall order it is to be the actor representing THE legendary martial arts icon that is Bruce Lee. But the honor of being chosen to portray Bruce Lee far exceeds the intimidation.”

Before competing on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Horibe was en route to becoming a musical theater trouper. He had done a number of community theater shows here, the last being “Flower Drum Song” at Diamond Head Theatre in 2008, in which he played  Chao.

But he realized that focusing on what he calls martial arts fusion was  to be his goal. Prior to landing “Kung Fu,” he competed on the Fox reality show and did the requisite post-competition tour, then “moved to L.A. and began pursuing my acting career 100 per cent, training in both acting and martial arts class,” he said.

The payoff was securing the coveted part, gaining notice from playwright Hwang, who had been preparing his script and searching for a leading man.

“We feel incredibly blessed to have found in Cole a star who can bring a legend to life,” Hwang said.

“Kung Fu” will be a portrait of Lee’s meteoric, though brief, journey from  troubled Hong Kong youth to martial arts legend. The production will embrace dance, a strength of actor Horibe, along with elements of Chinese opera, martial arts and drama — a new hybrid and potentially powerful theatrical form.

bruceThe show will follow Lee in America, the land of opportunity, as he struggles and defines himself as a martial artist, a husband, a father and a man.

And Signature Theatre, the producer of the project, has set ticket prices at $25, part of the organization’s groundbreaking Signature Initiative: A Generation of Access, a program that ensures and guarantees affordable and accessible tickets to every Signature production, through 2031.  Broadway tickets have escalated to the $150 level, more at VIP or premium status with such hit shows as “The Book of Mormon” and “Kinky Boots,” two current hits.

If “Kung Fu” materializes and connects with audiences, will the show move from Signature to a legit uptown Broadway house and continue an expanded run?

Horibe didn’t know, saying: “As far as Broadway, there is no word on that yet.”

For tickets, visit or call the box office at (212) 244-7529.

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'Les Miserables' alert: first wave of casting for Broadway return

October 22nd, 2013


OK, fans of “Les Miserables.”

Here’s the first wave of casting announcements for the re-imagined new version of the Tony Award-winning musical, which returns to Broadway with preview performances beginning March 1, leading to the March 23 opening night at the Imperial Theatre.

The first cast members playing key roles:

• Jean Valjean — Ramin Karimloo, West End actor now starring in “Les Miz” in Toronto (pictured at right, as Valjean); he previously has performed the masked lead in “The Phantom of the Opera” and the sequel, “Love Never Dies.”

• Inspector Javert — Will Swenson, a Tony nominee for Broadway’s “Hair” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” who presently is starring in “Little Miss Sunshine” on Broadway  (pictured as himself, below, right, during "Priscilla"  run). will

• Fantine — Caissie Levy, who starred as Molly in the West End and Broadway musical  of “Ghost” as well as Sheila in “Hair,” and a former Elphaba in Broadway’s long-running “Wicked.”

• Eponine — Nikki M. James, a Tony winner who created the role of Nabalungi in “The Book of Mormon.”

Actors and actresses for the other lead roles — Marius, Enjolras and the Thenardiers — will be named in the weeks ahead.

The announcement was made by producer Cameron Macintosh, who is bringing the beloved musical back to Broadway 27 years after the original production opened at the Broadway Theatre, later moving to the Imperial.  The show, with songs by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, is an international favorite; the new show has been touring, currently in Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre, and its success on the road promoted movie-makers to film the Oscar-winning movie version starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, directed by Tom Hooper.

Tickets to the new “Les Miz” are on sale at, (212) 239-6200 or (800) 447-7400.

A Hawaii company is staging “Les Miz” at Paliku Theatre, Windward Community College, with four more  performances at 7:30 p.m. Oct.  23, 25 and 26 and at 4 p.m. Oct. 27.

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