Archive for November, 2013

'Five-0' delivers Thanksgiving episode with feats, feasting

November 23rd, 2013

burnett“Hawaii Five-0” delivered Thanksgiving blessings  in its Friday (Nov. 22) episode entitled “Hauoli La Ho’omakai” (Happy Thanksgiving).

It was a mixed bag of feats and feasting.

The plot involved the President’s Air Force One — in the sky, on the ground. Nice touch, but this was not the season for its visit. See quibble below.

As the plane heads to Hawaii, there were complications on the ground with a body found in an oil tank, a holiday football game involving  “Five-0's” expanding ohana, the hubbub of prepping a turkey.

The pleasures included guest star Carol Burnett as Aunt Deb, a would-be singer who surrendered a show biz career for teaching so she could care for Mary McGarrett (Taryn Manning), who shows up unexpectedly not to talk turkey, but to drop the bomb that she has incurable cancer. En route to the finale where she sings at La Mariana’s tiki bar/club  at Keehi Lagoon, she gets arrested for trying to buy grass and seeks to purchase a turkey at Foodland, with Sam Choy — the skinny chef now — playing the butcher behind the counter. The picking’s are limited, since the turkey Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) had purchased as chef du jour had not been properly defrosted by the problem-causing Mary, the assigned  prep cook still searching for  purpose in life.

Did it cross your mind that if this were Thanksgiving, where was Doris McGarrett (Christine Lahti)? OK, OK, here presence would bring on needless plot diversions and conflicts, so forget about it.

Meanwhile, Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim)  chats via Skype with Kono (Grace Park), who now is in Seattle and still away from the ‘ohana. So she misses playing football at Kapiolani with Danno (Scott Caan), back after a week away from the show, and Capt. Grover (Chi McBride), with whom she has not yet worked because of her absence, a role sorta filled by Catherine (Michelle Borth).

Oh, Larry Manetti (ex “Magnum P.I.” star) shows up as the crooner Demarco who hauls up Aunt Deb to sing one at the tiki lounge. CBS, home of the Carol Burnett show for years, enables Deb to sing "I've Got the Sun in the Morning" from “Annie Gets Your Gun” in entirety — a rarity for a procedural — which truly played out as an act of loyalty and respect.

Because the show is fiction, we all can accept that the unnamed president, our own Barack Obama, would not head to Hawaii or specifically Kailua, for Thanksgiving. It would be Christmas, but that’s another holiday.

So there you have it. The grand tour, from tackling to turkeying.

Except ratings.

Not surprisingly, “Five-0” won its hour (8 p.m. here, 9 p.m. Mainland), sandwiched in-between the eye network’s “Undercover Boss” and “Blue Bloods.” It amassed 9.76 million viewers, and a 1.5 rating in the key 18 to 49 demographics,  down a tenth from last Friday. So the show still performs like a see-saw, up and down.

The evening’s top-drawer again was “Blue Bloods,” with 11.70 million viewers and a 1.5 demo, helping CBS win the evening with 9.44 million viewers and tying ABC (6.7 million viewers) with a 1.5 demo.

Competitors of “Five-0” included ABC’s “Shark Tank,” with 6.90 million viewers and a 1.8 demo, making it the demo leader of the hour; NBC’s JFK retrospective (two hours), with 5.77 million viewers and a 1.1 demo; Fox’s “Raising Hope” with 2.48  million viewers and a 0.9 demo; and CW’s premiere of “Nikita,” with 0.73 million viewers and 0.2 demo.  These figures are the preliminary overnight Nielsen numbers, subject to change after DVR totals are added.

Here comes McBride, in a savvy 'Five-0' 'marriage'

November 21st, 2013


Capt. Lou Grover, the gruff and no-words-barred SWAT officer introduced on the first episode of the fourth season of CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” today was promoted to series regular.

As we blogged prior to his debut, we thought Grover, played by Chi McBride, would provide grit and honesty — and some pilikia (worry) for Alex O’Loughlin’s Steve McGarrett — because of his somewhat surly demeanor.

Grover recurred again recently, no doubt galvanizing his welcome with a tap from producer Peter Lenkov to become a regular on “Five-0.”

“After his first guest spot, we knew we had something special here with Chi playing Captain Lou Grover,” Lenkov said in a statement. “He just fit seamlessly into the fabric of Hawaii Five-0 and viewers are enjoying the spirited, if sometimes antagonistic, interaction between him and McGarrett. We are so thrilled to welcome Chi into our Ohana.”

McG is the second, in as many weeks, to earn a badge to join the original foursome comprised also of Scott Caan as Danno Williams, Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park as Kono Kalakaua. During the fourth season, Michelle Borth also earned a “Five-0” badge, somewhat filling in for the present-but-not-fully-accounted for Kono, whose fate has been tied to motherhood in reality and whose limited work has been taped while she has been on maternity leave in her Vancouver B.C. homeland.

But back to McBride: his “marriage” on the “Five-0” roster — including his constant bitchery and pain-in-the-butt scorn for McG — should evolve into a relationship that just might be what the show show needs.  Forget the banter with McG and Danno; the dynamics and the commotion are far more interesting and involving. You gotta love the guy for hating so much; he is a no-nonsense kind of cop and is not afraid to tell the boss  guy he’s not a great cop.

It’s another odd couple guy thing, but the posture is perfectly poised to draw viewers.  McBride had charisma and chutzpa on the short-lived CBS procedural, “Golden Boy,” which had a sometimes confusing flashback-flashforward motif.

But he was then, and is now, a savvy policeman.

Earlier, McB starred as Steven Harper on “Boston Public.” With enhanced scripts, he could become the money star of  “Five-0,” with Emmy potential.

He can be a thorn, but he’ll certainly develop as the rose of the drama.

Book ‘em and book ‘em again for future seasons. Methinks it’s just the tonic and tone the doctor ordered.

'Five-0' ratings up, but partnerships are predictable

November 16th, 2013

Chi McBride’s back with his Captain Grover growls.

Governor Denning’s (Richard T. Jones) is back —  and so is his disdain for  Steve McGarrett  (Alex O'Loughlin) and Grover.

Kono  (Grace Park) is back, but now in Tokyo — still pining for her beloved  Adam and wants to be with him.

CBS McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and Grover (Chi McBride) play cowboys in Waimanalo in the latest "Hawaii Five-0."

Photo courtesy CBS

And the ratings for CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” are on an upward move, with this episode about partnerships and couplings. Cause for applause? Or a pause to ponder the sometimes predictable show content.

The bromance continues, minus Danno (Scott Caan), since McGarrett and Grover hurl quite a bit of insults and hatred to each other.

The preliminary overnight Nielsen ratings shows “H50” won its hour with the most viewers (9.72 million) with its “Akanaha (Reluctant Partners)” episode, which aired Friday (Nov. 15). This was 7 per cent better than last week’s outing. However, the show was second to ABC’s “Shark Tank” in the coveted 18 to 49 demographics, 1.5 rating vs. 1.7 ratings. (“H50” tied with NBC’s “Grimm” in the demos).

Most-viewers laurels, however, went to CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” which follows the island-filmed show, with 11.60 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the demos.

So there are winning elements and losing ones, in the weekly roller coaster ride. Delayed DVR numbers will probably change the ratings, of course.

“H50” still strives to break the 10 million viewer count again, but is safe as the lead-in show to “Blue Bloods.” Renewals for both shows, due in May, are likely, and for “H50,” there still remains the TNT syndication situation — with CBS getting $2.5 million per episode, there’s every  indication that the show will go on. That's a partnership that may break the CBS bank, but provide paydirt to the cable network.

But some tedium shows, in repetition and relationships.  How many weeks can Kono appear as the hopeful and harried soul, waiting for her Adam to reappear?  She’s told, “If you’re smart, let him go.” Writers, you stated it – move on. Even Chin (Daniel Dae Kim),  the wise owl, advises her if he reappears: “You’ll both be targets again.” A strained relationship, for sure.

Without Danno, McG goes McCrazy with McB (well, Grover), as they’re instructed by the Gov to seek out a dude with 21 unpaid parking tickets — setting off a dueling mission of two officers playing metermaids, and dragsters,  sorta. It's a coupling made for disaster, at least in theory.  They’re shot at, and their vehicles have flat tires, so they pick up two horses and try wrangle a truck, like cowboys, in the Waimanalo terrain, with little luck. Where is Clint Eastwood, when you need him?

The prevailing issue here: the runaway traffic offender is a computer hacker (played by a JoBro, Nick Jonas), who admits a Hawaii-bound flight in the middle of the Pacific could be in jeopardy with the push of a button, thanks to GPS, which provides both good and bad effects, depending on the user and the abuser. You gotta wonder if the Gov is punishing the "H50" honcho by pairing him with an ex-SWAT cop. Sounds like punishment of the worst kind. But yes, there is some resolution before the final credits.

The plot is a swap meet of unlikely elements. Throw in a bank robbery, a hacked off leg,  and communication via ATM camera, and that’s a wrap.

Oh, Catherine (Michelle Borth) steps in, in full “H50” glory, and you gotta wonder: when will she become the official member of McG’s team?  When Kono rides into the sunset with her Adam? When Kono and Adam are shot and killed by the yakuza? When Kono and Adam get new identities and vanish as a bona fide happy couple?

Food for thought, anyway.

Hawaii will again answer call for disaster relief

November 14th, 2013


Aerial view of "Kokua for Japan" telethon at Hilton's Garden Lawn: Another disaster relief fund-raiser will be held Dec. 15, this time for "Kokua for the Philippines." — Hilton photo.

Hawaii’s visitor, entertainment and media community will come together again to stage a “Kokua for the Philippines” fundraiser from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 15 to raise disaster relief funds for the embattled Typhoon Haiyan victims on the Great Lawn of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

With the template set from the similar April 10, 2011 beachfront effort to raise hopes and monies for the Japan tsunami victims, the Philippines endeavor again will assemble entertainers (yet to be named), a string of participating radio and TV stations, print media and the community of volunteers.

It’s yet another generous dose of the aloha spirit and a measure of helping our neighbors from afar, as a result of yet another natural disaster.  The kokua telethon is a worthy effort despite of the unstable economy and other prevailing challenges; when another global nation with strong ties to Hawaii is in need, Hawaii answers the call.

The program will be broadcast live on radio, TV and the Internet, and monies raised will be earmarked for the American Red Cross, though other non-profiit community fundraising efforts may join the effort and their contributions will be tallied in the telethon total.

“The people of Hawaii are so intertwined with our Pacific neighbors in the Philippines, that stepping up and supporting tem during this time of great need is simply the rightthing to do,” said Chuck Cotton, vice president and general manager of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment/Hawaii, in a statement. “Some of Hawaii’s top entertainers will be coming together for an afternoon of songs, laughter and inspiration.”

“The peole of the Philipines continue to be in our thoughts and prayers,” said Bob Barlow, president of Oceanic Time Warner Cable. “We’re so pleased to be involved in an event such as this that will bring together the people of Hawaii to raise much-needed funds for the typhoon victims.”

A total of  $1.6 million was raised for Japan when the likes of Henry Kapono, Willie Nelson, Mick Fleetwood and Jack Johnson performed for the cause.

Clear Channel personalities will participate and Oceanic will provide TV production, with additional support from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Producers from Ohana Broadcast Co., Kapono Inc. and Island Film Group will oversee the production.

TV stations set to air the show, in part or in entirety, include KFVE, KGMB, KHNL, KHON2, KIKU, KITV4 and Hawaii News Now. Radio participants include KSSK 92.3 FM, KSSK AM 590, and Island 985, and those with mobile devices can hear the telecast via the iHeartRadio app.

The show will be streamed live at the event website,

A bank of volunteers will man the phones to accept pledges.

Non-profits interested in participating should contact Cotton via email at

For updates, visit the project’s website.

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'Five-0' goes for cuteness as it finds its Friday place and pace

November 9th, 2013

With a mashup of cuteness, courage and collaboration, Friday’s (Nov. 8) “Hawaii Five-0” managed to bump up its ratings a skosh. The CBS procedural again won its 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland) timeslot in viewership (9.39 million) but was second in the lavished 8 to 49 demographics (1.4 rating), according to preliminary overnight Nielsen numbers. With 7-day DVR adds, the numbers will likely change, perhaps with a sunnier forecast.

The show, despite its checkered performance in season four, is No. 21 of the new season so far (see the Top 25 below). Certainly, it could and should do better, but for now, it’s still doing swimmingly, not drowning. Maybe even adjusting to the Friday environment.

Against "H50," ABC’s “Shark Tank” topped the demos (2.0 rating), with fewer viewers (7.25 million). NBC’s “Grimm” attracted 4.94 million viewers with a 1.3 demo, and a repeat of Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” maxed out at 1.86 million viewers and a 0.6 demo.

About “Ua Nalohia (In the Deep),” the current episode.

The cutie element was the “Three Men and a Baby” homage to the Tom Selleck fish-out-of-water  movie; McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) is saddled with watching the adopted daughter of his sister Mary Ann (Taryn Manning), back with a different kind of problem, and he enlists Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Danno (Scott Caan) to help. It’s a silly but workable plot, and a wink-wink to Selleck, whose CBS drama, “Blue Bloods,” follows “H50” and remains Friday’s most-watched show (10.98 million) with a 1.3 demo rating.  And yes, Joan, the toddler, was an adorable cutie — kids and animals always steal the scene.

The courage quality involved McG deputizing Catherine (Michelle Borth) to formally join the team (with a badge) to crime-fight; and yep, she showed might and fight in that bathroom  encounter with Kuroda (Brian Tee), the yakuza no-gooder. We wonder: is this an early signal that she’ll succeed  the noticeably absent (and legally on-leave) Kono (Grace Park), who’s still afar and invisible for the most part? Or are we over-reacting, despite the latest evidence of "maybe"?

The collaboration turned up  in spurts; the three men struggling to maintain the needs and the whims of a toddler; the recurrence of Captain Grover (Chi McBride), even if he tells Chin that  McG is “not a real cop;” when Grover’s on camera, there’s vibrancy and pulse the show needs; the fatherliness of McG and Danno, interspersed with the usual  bromance banter.

In the Friday lineup, “H50” seems to be working hard to  upgrade familial tales, perhaps shadowing the bond and camaraderie of the Reagans on “Blue Bloods,” where it works well – family strife mixed with mundane crime, all coming to happy conclusion over the neutral dinner table.

There have been pro and con arguments about the Friday slot. There seems to be less pressure and concern to go up, up and up in the ratings; but the reality is, shows that the network schedule here have vanished from the airwaves. So with the good and easier pace comes some worrisome bad.

There was no need to have Mary Ann return, except she provided the baby and the part of the show’s theme, deeply rooted in cooperation and concern. Sis is a bad penny; when she’s around, there’s trouble, with a capital T (Taryn). You could say the same about Mama McG (Christine Lahti), though not appearing here,she generates problems when she’s present, needlessly complicating plot arcs.

November sweeps are under way, so ratings should be of concern; some new fall shows have, well, fallen; some newbies have broken through the crowd and become winners.

And here’s how the Top 20  fall shows did, based on Nielsen ratings (live + 7 DVR) through Nov. 3:

THE FALL TOP 25 (in millions of viewers)

1 — “NCIS,” CBS, Tuesdays; 21.9.

2 — “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, Thursdays, 20.5.

3 — “NCIS: Los Angeles,”  CBS,Tuesdays, 17.0.

4 — “The Voice,” NBC, Mondays, 15.6.

5 — “Person of Interest,” CBS, Tuesdays, 15.2.

6 — “The Blacklist,” NBC, Mondays, 15.1.

7— “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, Mondays, 14.7.

8 — “The Voice,” NBC, Tuesdays, 14.1.

9 — “Castle,” ABC, Mondays, 13.7.

10 — “60 Minutes,”CBS, Sundays, 13.6.

11 — “Blue Bloods,” CBS, Fridays, 13.4.

12 — “Criminal Minds,” CBS, Wednesdays,  13.3.

13 —“Modern Family,” ABC, Wednesdays, 13.0.

14 — “The Crazy Ones,”  CBS, Thursdays, 12.6.

15 — “The Millers,” CBS, Thursdays, 12.5.

16 — “Elementary,” CBS, Thursdays, 12.4.

17 — “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, Thursdays, 11.9

18 — “CSI,” NBC, Wednesdays, 11.7.

19 — “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, Thursdays, 11.6.

(tie) — “Scandal,” ABC, Thursdays, 11.6.

21 — “Hawaii Five-0,” CBS, Fridays, 11.5.

(tie) — “Sleepy Hollow,” Fox, Mondays, 11.5.

23 — “The Good Wife,” CBS, Sundays, 10.9.

(tie) — “Chicago Fire,” NBC, Tuesdays, 10.9.

(tie) — “Marvel’sAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” ABC, Tuesdays, 109.

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