Show and Tell Hawai'i

It’s piracy for 'Hawaii Five-0;' lowest-ever demo ratings

September 26th, 2015


h506 It’s a slippery slope for CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” whose season six opener Friday (Sept.25) topped its hour in viewership (8.09 million) but  was second in the key 18 to 49 demographics (1.0 rating,  the lowest ever).

Its chief competitor in that hour was ABC’s “Shark Tank” (1.6 in demos, tops for the hour, and 5.96 million in viewers).

The ratings reflected usual Friday viewing pattern, with the Eye network copping overall viewership laurels (largely because of Tom Selleck’s “Blue Bloods’” pull of 9.90 million viewers, and 1.3 demos). The Alphabet network scored best in the demos (1.3 rating overall, compared to CBS’ 1.1 rating).

This will be the likely Friday Night Fights outlook in the weeks ahead, unless viewership habits change remarkably.

A pirates-themed storyline coupled with the post-wedding woes confronting Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park) and Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale) didn’t make for a whiz-bang opener.  It seemed like Halloween came early. The episode’s proverbial title was “Mai ho’oni I ka wai lana malie (Do not Disturb the Water That is Tranquil”) — who comes up with these anyway?  Perhaps more creative effort should be devoted to plot substances than labels, since the tags only appear online, not onscreen. For this one, the show earned an A for Ambition (for trying) but an  F  for Failure (for not delivering).

The pirate tag was pegged to a faux historical notion that a rare painting with clues linked to a treasure that was stolen by marauding pirates during King Kalakaua’s reign (demonstrated in flashbacks) but the loot (gold bars, circa 1800) was never found. This, we learn, after said painting is swiped from the Bishop Museum while Kono and Adam are tortured (both are tazed, he is beaten, she has a tooth extracted) by Gabriel Waincroft (Chrisitopher Sean),  the gangsta dude who’s a cousin of Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), who showed up at last season’s finale when the wedding was under way and threatened Chin, or else, for a supposed costly favor. The Yakuza lives!

There may be bumps in the road for the principals, too. Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) is sweet on Catherine’s (Michelle Borth) return and may propose, which means adjusting his life; tattler Danno (Scott Caan) spills the beans  but has his  own adjustments to make now with a son he never knew he had; and Kono has to deal with Adam’s gunshot wound, and  oh, you know he’ll recover, but will he and  Chin both be continually haunted by Gabriel? Of course.

The novelty of Jerry’s  (Jorge Garcia) quirky, off-beat antics play like a sideshow; admittedly, he discovers clues and finds solutions, so the larger question is: why isn’t he a badge-carrying member of the “Five-0” team?

And why does the show boast so many kinfolk/relatives? Cousins Chin and Kono? Cousins Kono and Makana (Tia Carrere), the wedding singer rendering, gulp, “We Are Family,” with ‘ohana in the Sly and the Family Stone hit? McGarrett and Mama McG (Christine Lahti)? McGarrett and Aunt Deb (Carol Burnett, returning again this season).  McG and Catherine, a future Mr. and Mrs.?  And there are more alliances, with Danno’s exes and future love interest, and a new son alongside a daughter Gracie (Teilor Grubbs).

The cop show has  become needlessly familial.

And speaking of family: That “Five-0” is the lead-in show (8 p.m. here, 9 p.m. Mainland) to “Blue Bloods” (at 9 p.m. here, 10 p.m. Mainland) is a good thing; the current crimefighters in Hawaii, followed by the previous one (Selleck was “Magnum P.I.’s” magnetic hero).

But the alignment clearly shows the caliber of one against the other. “Bloods” propels better plots each Friday, with credible character interventions, and a common bond of family  ties  and values — what locals call ‘ohana — underscoring the shootings and the chases and the daily rituals of a procedural. “Five-0’s” parallel universe is a lot more cluttered, without meaningful purpose.

OK, we shouldn’t compare shows. But think about the highly-rated CBS crime shows — think “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” and any “CSI” or “Criminal Minds” installments — and the bottom line is that stories matter most, family ties not that much. The proof is in the ratings.


4 Responses to “It’s piracy for 'Hawaii Five-0;' lowest-ever demo ratings”

  1. keoni:

    All you do bitch about how you hate the show. DON'T WATCH IT THEN, JERK!

  2. squint:

    Mr. Harada wites with the intelligence and insight of someone who knows the media and who cares enough about the "Hawaii Five-0" product to be critical about the show. Keep it up.

  3. Ted:

    The show needs some more mature actors,, older people,,some ones we older folks can relate to,,like the old show,, mix up with older and younger folks,,, we love the show, but,,,

  4. AniMatsuri:

    The show already skews old as most of the 8 million or so watching are over 49 so I don't think it needs to worry about attracting and keeping the older viewers.

    Tia Carrere has done action shows in the past. I hope being named a cousin opens the door to more appearances and things for her character to do.

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