So far this season, “Hawaii Five-0” has been “flat” — industry jargon for neither upward nor downward movement — in its Friday time slot. It pulled a 1.1 rating in the preferred 18 to 49 age demographic, and 8.75 million viewers.
The CBS procedural has the most viewers in its 8 p.m. frame (9 p.m. Mainland), but trails ABC’s “Shark Tank” in the same hour, with its 1.6 demo rating; this key demo dictates advertising dollars, so the topper here for Friday Nov. 6, was “Shark,” despite fewer viewers at 6.69 million.
“Bluebloods,” in the hour following “Five-0,” is most-watched with 10.75 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the 18 to 49 demos. This has been the general Friday pattern, week after week, according to overnight Nielsen TV ratings.
For its part, the Hawaii-filmed “Five-0” survives on a night that gets little respect from the industry; Friday is the go-to place before cancellation.
Not saying the “Five-0” is imminently bound there; but because of a financial arrangement with cabler TNT, “Five-0” is making money for CBS, in spite of the so-so performance. With TNT paying dearly for syndication rights, the network is content to keep the show in production. As long as it can, before the steam runs out.
The plots are more often superfluous than not. Take Friday’s “Na Kama Hele (Day Trippers)” episode – No. 7 of Season 6. Its dual stories put Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlln) in romantic mode, on an incredulous first-date with Lynn Downey (Sarah Downey), involving scuba diving, dodging bullets from a gunman on an isolated island, in clearly was a misadventure-in-paradise outing. Oh, but they had time for a selfie.
Meanwhile, the “Five-0” team — with Danno Williams (Scott Caan) AWOL again — juggles assignments involving a silly incident about throwing a high school football game, which is never been an issue here.
So Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park), with kokua from Lou Grover (Chi McBride), try to make sense of high school football QB named Jesse Frontera (Jake Nutty) attempting to throw a game (being watched by football scouts) so the kid’s kidnapped father Kai Frontera (Gibi Del Barrio) would not be killed by hoods. The premise was flat and predictable — like, you knew the troubled kid would score a TD in the name of morality, despite the familial threat — and that his dad wasn’t going to be murdered for a super-happy ending. In reality, when was the last time you heard of high school game being fixed with a gangsta team lording over the innocents? Pro ball, maybe, but almost never with high school gridiron.
The episode had more, um, incredible moments, involving the two romantics:
- McG and his sweetie, climbing up a waterfall; a slip down the craggy terrain would have given the attempt some credibility, but nope, they not only traipsed up the falls, they crossed the rippling waters to the other side. Who said mossy rocks are slippery?
- McG and date, tooling over to an isolated island, on a skimpy rubber craft across pretty vast ocean — not so savvy, even for an ex-SEAL.
- The couple discover a lost and unreported small plane in the wilds, and are discovered by a Boston mobster, Dennis Logan (James C. Burns), whose prison transport plane this was. Wouldn't the Feds have searched for this errant plane?
- Fact or fiction, cannot tell you — but when his date receives a head injury, McG's RX is coconut water, supposedly serving as a cleanser and perhaps an antibiotic.
- And they had time for a selfie?!
Oh, and one no-no; Chin apparently never got the memo or read the handbook about cop brutality in questioning a suspect; his behavior and action in trying to get a hood to spill the beans drew blood, enough for some disciplinary or legal action. Come to think of it, the "Five-0" inquiry room, with its institutional-green-painted hollow tile walls, does not have the customary peer-through-glass window for investigator honchos to see and hear the questioning. Howcum?
In the football game moments, Kukui High made a homecoming, complete with red T-shirts and pep squad and filmed at Kaiser High, with deliberate camera angles to prevent showing a not-so-crowded stadium audience.
And if you yearned for bromance banter, there was none. There's always next week.