Archive for the ‘"Hawaii Five-0’ Category

'Five-0' on a roll — with role-playing — but ratings static

November 21st, 2015



Danno (Scott Caan) goes to school, under cover as an economics professor, in this week’s “Hawaii Five-0.” In the episode entitled “Hana Kuaka (Charades),” which aired Friday (Nov. 20), he portrays a college professor subbing for the one murdered and tossed in a pig pen with the pigs making dinner out of the prof's carcass. The oinkers weren’t making believe; the “body” must have had some flavors the big piggies loved.

First, a word about the overnight Nielsen ratings: ABC’s “Shark Tank” was No. 1 in the key 18 to 49 adults demographic, with a 1.7 rating — best of the night. And it’s a role the show has maintained for weeks, no charade invovled.

CBS’ “Five-0” had more viewers in the same hour — 9.06 million, better than last week — but with a static 1.1 18 to 49 demo rating.  The evening’s most-watched program was CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” which logged 11 million viewers and a 1.1  18 to 49 demo rating, in the hour following “Five-0.”


Danno wasn’t the only one playing something or someone he wasn’t.

Eric (Andrew), Danno’s nephew now recurring as a lab assistant, also goes under cover as a college student, to seek out evidence or chatter about why or how the prof landed in the pig pen. Good to admit he didn’t “cry uncle,” and his playful banter and young looks made him a natural to think he’d fit in on boozing and dancing with the collegians.

Even McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) took on the supportive fatherly stance, in a subplot involving a troubled son and his suspicious dad — with McG trying to sort out dad’s motives and son’s distancing stance while keeping everyone happy.

Jerry (Jorge Garcia), still eager to find his niche in the “Five-0” hierarchy, pulls what literally is a crappy duty — an evidence collector who has to watch for a missing bullet in the murder victim’s carcass to “pass” through the pig. While reading “Charlotte’s Web,” no less. Can you imagine the environment and odor during the filming? Garcia had to play the role of someone who couldn’t tell hell from smell.

Max (Maxi Oka), the ME who finds the thumb of the victim in the goop and, well, you know, the mess in the pig pen, might have been role-playing, too— thinking of his other primetime duties on NBC’s “Heroes Reborn,” which smells like gravy compared to this episode.

Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) still is masquerading with a smitten, gentlemanly veneer in his ongoing work-duty alongside Abby (Julie Benz), even opening the car door in their mutual cop-work doldrums.

With so many involved in the charade parade, who’s holding down the fort?

Lou (Chi McBride) was pretty stable this week, carrying the investigative banner. And Kono (Grace Park) put on a pretty face, despite the lack of good news regarding her problemed husband Adam (Ian Anthony Dale, not seen this week, but mentioned), with his Yakuza-ties past.





'Five-0' ratings remain flat, but so are its storylines

November 9th, 2015


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.




'Five-0' monster mash ramps up viewership

October 31st, 2015

The seasoning of the bewitching — a Frankenstein, body parts, vampires, blood bank robbers, serial slayer — helped CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” to ramp up viewership and 18 to 14 demographics overnight. An All Hallows Eve treat, for sure.

dannycharlieToss in an carguments transferred to the unnaturally foggy Koolaus, between Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan), instead of cars (so, a walkument?); Danno doing a practice solo cargument in his  car, en route to pick up an AWOL Grace (Teilor Grubbs), dressed up as a fairy for a presumed trick-or-treat Halloween party, but detoured to a North Shore gig with older kids, without telling dad or mom; when she’s in Danno’s car, he delivers the sermon to her, only to wreck his car, as he avoids hitting a darting animal crossing the dark roads.

Expectedly, ghouls and costumed celebrants  were everywhere; Jerry (Jorge Garcia), as an ample, full-bodied vampire; Max (Masi Oka), in a Keanu Reeves-inspired period garb from “Dangerous Liaisons;” Taylor Wily as, er, who-knows-precisely-what, with a headband and necklace of bones.

Serial killers are in the mix (hence, beaucoup body parts), and the procedural often felt like a blender  bounty of figures and crimes from such flicks as “Halloween,” “Scream,” “Friday the 13th,” or any spootacular franchise from the past.

This seasonal nonsense, themed “Na Pilikua Nui”  (monsters in Hawaiian),

nonetheless upped “Five-0’s” ratings to 8.3 million viewers and an 18 to 49 demo rating of 1.1, in the 8 p.m.  (9 p.m. Mainland) hour, up from last week.

With all the masked ghouls, the bludgeoned body parts and thriller tension, the episode’s final moments — with Danno and son Charlie, at Shriner’s Hospital — was warm and rewarding factor of sharing (the kid passes out chocolates to fellow patients as he departs)  and of family (dad and kid, walking hand in hand). A joyous celebration — a treat — after all that cinematic tricks.

ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a competitor in the hour, posted a better 1.4 demo and  with 6.09 million  viewers, fewer than “Five-0.” The night’s champ for audience was Fox’s World Series Game 3, with 12.51 million viewers, and a runaway 18 to 49 demo of 3.1 for  the 7 to 10 p.m. (8 to 11 p.m. Mainland) block. Numbers may change, when Nielsen makes the usual adjustments.

CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), was the night’s most secure regular show, with 9.54 million viewers and an 18 to 14 demo rating of 1.1, equaling “Five-0.” And ABC’s “20/20,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), was just behind “Blue Bloods” with 8.16 million tuned in, and a better 18 to 49 rating, 1.7.


Hello, mudder; hello fodder

October 25th, 2015


It was “Tough Mudder” — and rough fodder — on Friday’s (Oct. 23)  “Hawaii  Five-0.”

The fifth episode of the CBS procedural’s sixth season mixed motorcycle mania with a plot of dirty mud as the “Five-0” team  prepped for a race in the mud to kokua a police fundraiser, contrasted by a family taunted by criminal elements and a dad shot by his daughter because he was willing to deliver a deposition.

muddyLoopy, but ‘twasn’t a Halloween episode. That one’s next Friday.

The episode, entitled “Ka ‘alapahi nui (Big Lie),” was unexpected muddy fodder. Must’ve been fun, though, filming those training bits in the goopy muck. But the episode also boasted souped-up cycles — one soaring in the air from one high-rise to another — plus classic machines for cycling culture. Even a real-life biker biggie, Robbie Knieval (son of Evel Knieval).

The road warrior stunts, with cops in pursuit of cyclists on the H-3 — were smartly filmed with stunning aerial footage — are the common stuff of procedurals. But some of the plot turns, like a daughter eliminating her father because of past issues, was hard to fathom. Fiction flies only so far.

Oh,  Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) saddled up in a cycle for this one. Another fun instance.

The carguments were back, with Danno (Scott Caan) and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), having a go like old times, without repeating the woes of McG’s heartache of the departed Catherine (Michelle Borth). And yep, there will be more future ponderings about Kono (Grace Park) and her Adam (Ian Anthony  Dale); there are still loose strings of unfinished business.

But the ratings? Not much fodder — not many surprises:

Most watched show: CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), with 10.27 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the 18 to 49 demographics.

Best in the demos: ABC’s “Shark Tank,” at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland), with a 1.5 18 to 49 demo and 6.28 million viewers.

Holding up at runners-up in the demos, all with 1.2 ranking in the 18 to 49 demos: ABC’s “Last Man Standing,”at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Mainland), ABC’s “Dr. Ken,” at 7:30 p.m.; ABC’s “20/20,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), with 5.20 million viewers, and the aforementioned “Blue Bloods.:

Struggling to remain in the game : CBS’ “Amazing Race,” at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Mainland), with 1.1 18 to 49 demos, and CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,”at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland), with a 1.0 18 to 49 demo and 8.39 million viewers.

"Five-0" fantatics will retort that their fave show is No. 2 on Fridays, but they may still have mud in their eyes,  forgetting that the demos are what matters most to the networks since they mandate advertising rates.


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There's an echo or two or three, as 'Five-0' slips a skosh in demos

October 17th, 2015


That stoic, sad gaze of Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), at the start of “Hawaii Five-0” Friday (Oct. 16), may have double meanings. Yes, he’s hurt and disappointed in Catherine’s (Michelle Borth) decision to leave again, this this time to Nepal, but he could be aching because of the CBS’ show slight dip in the Nielsen ratings.

mcg“Five-0” has slipped in the coveted 18 to 49 demographics (the one that matters most to advertisers) to a 1.0 rating, behind its 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland) competitor, ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which earned a 1.3 rating. In terms of viewership, “Five-0” had 8.89 million viewers, compared to “Shark’s” 5.74 million.

The evening’s best demo tally was Fox’s ALCS (American League Championship Series) game, which earned  a 1.7 rating in the demos and  6.20 million viewers. The evening’s most-watched series was CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” with 10.34 million and a 1.1 rating in the demos.

The usual demo victor was eclipsed by the ALCS game, but ABC’s
“Last Man Standing” nonetheless logged a 1.3 demo rating, tied with “Shark Tank” and ABC’s “Dr. Ken.”

Overall, Fox won the demo derby (1.7 rating) and CBS had the best viewership of 6.20 million. There may be figure adjustments when delayed viewership is tallied.

Back to “Five-0.” Danno (Scott Caan) was off this week, tending to dad duties and a bone marrow transplant for his newly-discovered son Charlie. So there was no bromance in the car with McG, though Lou (Chi McBride) attempts to ease McG’s heartache with some barmance.

The show, “Ka papahana holo pono (Best Laid Plans),” was packed with echoes. Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) is still taunted by the Yakuza, taken hostage in an elevator, but happily not the target of torture this time. Adam is tapped by his captors to get information from  Aaron James (Michael Maize), who might know the whereabouts of  Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean), brother-in-law of Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and a dark element in the family ties.

The crime centerpiece involved a wealthy victim Harrison Crane, found with an arrow sticking in his body, discovered by some hikers amid faux money dancing in the wind.  It’s the same loot figuring in last week’s episode, printed in a bathroom, and linked to Gerald Hirsch (Willie Garson), an art dealer reappearing. It’s this kind of a recurrence of a figure from a previous episode that contributes to the somewhat wobbly storytelling — the show no longer is a stand-alone thing, with far too many strings and coils from the past. Regular viewers might appreciate the flashbacks, but these echoes do little to grip a newbie interested in a crime-of-the-week procedural. That’s not to say that there can’t be a continuity, but there are far too many characters cluttering the viewscape.

Add Jerry (Jorge Garcia), brought into the art investigation by Chin, to indulge in his vested interest in the past about Crane. He might as well have mentioned a parallel to the real-life Japanese investor who let mansions in Kahala go kaput. But as a historian, he didn't.

Throughout the episode, there are car chases, car-dodging, and the discovery of a woman in a cavity shielded by a stone cover; there are attempts to get Hirsch help corral the baddies, but he gets a clothes switch and ditches his phone, making tracking impossible.

Hirsch’s caricatures of the “Five-0” team have a foundation in Waikiki; there used to be a dude who did remarkable sketches for a few bucks, and these random pen-and-ink creations reflected the personalities of Kono (Grace Park), McG, Chin, etc.

As for the walk-on by former NFL star Jerry Rice, it was contrived, but fans adore this kind of stuff.

It was a nice surprise, however, to find that the “Five-0” folks now huddle and share good times at Sheraton’s RumFire (twice this season so far, including aerial shots of the hotel) instead of the Tropics zone of the Hilton Hawaiian Village that had been home since season one. A behind-the-scenes switcheroo of hotel brands in Waikiki?

But echoes remain, and will recur: Adam and the Yakuza hustle; Kono trying to maintain happiness in her marriage to Adam; Danno, who'll have tales to share when he returns on camera; McG, either getting over Catherine or mooning about the distance.  Call it a hope opera instead of a soap opera?

Bottom line: Can "Five-0" regain its downward glide, now delicately at the 1.0 rating meter in the demos? Anything under 1.0 would signal a certain demise.