CBS drama Hawaii Five-0, has been holding onto a devoted fan base despite the competition. Mike Gordon at the Star Advertiser gives us some insight into this season’s numbers.
With a massive explosion at police headquarters, a few murders and a lot of mayhem in the streets of Honolulu, the CBS drama “Hawaii Five-0″ ended its second season Monday, and by the time the smoke cleared, it had a ratings victory.
“Five-0″ drew 11.42 million viewers, the third-largest audience of its sophomore season, according to Nielsen ratings information released Tuesday by the network.
The crime drama outpaced ABC’s “Bachelorette,” which drew 7.65 million viewers, and NBC’s “Smash,” which drew 5.96 million viewers.
“Five-0″ gave fans a wild ride during the 23-episode second season, which started with thousands of fans watching a sneak preview at Sunset on the Beach and a season-high draw of 12.19 million viewers a few days later.
The second season featured a steady parade of guest stars — including James Caan, Ed Asner, Jimmy Buffett and Peter Fonda — for added star power.
Semiregular “Five-0″ team members Lauren German and Larisa Oleynik were written out of the show.
And “Five-0″ headliner Alex O’Loughlin took a short break this spring to deal with a problem he had with prescription pain medication.
The show averaged 10.66 million viewers for original episodes.
“What do I think?” said Peter Lenkov, the show’s executive producer. “Whew. We made it. I now get to sleep for a week, then start writing again. Very proud of our cast and crew for an outstanding season two.”
CBS said in March it will bring back “Five-0″ for a third season. Filming is expected to start in July. The network hasn’t said whether it will host a Sunset on the Beach preview this year.
Among its key target audience, adults 18 to 49, the “Five-0″ season two finale was respectable, said Robert Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. The finale drew 2.7 percent of the total viewing audience and 7 percent of those watching TV at the time, according to the Nielsen numbers.
The 2.7 rating is only a few tenths of a point lower than the season one finale, which means the show has a faithful audience, said Thompson, who keeps an eye on Nielsen ratings.
“It is definitely holding its audience,” he said.
The show would be in jeopardy should that number drop significantly, he said.
“‘Hawaii Five-0′ is by no means getting huge numbers, but at the same time it is beating a lot of stuff out there,” Thompson said. “But it doesn’t have too far to go down before it would start being a marginal show.”
By comparison, the CBS show “Unforgettable” was canceled after a rating that averaged 2.3, he said. The drama, which averaged 11.3 million viewers, was one of the higher-rated shows this season to be canceled, he said.
Donne Dawson, who was recently reinstated as the state’s film industry development manager for the Hawaii Film Office after being gone for two years, said she applied an unscientific “gut level” check to “Five-0,” and the second season came up a winner.
“I know that the industry depends on ratings for survival, but I think you can get carried away to a degree, hovering so closely over them,” Dawson said. “You sometimes need to pan back and say, ‘Does this have the necessary ingredients for a successful show?’ I say it does.”
The show has storytelling and eye candy, she said.
“In my mind that equates to success,” Dawson said. “I think that bodes well for longevity.”
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the Season 2 finale, you might want to avoid the below article from TVLine. It certainly sounds as though Peter Lenkov has already put plenty of thought into exactly how he’ll be torturing each member of the Hawaii Five-0 team in Season 3. Is it September yet?
The Season 2 finale of CBS’Hawaii Five-0 packed quite a Hawaiian punch on Monday night, killing off one recurring character, putting a bullet in another, leaving the lives of two women in jeopardy and bringing McGarrett face-to-face with the mysterious Shelburne – who is someone he knows, but surely never expected to see again.
Here is what executive producers Peter Lenkov and Elwood Reid shared about the shock and awe and aftermath, during a recent press gathering.
MAMMA, MIA! WAS THAT SHELBURNE? | Just to be clear, connect the dots and put to rest any worries about semantics, Joe did in fact lead McGarrett to the mysterious Shelburne – whom a shocked Steve greeted with a “Mom?” “The identity of Shelburne will be revealed [in the final five seconds],” Lenkov confirmed. And make no mistake, we’ll get to witness all of the most unexpected reunion. “[Next season] really picks up a second later,” says Lenkov.
WHO WILL CHIN HO LOSE? | Delano made Chin Ho choose between rushing to rescue wife Malia, who was being held at gunpoint at home, or cousin Kono, bound and about to be pitched over the side of a boat. Chin Ho ran to his missus, who nonetheless seemed very much worse for the wear, while Kono was last seen flailing and falling deeper and deeper into the Pacific. Without revealing either woman’s fate, Lenkov said that in Season 3, “We’re going to break [Chin Ho] and have him get rebuilt up again. When we found him he was already broken, but you never got to see him when he was a strong cop and got everything taken away from him. Now we want to see things taken away from him and see how he deals with it. We’re very deliberately altering his character.” And Daniel Dae Kim’s take on the sad Sophie’s Choice? “He loved the challenge, emotionally,” Lenvok shared, “with what he was going to do with his character.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR DANNO? | Detective Williams got off easy compared to everyone else in the finale, save for some domestic strife between him and ex-wife Rachel, who is threatening to move Grace to Las Vegas. Nonetheless, “There’s a lot of wood on the fire in the finale [that's] going to give us a lot of stuff to play” in Season 3, said Reid. “There’s some stuff that played during the middle of the season, particularly with Danny, that’s going to come back next season too.”
HAVE WE – AND MCGARRETT – SEEN THE LAST OF JOE WHITE? | Though Joe vanished into thin air before taking McGarrett to Shelburne, and despite Terry O’Quinn’s 666 Park Avenue pilot landing on ABC’s fall schedule, the Five-0 bosses are hoping for the occasional encore. “[Terry] is open to it, which we were all very surprised and excited about,” said Lenkov. “We love him, and hopefully he’ll come back.” After all, as Reid noted, “Joe is integral to the McGarrett mythology.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)
Just in case you’re not excited enough for the Hawaii Five-0 season 2 finale, we’ve got a few things to whet your appetite. Many thanks to those friends who donated their behind the scenes photos, or shared their video discoveries with us. Check back with us, because we’ll have more!
Mike Gordon of the Star Advertiser has interviewed Hawaii Five-0′s latest bad guy, Karl Herlinger. Will “Toothpick” be a character that we love to hate, or want to see come to an early demise? Tune in tomorrow for the Season 2 finale to find out.
Even with a latte in hand, Karl Herlinger looks like a villain or, at the very least, someone capable of extreme road rage.
His eyes are set close together, his brow quick to furrow. The television actor from Kailua can wither with a glance.
“I get cast a lot as a bad guy,” he said recently at a Kaimuki coffee shop. “I think it’s the way I look. But I’ve also gravitated toward those roles because they are fun. And it’s interesting to find the humanity in the badness.”
Of course, that makes him perfect for a menacing role in Monday’s season finale of “Hawaii Five-0″ (9 p.m., KGMB). Herlinger is the second Hawaii-born actor in as many weeks to wear the bad-guy mantle on the CBS hit. (Last week it was Mark Dacascos, aka Wo Fat.)
Herlinger plays a character named “Toothpick.” He won’t elaborate on the part except to say he creates mayhem for the “Five-0″ team — and he hopes to stress out the show’s fans.
“If I have done my job right, they will either love hating me or there will be some kind of level of disgust,” Herlinger said.
Having a guest spot on a series shot in his hometown is a dream come true, said the 40-year-old Herlinger, who was born at Castle Hospital, grew up in Enchanted Lake and graduated from Kalaheo High School.
The actor, who now lives in Los Angeles, said the final episode will leave fans hungry for the season three premiere.
“This episode has a lot of action,” he said. “It has a great start and it doesn’t let up. It’s what you want a finale to be.”
Herlinger has been a working actor, on stage and television, since graduating with a degree in theater arts from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1994. His first TV role was on “Law & Order,” but his first appearance on a series was in 1979 as a background extra in the final season of the original “Five-0.”
He had never seen the old “Five-0″ episode until he found it on Netflix last week. His parents wouldn’t let him watch it — Herlinger was only 7 — because the plot involves a child who gets lured into a car by strangers.
“They were protective of certain types of influences at a young age,” he said. “I later watched the show, but I think at the time they just wanted to preserve as much innocence as possible.”
Herlinger and his wife, Malia Musick, have a 5-year-old daughter they protect just as much. (They’re expecting a baby boy in August.)
“She has never seen anything that I have done because everything I have done has pretty much been some kind of violence,” he said.
HIS acting roots are decidedly innocent, though. As a boy he tagged along with his older sister when she took dance and acting lessons, and wound up onstage. His résumé through high school included “The King and I,” “Music Man” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” But he also appeared in a stage drama for Honolulu Theatre for Youth and said the experience was powerful.
“It added a level of depth to the art that I had not thought was there before,” he said.
While he was in Hawaii shooting “Five-0,” Herlinger began sending Twitter messages from the set. He kept the plot secret but aroused fans by saying he was going to turn the Steve McGarrett character into mochiko chicken — and including a photo from lunch.
“I made a conscious decision to do that for this show,” Herlinger said. “Prior to this I didn’t tweet a lot. I thought it would be fun to tweet as the character and really engage the public.”
Herlinger got tremendous response and exchanged numerous messages. But he kept the plot secret, in part because the final scene of the finale wasn’t even printed on his version of the script; the ending consisted of blank pages with asterisks on them.
But the fans didn’t know that. He kept them hanging as only a villain could.
“It’s fun to have a secret and toy with people,” he said. “All of it feeds into this character.”
AND that’s a wrap …