Even though its fifth episode featured Masi Oka as a quirky medical examiner and Alex O’Loughlin going where no Steve McGarrett has gone before, "Hawaii Five-0" failed to win its time slot for the first time since the reboot of the series, according to Nielsen ratings released yesterday by the network.
"Five-0" drew 10.94 million viewers Monday night to finish second in the hour to ABC’s "Castle," which drew 10.95 million viewers. NBC’s "Chase" drew 5.18 million.
The episode introduced Oka’s character, Max Bergman, as a medical examiner who has a piano in the morgue. It also featured McGarrett in bed with an old flame, played by Michelle Borth.
The original McGarrett rarely looked at a woman, let alone flashed some skin between the sheets.
CBS attributed the ratings in part to "Monday Night Football" and the Major League Baseball playoffs, adding that the crime drama continues "to hold strong" and was the top recorded show for the second week in a row.
Robert Thompson, founding director of the Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, said the difference between "Five-0" and "Castle" Monday night was "almost meaningless." Of greater concern was the slide from 14.2 million viewers the first week, he said.
"Whenever you start strong and your ratings begin to go down early, that’s never a good sign," he said. "But it’s only aired five episodes, so I don’t think it’s time to panic yet."