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'Hawaii Five-0' captures attention of audiences

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 9:24 a.m. HST, Oct 8, 2010

"Hawaii Five-0" is in production on its eighth episode and seems in no danger of falling victim to the network cancellation ax.

Chris Ender, senior vice president of communications at CBS-TV, said in an e-mail response to your columnist, "Hawaii Five-0 is off to an impressive start. ... After three weeks, it is the No. 1 new show on television, averaging 13 million viewers. It has won its time period every week in both viewers and the key demographics of adults 18 to 49 and 25 to 54."

Thirteen episodes of the show have been ordered, which is standard for new series.

In addition to live viewers, "it may be one of the most recorded shows with DVRs, which will further increase its total audience," Ender said.

One more thing "Hawaii Five-0" has working in its favor is the international market, "where it has been licensed to broadcasters in nearly 200 countries," Ender said.

Robert Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, said "Hawaii Five-0" is one of his two favorite new TV shows along with HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," which he called "innovative."

"Hawaii Five-0," is "nothing new, it's nothing greatly innovative, but it's a well-done show."

As to whether it will stick around for another season, Thompson said ratings, demographics, network executives' commitment and other factors such as award nominations and hype all figure into the decision.

"This is show business, not science," Thompson said.

On the heels of the original "Five-O," "Magnum, P.I." was a "big, long-running hit," Thompson said. There were "a few shows that came and went, but there always seems to be this kind of slot for a Hawaii show, shot on location, which seems to cover a good chunk of American TV."

Rick Blangiardi, general manager of the local CBS affiliate, KGMB-TV, said that in his conversations with CBS executives prior to the launch, "there always was in their voice a determination to make this long term," he said. "There are shows and there are shows, and this was their money show."

"They want this to be everything 'CSI' has been for CBS in recent times," Blangiardi said. The hope is that "Hawaii Five-0" will be to CBS what "ER" was for NBC or "Lost" was to ABC.


"Hawaii Five-0" (CBS) 14.2 12.72 12.24
"MNF" (ESPN) 14.9/11.9(a) 15.1 17.5  
"Lone Star" (Fox) 4.1 3.2 Canceled
"My Generation" (ABC) 5.2 3.8 Canceled
"Outlaw" (NBC)(b) 10.679 4.893 4.72

(a) double-header
(b) debuted Wednesday, Sept. 15
Hawaii-based broadcast TV shows that have come and gone include Fox's "North Shore" (2004-05), "Hawaii" (2004), "Baywatch Hawaii" (1999-2001), "Marker" (1995), "The Byrds of Paradise" (1994) and "Jake and the Fatman" (1988-1990).

"Whether 'Hawaii Five-0' is going to become the next 'CSI' or the next 'Law & Order,' it's way too early to tell," Thompson said.

"The audience is pretty big and critically, people are talking about it. Most of the talk is positive, and it's actually a good show."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by e-mail at

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