Even though it will be two weeks before CBS officially announces if it will give “Hawaii Five-0” a second season, the head of the network hailed the police drama yesterday as its next billion-dollar franchise.
“This is only ‘Hawaii Five-0’s first year, and it’s already on its way to being another billion-dollars franchise for us, joining ‘NCIS’ and ‘CSI,’ which both remain strong on our network as well,” said Leslie Moonves, the network’s chief executive officer, during a conference call yesterday to discuss the company’s first-quarter earnings.
“CSI” is in its 11th season with CBS and has led to two successful spinoffs, “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY.” “NCIS” is in its eighth season.
Moonves also said yesterday that “Five-0” is earning millions per episode in syndication rights. “Our international and domestic syndication commitments for this show are now nearly $5 million per episode, meaning that it is already extremely profitable,” he said.
During a similar conference call in November, Moonves said “Five-0” was bringing in “north of $2 million an episode” in nearly all of the network’s 200 international markets, based on deals made before the show’s network premiere.
Last month CBS sold the series to TNT for domestic syndication to start in the summer of 2014. The price tag has not officially been revealed, but The Hollywood Reporter said it was in the low-to-mid-$2 million range.
Moonves said the show was sold to TNT “for very attractive rates.”
When it announced the deal, TNT called “Five-0” a perfect fit. “With its great characters, intriguing stories, smart sense of humor and explosive action, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ is an ideal fit for TNT’s lineup,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies.
Moonves’ comments yesterday came a day after “Five-0” slipped slightly in the ratings.
Monday’s show, which featured Grammy Award winner Rick Springfield in a guest role, drew 9.83 million viewers overall to finish second in the hour against ABC’s “Castle,” which attracted 12.11 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings information released by CBS. NBC’s “Law & Order: L.A.” finished third with 4.85 million viewers.
The previous original episode of “Five-0,” which aired April 18 and featured musician-actor Sean Combs, won the hour with 11.4 million viewers.
Among adults age 18 to 49, a key target audience, Monday’s “Five-0” attracted 2.5 percent of the total TV viewing audience and 6 percent of those who were watching TV at the time.
“Five-0” finished shooting its final episode of the season on April 14. It completed 24 episodes, two more than normally shot in a full season.