I was just a few hours from losing power at my house last week in northeast Pennsylvania when CBS announced through various social media channels that Monday’s originally scheduled episode of Hawaii Five-0 was being preempted for news coverage of Hurricane Sandy. As h3 wind gusts snapped trees and ripped down power lines just outside my window, some fans lambasted executive producer Peter Lenkov and CBS executives on Twitter for the decision.
By the following morning, I wondered if any of those fans’ felt a little foolish for their social media rants. In New York and New Jersey, Sandy lived up to its billing as a once-in-a-lifetime superstorm’. In the enormous area affected – from the Carolinas to Maine, and inland to Ohio and West Virginia – scores of people died. Waves and wind swamped lower Manhattan with record flooding. The devastation in New Jersey is still something people are coming to grips with. And a week later, many storm victims are still without power, adequate shelter, food and access to gas.
If the Hawaii Five-0 ratings (and the show in general)are the last thing on your mind lately, I can’t say I blame you. But the Halloween episode so anxiously awaited has come and gone, and online reviews for “Mohai” have been as soft as the numbers. The episode pulled a 2.0/7.53, down a tenth in the demo from three weeks ago. But — CBS numbers as a whole were off, as they were expected to be. The network returned to its regular Monday night lineup after both presidential debate and storm coverage, and the only show to manage a bump in that three-week gap was 2 Broke Girls (up two tenths airing at 9pm, while Mike and Molly dropped two-tenths from a 3.0 to a 2.8 since its last airing as a lead-in to 10 p.m.)
Up against Five-0, NBC’s Revolution managed just a 2.8/7.34 and ABC’s Castle was at a 1.9/10.02. NBC’s early numbers were also inflated because the Saints/Eagles NFL game was simulcast on the NBC affiliate in New Orleans. Translation: If you’re worried about the numbers, don’t be. Besides all these mitigating factors, Nielsen families up and down the Northeast Corridor can’t really report what they watched since their televisions and cable boxes were swept away by Sandy’s mighty storm surge. I just hope the fans who were so angry to see Five-0 get pulled off the air last week won’t be targeting those people next.