Regardless of how you feel about the current season, the engine that fuels Hawaii Five-0 has shifted from the obsessive dance between Steve McGarrett and Wo Fat to the psychological tango between McG, his long-presumed-dead mother and her desire for both forgiveness and validation of a super secret spy life that destroyed an entire family. To get it, she not only had to work her way back into Steve’s life, but that of a daughter she hadn’t seen in two decades.

She (both Mama McG and the actress, Christine Lahti) also had to accomplish said task while nits were being thoroughly picked by fans who crave action & adventure, not characters stuck living their own private soap opera. But by the end of “Ōhuna,” which was both surprisingly unpredictable and remarkably solid in its execution, it says something that welcoming family back into the fold occurred in more ways than one Monday night.

By the time we came to the end, where messy reality and emotional turmoil were trumped by a desire to make a family (mostly) whole again, nearly a million more sets of eyeballs were watching than the previous Monday. Hawaii Five-0, in fact, pulled its highest numbers to date for season 3, with a 2.2 in 18-49 (up a tenth from last week) and roughly 8.9 million people watching live.

Overall, Five-0 dented Revolution’s number significantly for the first time this fall. The sci-fi drama managed just a 2.6/7.04 and will air its mid-season finale next Monday. It will not return to the NBC schedule until March 25, leaving Five-0 with the chance for some ratings momentum in the months ahead. It’s like the show took two giants steps forward last night, and hopefully there’s no going back.

Reaching into the mailbag …

A couple people have asked me (whether in comments, on Twitter or Facebook) how to become a member of the Nielsen sample. The answer, quite simply, is that the entire thing is strictly through chance. You can’t call Nielsen and volunteer to track data for them, nor can they ask every home in a community to participate. Instead, they select a sample of homes in a given area to represent the entire TV audience. You can learn more about the process HERE.

And a final thought…

There has been some spirited commentary on a recent blog post that colors outside the lines of quality fan discussion. While I certainly appreciate that you take the time to read and comment on these blogs, attacking each other in the process is both unnecessary and counterproductive. I assume you all participate because there are more aspects of Hawaii Five-0 you enjoy than those you don’t, and I ask that you redirect your energy away from the vitriol and get back to pros and cons of these episodes and how they reflect on the ratings. Mahalo.


  1. Nicely put! I’ve been selected on several occasions to be a Nielsen diary keeper, always at sweeps time. They select me, I receive both by mail and by phone, the request to participate. And as you have stated here, I have done nothing to be included in their process, they simply found ME!! I do think that either the networks or Nielsen will have to reexamine how they collect their data, there are so many more ways to watch programs now. It does make me curious how a specific episode, like the most excellent one this past Monday of H5-0, pulls in extra viewers… how do they know it will be so good? IMO, CBS doesn’t promote H5-0 with the same ‘push’ that they do for some of their other 10 pm shows, they did at the beginning of the series, but I do watch CBS programs more that the other networks and I don’t see the promos for H5-0 like I do for POI, Vegas or Elementary, they seem to focus more attention for Monday on their comedy line up, which again IMO, isn’t the best lead-in for H5-0. THX for all of your thoughtful posts, I always read them.

  2. I really think H50 should move their time slot to Thursday and bring Big Bang Theory to Monday with all comedy shows are at. Just a thought.

  3. I was really excited to see this week’s ratings. I actually breathed a sigh of relief for the first time this season. I enjoyed much of this episode, but I do hope to see Christine Lahti do more than cry (although she was outstanding at that!) and say a few lines. I’m concerned because they only signed her for four episodes and I haven’t heard if they’ve upped that. I want to hear her story, darn it! And that scene with her sitting in the car at the cemetery and sobbing, while Mary talked to her deceased dad, was just heartbreaking. Very well acted, directed, and edited.

  4. I stopped watching H50 part way through season one. Since then I’ve gone back a few times, wanting to give the show another chance, and every single time there’s been at least one aspect that has completely thrown me out of the story line, and had me turning the episode off.

    That’s not to say I don’t want to see H50 succeed, because I do. I’d love nothing more than to see the show be the huge hit that it could be, to garner the sort of critical awards I can see it being deserving of, and to win solid ratings week after week. I haven’t seen the episode in question, but it sounds to me like the ratings were up because this episode in particular had some solid writing attached to it.

    And just personally, that’s what I think H50 needs to do to ensure they continue to get top level ratings like this, work on episodes that consistently have a solid base of good writing. They’ve got everything else – the actors (and their respective fan bases), the gorgeous location – but to many people, including me, that isn’t always necessarily enough to keep us watching.

    If H50 gives us some consistently good writing, that pays attention to details (for example, season one – clonazepam is a benzodiazipene, not an antipsychotic, season 3 – saying an Athame is definitely not Wiccan, is like saying a Crucifix is definitely not Christian, it might not seem like a big deal to some, but to a lot of other people little details like this can make the difference between us continuing to watch a show, and switching off), engages us emotionally, and where we don’t have to bodily hurl disbelief out the window (You can have fast paced action, without things being so over the top that people start wondering exactly when the acme anvil is going to be dropped on Wile E Coyote’s head), then I think you’ll see a rise in the ratings, especially as many fans who have switched off, start returning.

    Hopefully this latest episode can be the start of a potential upswing for the show.

  5. “IMO, CBS doesn’t promote H5-0 with the same ‘push’ that they do for some of their other 10 pm shows”

    Acknowledging the difference in culture, they advertised H50 in Australia to the point of over saturation, and it ended up backfiring. I know quite a few fellow Aussies who decided to switch off completely, simply because they got so fed up with the constant bombardment of ‘Look, over here, Hawaii Five-0; hey has it been 5 minutes since we reminded you about Hawaii Five-0; no really, pay attention HAWAII FIVE-0!’

    I wonder if CBS looks at the advertising responses in other countries and takes anything on board from that.

  6. Revolution still crashed HFO demo pretty bad.
    I don’t think CBS could had made more that they did to help this show. The promotion before the pilot was so big that even the media talked about it.
    The show is just not good enough. Sorry. Their first mistake was the casting. They should had picked a Hawaiian actor to be part of the four. And then O’Loughin doesn’t have the screen presence to be the lead man.
    You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

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