Five-O Not Down for Count Yet

Hawaii Five-O fans frustrated by time slot changes and pre-emptions will be heartened to hear TV3 hasn’t yet washed its hands of the splashy crime show.

TV3 is taking it off-air after next week and replacing it with the Underbelly Files movie, Tell Them Lucifier Was Here.

Although Underbelly is one of the network’s most popular franchises, and it has licensed the three Underbelly Files movies, it doesn’t plan to air all three back-to-back.

“We are playing one Underbelly movie as bit of a breather between series of Sons of Anarchy,” programming chief Kelly Martin said in response to comments posted on this site yesterday.

“At this stage it’s highly likely that both Hawaii and a new series of Anarchy will be back the following week.”

It seems a curious strategy to pre-empt Five-0 for only one week, and to play only one of the Underbelly movies.

But online criticism from fans of shows on the bubble, like Five-0, appears to be having an impact on programming decisions.

While TV3 is anxious to bolster its mid-week ratings, and clearly Five-0 is a weak link — it draws half the viewership of HD stablemate Anarchy — in such a fragmented free-to-air TV market, networks can’t afford to alienate their loyal viewers.

Had Martin pre-empted Five-0 for three weeks, she risked devaluing its appeal further, as the audience that did tune in either would view the rest of the series online or move on to other shows.

She’s also taken a hammering for abruptly moving and pre-empting other series this year, ranging from The Event to House, Modern Family and The Good Wife.

With TV3’s ratings improving at last, her programming team will be wanting to consolidate their schedule and assure viewers of continuity and stability.

So, for the meantime at least, Five-0 fans can stop throwing the book at ’em!

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One Response to “Five-O Not Down for Count Yet”

  1. It doesn’t help that Five-0 is a strictly by-the-numbers cop show. A large dose of Miami Vice (the movie) type revisionism would have made this more compelling viewing.

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