Ratings Debate: Is ‘Hawaii Five-0’ season 5 catching one last wave?

Hawaii -For the latest chapter in our Ratings Debate series, we turn to a show that seemed at one point destined to be the next “Criminal Minds,” or a show that could be destined to go for at least ten seasons or so: “Hawaii Five-0.” What happened to the momentum of this show? Direct competition with “Castle” every week may have limited its audience years ago, and since its move to Fridays it has been stuck against the night’s #1 show in “Shark Tank.”

Now, it finds itself very much on the bubble of getting renewed or getting canceled, with its status going into a potential sixth season reasonably unclear. There are so many different issues that need to be looked at with this show, whether you are talking about its demo ratings to its cast contracts to its budget to its syndication dollars.

The case to keep it – One of the biggest arguments for it is almost apathy, in a way. Why cancel it? You don’t quite know how any other show is going to fare in this timeslot on CBS, and previous attempts to fill it before “Blue Bloods” have not worked out that well. Also, you presumably have at least one more year for most of the original cast members before contract discussions, so why not milk the show as much as you can?

Also, you have some other revenue streams. While the show does not appear to be a syndication slam-dunk, that is still a source of income. Also, it does have an international viewing audience. More then that this cast has real chemistry and that’s hard to find on crime procedurals.

The case to cancel it – Its ratings are slightly worse than fellow Friday show “Blue Bloods,” and with so much filming done on location, this cannot be the cheapest CBS drama to film week in and week out. There are going to need to be some tough choices for the network moving into the new season, and dispatching at least one long-running show will be on the list. The candidates here include “The Amazing Race,” “CSI,” “Blue Bloods,” and this show. We already feel like “Stalker,” “Battle Creek,” and potentially “CSI: Cyber” are all goners. “The Good Wife” would probably be in danger if it didn’t have so much critical acclaim.

Prediction – This one is going to come down to the wire. “Blue Bloods” will likely be back, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the network decided to just clean house on Fridays and try to start new. We put the show’s odds around 50-50.

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