Book him, Danno – but not until the audience decides: Viewers get the chance to pick the killer in 'Hawaii Five-0'

 

Los Angeles

Television audiences are, by now, accustomed to the notion of voting to decide the outcome of a reality show. What they may not be so prepared for is the opportunity to pick the killer in their favourite detective drama. Now, in a first for a US prime-time drama, the CBS network is offering viewers of its revival of Hawaii Five-0 the chance to choose the ending of an episode. On 14 January, fans of the series will be invited to vote, via CBS.com or Twitter, on which of three suspects committed the murder being investigated by its heroes.

Hawaii Five-0, a so-called "reimagining" of the classic 1970s series, is now in its third season on CBS. An action-packed police procedural starring Scott Caan as Danno (of "Book him, Danno" fame), it follows a small crack squad of investigators tasked with thwarting the titular archipelago's most serious crimes. During the episode in question, the team is due to investigate the murder of an Oahu State University professor, and three suspects are in the frame: the professor's boss, his teaching assistant and a student he had sent down for cheating.

All three of the potential villains will have their motives exposed in the first half of the broadcast, at which point viewers will be instructed to go online and choose #TheBoss, #TheTA or #TheStudent. The ballot will be settled during the episode, which will conclude with the capture of whichever suspect turns out to be the most – or least – popular. After the episode's broadcast, all three endings will be available to watch at the CBS website.

"I've always felt the most fun aspect of watching a mystery is trying to figure out whodunnit," the show's executive producer, Peter Lenkov, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Now Hawaii Five-0 viewers will get the chance to tell us who they think committed the crime, and we will listen. I love that our dedicated and attentive fans will play a part in resolving our story."

Might choosing the ending not remove some of its thrill? Maybe, says Brian Lowry, a TV critic and columnist for Variety. "When shows get into their later seasons, especially if they're procedural, it's not unusual to spike them with some sort of gimmick."

Though this televisual experiment is the first of its kind, others have tried similar interactive pranks in the past. In 2001, Chuck Lorre, the sitcom super-producer behind Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, produced a pilot for Fox entitled Nathan's Choice. In each episode, the title character – a twentysomething graduate played by J D Walsh – would be faced with a dilemma, which viewers would be invited to resolve by voting for one of two paths of action midway through the broadcast. Two alternative endings would be shot for every episode, with the less popular one shown when the programme was repeated later. Fox, however, did not commission the series, and the pilot was never aired.

CBS is keen to trumpet its engagement with the new world of social media. Last week, the network also unveiled a new app for the iPad called CBS Connect, which is designed to link users together via Twitter, Facebook et al during the broadcast of their favourite shows. Connect can identify what each user is watching and tailor its services to sync with the programme – even if the episode is being watched on a DVR recording. Currently, the app works only with the police procedurals CSI, NCIS: Los Angeles and Hawaii Five-0, but it is expected to roll out to other series in due course.

"Everybody is feeling their way in this area," says Mr Lowry. "The networks' infatuation with social media is, at this point, more window-dressing than something that actually draws lots of viewers to shows. But you don't want to be the one idiot who's not jumping into the pool when it's getting hotter outside."

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy