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
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

art
Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
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.

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?