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'Hawaii Five-0' to let viewers decide an episode ending in real time

Here's a pretty exciting story that you don't get every day: the next step in interactive television storytelling!

Hawaii Five-0


Fans of the CBS police drama 'Hawaii Five-0' will get to make history on Monday, January 14 when they will be given the opportunity to decide the outcome of an episode in real time--something never before accomplished by a primetime drama.

'Hawaii Five-0' is a reimagined version of the hit 1968-80 television series of same name, following a police task force investigating serious criminal activity in Hawaii. In the January 14th episode, the team investigates the death of an O'ahu State University Professor, with three very possible suspects. The deceased's boss, his teaching assistant, and a disgruntled student are all presented as potential killers in the investigation... and viewers will be able to decide whodunit.

Fans will be able to vote directly on CBS.com over the course of the episode, or they can take their voting to twitter by tweeting at the show using one of the three hashtags provided. Voting will be tallied instantaneously and the most popular ending will conclude the broadcast. I’ve always felt the most fun aspect of watching a mystery is trying to figure out whodunit,” said Hawaii Five-0 executive producer Peter Lenkov. “Now the Hawaii Five-0 viewers will actually get the chance to tell us who they think committed the crime and we will listen."

The suspects in Hawaii Five-0


What if the ending you vote for doesn't win the contest? Well have no fear: you will be able to view the other two endings on CBS.com following the broadcast. That way, you can pick which ending you liked best and pat yourself on the back for voting for the most intriguing killer.

Several television networks have dabbled in interactive storytelling, however this is the first major move to real-time viewer interactivity on a scripted drama. Will this gimmick be the harbringer of things to come? Or will it come and go in a flash?


- Hawaii Five-0

Written by: bad_subject
Jan 3rd, 2013, 2:20 pm


Message Posted On Jan 12th, 2013, 11:11 pm
Silly idea. This is CBS only apparently, so what happens in Canada, where the episode normally airs earlier? Hopefully we get the an ending decided by the writers.

Level 2 (54%)
Points: 1.4
Since: 26/Apr/11
Message Posted On Jan 11th, 2013, 3:03 pm

It's a nice marketing gag and experiment, but this wouldn't catch on. The entire point of telling a story is that someone has a story to tell, that doesn't work if it's open for suggestions. There are Choose-Your-Adventure-style DVDs and such, but these work in a way because you choose a path, not an outcome.


Or put differently, to me as a viewer this takes all of the suspense out of a whodunit-type story. Because the point is trying to figure out what happened, and in the end see if you were right. This way, you know from the very beginning that there's no point in figuring it out, because you know all possibilities and that all are equally true/untrue, and pure randomness decides which. It means that I don't care about the characters either, because their fates don't matter.


Computer games have been playing around with this for a lot longer, which is why we know that it doesn't work. It makes for a more dynamic game, but for a boring story. No one has ever succeeded making both work.

The Innovator of Violence

Message Posted On Jan 3rd, 2013, 3:27 pm
Oh my Goodness, this is right up my alley sucka.
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