SAN FRANCISCO (CBS NEWS) – “Hawaii Five-O” fans will get to play detective — and script writer — when they choose the ending of an episode in real time for the first time in primetime drama history.
Monday’s episode of the police procedural series will revolve around the death of an Oahu State University professor and three probable suspects: his boss, his teaching assistant or a student he busted for cheating. But, instead of having the writers choose the guilty party, fans will be able to have their say.
“We picked episode 314 because we had three very viable suspects. In order to make this work, we need multiple suspects who each had a very believable motive,” executive producer Peter Lenkov told CBSNews.com in an email.
Viewers can vote in real time on CBS.com or by tweeting with the hashtags #theBoss, #theTA or #theStudent. After an almost-instantaneous tally, the most popular ending will air.
“I’ve always felt the most fun aspect of watching a mystery is trying to figure out whodunit,” Lenkov said in a statement on CBS.com. “Now the HAWAII FIVE-0 viewers will actually 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 actually play a part in resolving our story.”
The show airs at 10:00pm PST on CBS 5, so separate voting will occur for the East/Central and Pacific time zones. This means there could be potentially be two different endings for the same episode.
After Monday’s episode, all three endings will be available on CBS.com.
Lenkov told CBSNews.com that the idea behind the alternative ending episode came from Masi Oka, who plays Dr. Max Bergman in the rebooted series. However, when they brought the idea to CBS, the network said they had also been toying with the idea.
The executive producer added that depending on the success of tonight’s test run, it could become something they might revisit.
“It’s a great way of keeping the audience engaged, allowing them to be a part of the crime solving team,” he said to CBSNews.com.
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