On Friday, April 4, the fan-voted episode of "Hawaii Five-0" will finally air and those who cast their ballots will get the chance to see how the writers interpreted the choices made by viewers for the story.
"Last year we did an episode where we let the audience choose the ending," says Executive Producer/Show Runner Peter Lenkov. "This year, an executive at the studio came up with the novel idea of expanding that and letting the audience participate in building an episode."
The winners in each category are:
Scene of the Crime: Chin Ho’s High School Reunion
The Victim: Macadamia Nut Tycoon
The Murder Weapon: Five-Inch Stiletto
The Evidence: Toy Rocket
The Suspect: Struggling Illusionist
The Takedown: Giant Maze
"We then sat in the writers room and built the episode out of the ingredients the fans gave us," Lenkov continues. "We are basically co-writing, although we are taking all the credit. It's really a Valentine gift to our fans who have been so loyal from the beginning."
Even thought the fans voted from a list of choices provided by the writing staff, Lenkov says that they made sure the choices were challenging.
"We didn't give them fastballs down the middle," he said, during a visit to the production offices for the cop drama, which is located on the Paramount Studios lot. "We didn't use a gun or a knife. One of the murder weapon [options] was a snow shovel, so they could have chosen that. Where do you get a snow shovel in Hawaii? The challenge to us would be what could you repurpose the snow shovel for? We were excited about the choices."
The following storyline for the "Ho’i Hou" (Reunited) episode was developed from the winning elements: Five-0 investigates when the daughter of a macadamia nut tycoon is murdered with a stiletto heel during Chin’s high school reunion.
Lenkov, who has concept meetings with the Hawaii-based staff via Skype, let us watch the meeting unfold.
Because the crime scene selected was Chin Ho's high school reunion, The discussion revolved around elements of the show, such as getting age-appropriate actors cast, i.e. those who looks as if they could have gone to school with Chin Ho, photos of the reunion that look like they were actually taken years ago when these people were in high school, hanging candid photos from the school yearbook from the ceiling like banners in a sports arena, and making sure the set has the right kind of speakers through which to hear the cries for help. Lenkov also wanted to make sure a stage was built so there would be a focal point when the class' time capsule is opened.
How good do the elements coalesce? Tune in Friday night to judge for yourself.
"Hawaii Five-0" airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.