CBS announced today a big jump forward in the social media game. For one very special episode of one of their series (Hawaii Five-0), CBS will show off the power of fandom by allowing the audience to choose the ending of an episode-- and in real time for both coasts. Crazy right?
It all begins in "Kapu" when the 5-0 team investigates the death of an Oahu State University professor. His boss (Scott Morgan), teaching assistant (Ward Roberts), and one student he busted for cheating (Patrick Pintor) are the viable suspects, and the guilty verdict is all up to the audience. Voting will be available during the episode on CBS.com and Twitter, utilizing special hashtags for the suspect you want to see arrested by episode's end (#theBoss #theTA #theStudent). The votes will be tallied immediately, and the most popular ending will become a part of the broadcast. There is a possibility the east and west coast airings, then, will end differently, but all three versions of the ending will be available on CBS.com after the episode airs live on both coasts.
Additionally, Andrew Lawrence guest stars in the episode. Are we the only ones wanting to write in that somehow he's the killer!?
“I've always felt the most fun aspect of watching a mystery is trying to figure out ‘whodunit,’” Executive Producer Peter Lenkov said in a statement released to the press.
“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.”
Okay, we're not going to lie: we are both intrigued and petrified by this concept. There is something to be said for giving the people what they want, but there is much more stock in a writer having a vision and being able to carry it out. In the case of a crime drama like Hawaii Five-0, that vision includes seeding clues (and sometimes all-too-obvious ones at that) as to who the killer is. But if the show is going to let audiences choose the ending without the full "Choose your own adventure" experience, things might get messy-- or worse, end up resolved but not earned.
Hawaii Five-0 airs on CBS on Monday nights at 10 p.m. "Kapu" airs on January 14th 2013.
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