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Thread: Lenkov gets the chop

  1. #1

  2. #2
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Some comments from Twitter:

    I will never forgive Lenkov for the #h50 finale. Self-serving favoritism. He cast a shadow on the whole series legacy in the finale by shoehorning his ooc retcon fantasy above the input and ideas of his co-director and main star. Toxic indeed. What a shame.

    about peter lenkov too late. He ruined h50 maybe bring it back at lease to redo the ending.

    Here’s hoping that @CBSTVStudios will offer a small episode arc (if cast is willing) to wrap things up as they SHOULD have been, not in the clearly vindictive way Lenkov did. Most #H50 fans KNEW that final episode was so off base, & now we know why.

    Good riddance goodbye Peter Lenkov and all of us fans of #McDanno and #ScottCaan of @HawaiiFive0CBS20think you got what’s coming!!! Too bad you ruined the final season!!

  3. #3
    I'm sure these are the same people who thought the reboot was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Funny, I was reading through some prior threads and one was about the reboot's finale.

    I can't say that I'm super surprised about this turn of events. On the other hand, holy crap! They fired Lenkov!

  4. #4
    I didn't mind the series finale. I felt it wrapped things up well enough (the final moments even had McGarrett reuniting with Catherine), while leaving it open for a TV movie or some other extension in the future.

    The people complaining must not have seen the myriad of bad series finales, even of very good shows! I'm not even sure what they were looking for.

  5. #5
    With that said, here's my quick thoughts about Lenkov's firing:

    1) It sounds like the guy was a total jerk and treated most people badly who were involved with the show

    2) I think the sexism and racism thing is being overblown. The article even acknowledges that he would be an asshole to the straight white males, too. So isn't the more likely explanation that he just was a total jerk, and that it probably wasn't based upon race or gender? Even if that was a small part of it, I'm guessing it wasn't a major reason he acted the way he did.

    3) CBS apparently believes it pretty strongly. They put out a harsh statement about him, making it clear that he's not involved with them in any way anymore.

    4) I have a feeling there was lots of resentment on Five-Zero regarding how Scott Caan (and in some cases Chi McBride) got to take full episodes off. The female cast members (which ones?) were apparently unhappy about how male actors got time off when they didn't. I'm guessing this was more of a case of the actor's importance to the show, rather than sexism -- similar to the reason Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park didn't get salary parity with Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. In short, I think this claim is likely BS.

    I do think Lenkov was an abrasive jerk, though, and I believe most of the general personality accusations about him.

  6. #6
    I mean all you have to do is look at the guy. The dude looks like a jerk. Sorry but some people just give off that vibe and he always did to me. Plus his obvious lack of respect for the shows that he’s been rebooting. When he talks about how he tries to honor the spirit of those original shows it’s such obvious hogwash!!! It’s like “dude don’t even bother, you know you’re just in this for a quick buck”. There have been so many brain-dead ideas on the show that there’s no way he could ever convince me that he was actually trying to make something of quality. The man is a total hack!

    Having said that, I don’t understand all these comments about Lenkov ruining the finale. I say he ruined the whole show. Why this particular emphasis on the finale? Was there something in particular they’re pissed about? I saw the finale but nothing jumped out at me as being particularly unforgivable.

  7. #7
    Todd & Ringfire - I agree wholeheartedly (especially Ringfire's point that the whole show was a big hot mess).

    To Todd's point, I agree the series wrapped well considering what was there.

    From what I've read on various comments and some blogs (kool-aid girl anyone?) many of the fans wanted to see McDanno go off together into the sunset. I totally don't understand the whole thing. I've thought about it some (probably too much when we're honest about it) considering the dynamics between the two pairs (Lord-MacArthur and AOL-Caan). First off, the latter were born practically the same day coming into roles where the two actors were nearly 17 years apart! The dynamics are going to be different with that one variable alone.

    My biggest problem with Lenkov's reworking was that Danno became an insufferable jerk and many noted happily when he wasn't in an episode including some reviews Mr. Mike did. I don't disagree with that point of view. My disconnect is that they made the character completely opposite of what made the original Danno so appealing. Again, I know I'm missing something because there are a lot of people out there who like Caan and his portrayal. He makes me want to throw up.

    Give me the flawed original any day and we all know that show had its own issues where it was a hot mess too. I'm just glad it didn't degenerate into the soppy mess of McDanno of the reboot.

  8. #8
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Ringfire, I recall you have watched very few episodes of the show and have generally said bad things about it, yet you are now interested in it to the extent that you want what is really a complicated explanation of things connected to Lenkov's firing. Of course, I will be glad to provide this for you!

    People don't like the character of Catherine (McGarrett's girl friend) but in many cases this is thinly disguised dislike of Michelle Borth, who plays her, because Borth got into some nasty exchanges with people on Twitter a long time ago when she was a regular on the show.

    The Catherine haters mostly dislike the fact that the character walked out on McGarrett (we're talking about a >character< who was WRITTEN that way, duh!) and "broke his heart" (yawn). These people are much more supportive of the "bromantic" relationship between McGarrett and Danno which verges on being gay.

    They are mad, because at the very (like VERY) end of the series (show from April 3rd of this year) as McGarrett is leaving Hawaii, perhaps forever, Catherine shows up on the same plane as him (because she has been helping him solve the final case, unknown to him and Five-Zero) and they will fly off into the sunset, blah blah blah.

    The "McDanno" types would have preferred that McGarrett and Danno would have hung out together forever, especially since Danno just recovered from almost being killed. They are pissed off because it was Lenkov who wrote the story for this last show and also had to do some fancy manipulating and editing of the episode when CBS cancelled the series only weeks before. Whether Catherine was originally supposed to be in the last show, which would have led into the 11th season, I can't recall.

    This WWW page will fill in more details for you:

    Though Michelle Borth wasn't part of the main cast right when Hawaii Five-0 premiered in 2010, she entered the fray in the fourth episode of Season 1 as former Navy Officer Lt. Catherine Rollins. She quickly become an on-and-off romantic foil for McGarrett, and after taking a guest role in Season 2, Hawaii Five-0 promoted Borth to a series regular for Seasons 3 and 4. Borth left the show in a regular capacity after that, but fans watched Catherine come and go for years after.

    Why Did Michelle Borth Leave Hawaii Five-0?

    It was revealed in 2014 that Michelle Borth would not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 in a regular capacity, and it looked for a second like Catherine Rollins wouldn't be returning at all. No specific reasons have ever been revealed for why Borth left the full-time gig on Hawaii Five-0, although it's known that her character was disliked by a section of the fandom. In any case, it's clear that the exit was partly amicable, considering Borth has returned multiple times times since Season 4 ended.

    How Was Michelle Borth's Catherine Rollins Written Out of Hawaii Five-0?

    Initially, Michelle Borth's Cath was written off at the end of Season 4 with the explanation that she was remaining in Afghanistan to search for the son of a man who'd previously saved her life. She returned for Kono and Adam's wedding in Season 5, while Season 6 played up her and McGarrett's inability to maintain a lasting relationship, and her returns in more recent seasons have been for one-off missions.

    Here is a time frame of Borth's appearances after she "left" the show:

    S05E08 - Catherine appears in a flashback (I think)
    S05E25 - Catherine has left the navy, she returns to Hawaii to attend the wedding of Adam and Kono, among other things
    S06E01 - Continuation of the above which was a season-ending cliffhanger, Catherine is still around in Hawaii
    S06E02 - She is in this one too (I think), don't ask me for details, I don't mention her in my review for some reason
    S06E03 - McGarrett is almost about to marry Catherine, but she leaves town for Afghanistan
    S07E07 - Cath returns to Hawaii, to tell McGarrett his mother is in trouble in Morocco, they go and rescue her
    S08E20 - Catherine has a full time job with the CIA now, she comes back to Hawaii to investigate some kind of terrorist connection. She and McGarrett share a lot of screen time
    S09E11 - Catherine returns to Hawaii again to help McGarrett with an overseas mission. Reviews of this on IMDb are very negative, one ironically suggested "the relationship angle between her and McGarrett needs to be put to bed."
    S10E22 - Catherine is on the same plane as McGarrett when he leaves Hawaii (series finale)
    Last edited by Mr. Mike; 07-08-2020 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Correction for S09E11 above, Catherine does not return to Hawaii, she goes to Joe White's place in Montana where McGarrett is recovering from the death of his mentor to join McGarrett and others on an overseas mission to avenge Joe.

  10. #10
    Oh brother! Thatís really lame!! So the fans just hate the actress??? Thatís it???

    Not that I care but Iíd rather the dude end up with her than some curmudgeon from Jersey whoís gonna be b!tching about everything forever and ever. That was the problem with this whole McDanno thing right from the start. But hey what do I know??? If I ever tuned in it was to just see Hawaii, the rest of the fans tuned in for McDanno. Iíd be curious to know what segment of that population is actually gay. Though it seems to me a show about guns blazing in paradise might not exactly be the gay communityís cup of tea. But maybe the McDanno part is the draw.

  11. #11
    I know a good portion of the middle-aged female demographic of the show's fandom had a big crush on Alex/McGarrett.

    As dumb as it sounds, they might have been jealous of the Catherine character, and preferred McGarrett ending up in a bromance with Danno, because then they could still have their fantasies about him without thinking about Catherine.

    Just a theory. I don't know. I'm not female, so I can't say how they think. I did see a weird obsession with Alex on some blogs (all run by women over 40), which went way beyond just liking the show.

  12. #12
    Todd - I believe you hit the nail on the head. These women want their fantasies and that can't happen with Catherine in the middle (they can, they have to be creative and that's something they aren't!). They'd rather obsess I guess.

  13. #13
    I mean that’s kind of sick, right?

    First of all, these 40-year-olds aren’t going to end up with AOL anyway, right? On top of that Catherine is a fictional character and Borth in real life isn’t with AOL either right? So I don’t get it. They can fantasize all they want (no one stopping them there) but what does Borth/Catherine have to do with any of this? It’s just a show. Did she forbid them to fantasize about AOL? Lol.

  14. #14
    Lenkov was a stereotypical Hollywood type - arrogant, phony, dishonest, among other things. That he got fired now is overdue. They should have gotten rid of him years ago. I even read an interview with him where he claimed that he only did the remake because his father liked Hawaii Five-O and he (Lenkov) didn't remember much of it. It would take me a while to find that article, but it was published during the early years of the show's run. He did everything that a producer should not do - bad casting choices from Day 1; scripts with so many plotholes, you stick your fingers through them; gunfights, car chases, and explosions right and left to pad the storylines; stunt casting, annoying background music, shaky camera angles, and on and on and on. It looked like he never cared about the show at all and was intentionally doing everything to make it less of an homage and more of a defamation.

    I noticed the weird obsession with Alex O'Loughlin on blogs and on the IMDb. It looked like he was a magnet for possessive, obsessive, love-starved, boorish women over 40. He had some younger fans who were also not the best of stock, either. I didn't get the appeal. Beauty is subjective, they say, but there were so many more handsome actors on TV at the same time who were also better actors than AOL.

    Those women were even badmouthing AOL's wife when he got married. "She's not that pretty. What does he see in her?" I read online. It was idiotic. Many of these women were in so deep that they were very vicious towards me and fans of Jack Lord and the original show. It was as though they felt there was some threat or rivalry. That shows their insecurity.

  15. #15
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Far be it from me to say anything too nice about Lenkov, but I have never heard that he was indifferent to the old show, and the only one in his family who was into it was his father. Here are excerpts from a couple of articles which say otherwise:


    Lenkov says his connection to the old show was personal. As a boy, he would watch the original Jack Lord series with his father in Montreal.

    So while the new Hawaii Five-O may be modernized, Lenkov admits there’s a retro feel to the series that was intentional, a throwback to shows he would watch with his parents, whether it be the original Five-O or Magnum P.I.

    “He really loved (the original Hawaii Five-O), and it was on for 12 years,” Lenkov says. “You really get to gauge somebody’s interest in something when they watch it regularly for 12 years. And I think the fact that he was so passionate about it, in a way, was a barometer. I knew there were other people who like it. For me, when I was a kid, I sat and watched it with him and it was like family television. There’s not a lot of shows like that, that you can sit down with your family and watch and still can entertain your dad and your son. There’s something for everybody.”


    The original Hawaii Five-O, which aired from 1968-80, was Abe’s [Lenkov's father's] favourite TV show.

    “When I was a kid I sat by my dad’s knee watching Hawaii Five-O,” Lenkov recalled. “I remember him loving that show, especially in the dead of winter to escape to go to Hawaii once a week — that was a big deal. So that’s the reason I wanted to do that show. It was because of him. I wanted to do Magnum because that was my favourite show.”

  16. #16
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    I was told by a friend of someone with Five-O connections that Mrs. Freeman (whose husband created the original) first heard that the reboot was going into production "totally by accident."

    The friend explained: "Somebody at CBS had mentioned it to her at some party or something, thinking she already knew all about it. She was furious that no one had talked to her ahead of time. By the time she found about it, filming had already begun, all the major decisions were already made. Legally, of course, they had no obligation to talk to her, but still. It would have just been the proper thing to do, to seek her advice and keep her in the loop ... What she did say was that [Ed Bernero, who was also going to do a reboot, which never panned out] at least ... had contacted her and asked her to look at his script. But Lenkov and company had just gone right into it, without a word to her. She was royally pissed off about that."

    Despite this, Mrs. Freeman and Lenkov seemingly were pals afterwards, based on various things I have read.

    More stuff of interest, from July 2015 discussion forum, posted by Vrinda (actually, reading forum archives is quite entertaining!):

    It has also been said to me by different people that the producers of the new Hawaii Five-O don’t want the cast and crew of the new show to see the old show, going as far as to tell the actors not to watch the old show on DVD.


    These people from H502 said that when the show was first cast and being put together, the producers told the actors not to watch the original series because they didn't want the new show to be influenced by the original, citing it was going to be completely different and they didn’t want anyone pointing out the differences and trying to make it more like the original.


    These crew members also spoke of how guest stars from the original show who did guest spots on the new show were told not to speak about the original to the other actors. One person cited Robert Loggia, who talked about his guest appearance on the original and working with Jack Lord with the current show's actors and crew. The producers went up to him and told him to cut the conversation. For the record, he spoke fondly of his time on the original show.

    And don't forget this, from December, 2011!

  17. #17
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Post by Dennis Chun from Facebook:

    Like many of you I was deeply saddened and shocked by the recent developments concerning Peter Lenkov. I don't know about any of the allegations but to paraphrase Shakespeare "If they are true, then grievously has he paid for them." I can comment about my interactions with him. He always extended the utmost courtesy and professionalism to me. I deeply appreciate that fact that he gave me the opportunity to play Duke for 10 years on Hawaii Five-0. I was deeply touched by the thoughtfulness he gave to my father's memory and the original Hawaii Five-O. I was glad to see so many local actors and crew be part of the success of the series and display their talents and professionalism both in front and behind the camera.

    I so appreciated the aloha he shared with so many fans, especially at the Sunset on the Beach events. One year I mentioned to him that a vietnam vet had told me that he and fellow vietnam veterans had not been welcomed back after their service. Peter asked if I would say some words at the STOB event. That night I said a few words expressing a long overdue welcome home to the Vietnam veterans. In the crowd was my dear friend Tommy D. Tommy has served in the war and had been seriously wounded. He told me how much the words of aloha from Hawaii Five-0 meant to him and the follow vets he had been sitting with. Sadly when the next STOB rolled around Tommy had passed

    That moment of aloha would never have happen without Peter Lenkov.

    So as we mark the first July in a decade that we do not celebrate a new season of Hawaii Five-0 I cannot forget the man who brought that storied franchise back to life and gave moments of entertainment and joy to so many around the world. I pray for all involved and hope that healing, learning and growth occurs for everyone concerned.

    And through it may not be politically correct I send my aloha to Peter and his ohana at this difficult time.

    Stay safe everyone and Mask Up please.

  18. #18
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Brian Yang played forensic guy Charlie Fong on the new Five-O. He was in a total of 30 episodes; the last one was S05E04.

    In S03E21, the one where Wo Fat was captured on "reality TV," Charlie Fong's real name was revealed to be actually "Che." As far as I am aware, this is the only time that was ever mentioned in the new show.

    This is a tweet that Yang made on July 7th:

    I always wondered what happened to Charlie Fong. He just disappeared with no explanation, even off-screen. It was a gift to this struggling actor, but to this day it's bothered me how, after several seasons, I just got the cold shoulder on the way out.

    Click on the Tweet at the top, then check out the comments.

    This was posted about a day ago:

    Daniel McLellan

    More to come on Peter Lenkov’s abuse empire. A lot of people are putting a lot on the line for this.

  19. #19
    Yeah I actually forgot about Charlie's character.

    My guess is that Lenkov just decided he was done with the character, and decided to unceremoniously drop him. Kinda seems like Lenkov treated the actors like furniture, which you just discard when you're done.

    Now, this is standard practice in Hollywood (and extended Hollywood like the case here), but it kind of sucks for the actor who feels he finally got his opportunity, only to have it abruptly yanked away through no fault of their own.

    I've even seen roles dropped simply because writers mishandled the character, and there was no place to go from there!

  20. #20
    This happened on the CSI shows all the time, though there were times when they gave the characters a send-off, but some disappeared without a trace. There was a female lab technician on CSI: Vegas who was written out of the show after several seasons. She said she was going to back to Oregon or Washington to live with her sister and work in a lab there. The producers said they were "going in a different direction," but I didn't see any different direction. The same thing happened with Eddie Cibirian on CSI: Miami. The producers had him killed off, because they wanted to focus on the "core" cast members - Horatio, Delko, Calleigh, Natalia, Walter, and Ryan. They didn't have room for one more?

    As for Lenkov, he was indifferent to the original show from the beginning, with the bad casting and bad writing.

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