Hawaii Five-0 became the most recent CBS series to suffer a major casting change-up, as it was previously announced that long-time stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were exiting the drama ahead of its eighth season. While fans were still in shock, reports surfaced that contract disputes were at the heart of the stars' departure, which was backed up by Kim himself. Having announced the exits itself, CBS wisely chimed in again before things got too one-sided, offering up this statement about the financial angle.
Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of Hawaii Five-0 for seven seasons. We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases. While we could not reach an agreement, we part ways with tremendous respect for their talents on screen, as well as their roles as ambassadors for the show off screen, and with hopes to work with them again in the near future.
While we shouldn't expect to concretely figure out what "large and significant" equals out to, in terms of what the network offered Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, CBS clearly feels confident that the numbers made sense moving forward into Season 8. And equally clear is that the stars didn't agree. Both cast members were said to be seeking pay parity with co-stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan, and CBS reportedly offered 10-15% less than what was desired. But at least there doesn't seem to be outright vitriol involved, since Kim quasi-directly hashed things out while also remaining cordial and appreciative to CBS and Hawaii Five-0's cast and crew. That's obviously the classy way to handle it anyway, but we all know how that isn't always the case.
Considering how Season 7 ended, it's entirely possible that both Chin and Kono weren't going to be around on a weekly basis in Season 8 anyway. The former had a chance to take a job elsewhere and the latter was getting more invested in a sex trafficking ring outside of the central setting. Although if that was something used as an argument to keep the salaries limited, it would have probably come out by now.
This likely won't be the last we hear from this situation, even if we won't hear from Chin or Kono again. Their respective absences will be explained in the season opener, so hopefully nobody got impulsively killed off of anything.
As one of Friday night's most popular shows, Hawaii Five-0 will return to CBS for Season 8 on September 29, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check out how it was one of the true winners in the ratings game in 2016-2017, and then head to our summer premiere schedule to see everything that's hitting the small screen before fall arrives.