Hawaii 5-0 is going to look very different when it returns for Season 8 on Friday. The core cast that has been solid for the majority of the series will be split up, as Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will no longer be part of the show. Their characters of Chin Ho and Kono will have departed the team over hiatus, leaving Danny and McGarrett behind. Showrunner Peter M. Lenkov has revealed how Danny and McGarrett will react to moving on without Chin Ho and Kono, saying this:
I don't think anybody has accepted it; I think they're still sort of in that period of trying to accept the fact that the team has changed. The dynamic has changed. There are a couple scenes where they do reference them and how much they're missed, but they are happy for where they are in their lives and stuff.
Well, fans don't have to worry that the show will just completely ignore the fact that Chin Ho and Kono are no longer around. Peter M. Lenkov's comments to TVLine indicate that Danny and McGarrett will remember their absent friends. We can only hope that the cousins will get at least as much attention as the dearly departed Donna did on Kevin Can Wait, as actress Erinn Hayes was similarly written out over hiatus. Luckily for fans who have grown attached to Chin Ho and Kono over the years, they haven't been killed off over hiatus.
Kono actually made her departure from the Hawaii unit back in the Season 7 finale, when she left to chase a group of sex traffickers in a move that also happened to leave her husband Adam behind. Chin Ho was still around in the finale, but the Season 8 premiere will reveal that he accepted a job with a San Francisco task force. They'll both still be in the crime-fighting action; it just won't be with their old group in Hawaii.
Hopefully the fact that the cousins were written off alive and active means that there's a chance Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will someday return to Hawaii 5-0, if only for the occasional guest appearance. The two actors left the show when they were unable to come to an agreement with CBS about salary in renewed contracts. CBS reports that both Kim and Park were offered "large and significant salary increases," but early reports indicated that they were seeking pay parity with Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. Daniel Dae Kim has simply said that he made "the difficult choice not to continue" after he and CBS could not come to terms.
The good news is that we don't have to wait too much longer to see how Danny and McGarrett will react to the absence of their friends. Hawaii 5-0 will return to CBS for Season 8 on Friday, September 29 at 9 p.m. ET. There will be some new characters on the scene to mix things up, so it should be interesting to see what's in store. Check out our fall TV guide for all the other premiere dates you need.