‘MAGNUM’ HAS A LUCKY STREAK GOING

“Magnum P.I.,” abandoned by CBS and rescued by NBC, just might be the fall season’s luckiest procedural.

First, it has a bunch of completed but not yet viewed episodes – dubbed the second-half of season five – when CBS rushed to cancel the show. NBC became the savior, like the good soul that rescues a abandoned child at the fire station.

This has been a tense, unexpected fall season, since WGA and SAG-AFTRA members decided to go on strike, creating a havoc for series that had to shut down since writers could no longer create valuable new scripts to film and actors joining the picket lines.

Because “Magnum” had half-a-season of episodes in the can, this was a gold mine, good enough for NBC programmers deciding to give the island-filmed, island-shot a solid Thursday night slot since fresh scripted shows were not available.

So on Oct. 4, at 8 p.m., “Magnum” wlll air where one of NBC’s prestigious  franchise “Chicago” episodes called home, since the “Chicago” shows – M.D., Fire and P.D. –are also off the radar, till new scripts are written and readied for production. The “Chicago” camp is not thrilled that one of its slot is going to be taken by “Magnum.”

Perdita Weeks as Higgins, Jay Hernandez as Magnum: Lucky and tardy?

NBC has released a trailer on the resilient “Magnum,” with Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, uttering “Doing what I do is risky,” as he leaps from a rooftop. But with a dramatic new edge, he admits, “When you least expect it, everything can change.”

That’s when Perdita Weeks, as his sweetheart-partner Juliet Higgins, tells him, “Thomas…I’m late.” Don’t think she means “tardy for a dinner,” so late, in adultspeak, probably means she’s hapai, missing her period.

The coy, playful dialogue could mean a little Magnum might be on the way, though this can’t be played out since episodes are already filmed and unless “Magnum” earns new life and more show orders, viewers won’t see the baby’s birth.

In addition to Hernandez and Weeks, “Magnum” also stars Zachary Knighton as Orville “Rick” Wright, Amy Hill as Teuila “Kumu” Tuileta, Tim Kang as Gordon Katsumoto, and Stephen Hill as Theodore “T.C” Calvin.

 All previous four season episodes pf “Magnum” are now airing only via Freevee, as part of Amazon Prime’s free-streaming service. …

Only a new development would give birth to more “Magnum” marvels. …

HTY world-premiering‘The Royal School’

“The Royal School” will make its world premiere at 7 p.m. today (Sept. 8) at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s Tenney Theatre.

The historic play brings to life a time and place where Hawai‘i’s ali‘I attended the Royal School, an elementary school still operating in Honolulu today.

Hawaiian leaders such as Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Queen Lili`uokalani, Queen Emma, and King Kalakaua were together as children at Ke Kula Keiki Ali`i, the Royal School. 

The boarding school was established in 1839 by Kamehameha III for the education of ali`i children, all of whom could be called upon to lead the Nation of Hawaiʻi.

Goods and Cataluna’s play recalls the time when Royal School students often looked to each other for friendship and support to establish aa balance between the Hawai‘i of their ancestors and the changes of global influences, technology and political upheaval being brought to the islands.

The staging is modern with historic material, alongside original songs composed in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, as well as English/Hawaiian rap and mele

The production is designed for children 8 years old and up and will appeal to high school students and adults.

Catalulna, co-creator of the piece, said,“The creative team on this project worked to keep the story from the point of view of the royal children — some of whom entered the boarding school when they were 4 years old — rather than from the perspective of their missionary teachers or from the distant gaze of historians. In this play, the childhood voices of Hawaii’s kings and queens transcend time and speak to the children of today, the future leaders of Hawai’i.”

“The Royal School” cast includes Alysia Kepaʻa, Moses Goods, Damani Jones Timson, Annie Lokomaikaiʻi Lipscomb, and Kaonohiokalaealohilohinei Muller

HTY commissioned the new songs by co-creator Goods, music by Mattea Mazzella, and dramaturgy by Ryan I. Kahaʻiolelo Sueoka.

Eric Johnson, HTY artistic director, is directing an ensemble of HTY newcomers, including Alysia Kepaʻa, Kaonohiokalaealohilohinei Muller, and Damani Jones Timson performing with veteran company members, Moses Goods and Annie Lokomaikaʻi Lipscomb.

Jonathan Clarke Sypert is choreographer, Chesley Cannon and Eric West are set and props designer, Iris Kim is costume designer, Mattea Mazzella is sound designer, Chesley Cannon is lighting designer, and Kalani Pokipala is DJ consultant and musician.

After the premiere, performances will be at 4 p.m.Sept.16, 2 p.m. Oct. 1 and 4 p.m. Oct. 7.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.htyweb.org or by calling the box office at (808) 839-9885 ext. 720. HTY Members receive tickets for shows as part of their membership. …

Funny Girl’ exits with $2.137 million gross

“Funny Girl” and its leading lady, Lea Michele (as Fanny Brice), have left the building but not before posting a $2.137 million gross, topping the Broadway charts for the week ending Sept. 3. Nope, it did not rain on her parade.

Last week’s leaders, provided by The Broadway League:

1 – “Funny Girl,” $2.137 million.

2 – “The Lion King,” $2.077 million.

3 – “Hamilton,” $1.895 million.

4 – “Wicked,” $1.697 million.

5 – “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1.674 million.

6 – “MJ, the Musical,” $1.591 million.

7 – “Aladdin,” $1.362 million.

8 – “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $1.316 million.

9 –“Moulin Rouge,” $1.262 million.

10 – “Back to the Future: The Musical,” $1.234 million

And that’s Show Biz…

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

“NCIS: Hawai‘i,” the newest spin-off in the “NCIS” franchise, is in a vulnerable situation as the new 2023-24 CBS season rolls out in the weeks ahead.

The island-based, island-film series, which was to be in its third season this year, is nowhere to be seen in CBS’ awkward patchwork schedule which mixes reruns of popular crime shows with a cluster of game-and-adventure productions, some old, some new.

For “NCIS: Hawai‘i,” starring Vanessa Lachy (pictured left), the neglect is truly worrisome. Despite a now meaningless third season pickup, the out of sight, out of mind syndrome needs to be turned around. The show, like other scripted productions, is a victim of the writers’ strike which has shut down all scripted shows because a crew of writers can’t craft a show till the labor issues are resolved. The word is even if the strike is settled, there’s no guarantee “Hawai‘i” will get that pick-up.

Rumors and buzz have suggested that it could be over for “NCIS: Hawai‘i,” one of  two remaining “NCIS” dramas (the other is the flagship original), produced by Mark Harmon (pictured, right), which would be in its 20th and possibly last season now, because it’s become an abandoned boat drifting at sea with no destination.

Who’ll rescue the show? Good question, but no answer available.

The on-going writers strike has had a damaging effect for months now, and imminent settlement is not in the cards. Even if the strike is resolved in the months ahead, “Hawai‘i” wouldn’t air till 2024, if it can still find a slot on the CBS schedule. It’s quite curious that CBS will air reruns of such established dramas and comedies as “Blue Bloods,” “FBI,” “Ghosts,” “Seal Team,” and “Bob Abishola” in the new season, but nope, not “NCIS: Hawai‘i.”

Interestingly, at 7.p.m. Sept 16, an “NCIS” encore episode will be shown, a teaser for another “NCIS” 20th anniversary Mini-Marathon at 7 p.m. Sept 25, a one-time special in the show’s usual Sunday slot. Further reruns will air at 9 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9.

CBS has a batch of shows that dodge the need for new scripts, some standby returnees like “Big Brother,” “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.” And the network will rely on rerunning series, notably “Yellowstone,” which already has aired on CBS’ sister station, Paramount+, but this will be treated as a “new” procedural  launching Sept. 17 as a Sunday fixture (7:30 p.m.) …

And that’s Show Biz. …

ONE IN, ONE OUT: STREAMING SCRAMBLE

“Magnum P.I.” – the first four seasons of the CBS procedural – has been picked up by Amazon for its free streaming Freevee, beginning Sept. 1, according to TV Insider. This will be the only streaming venue to air the Jay Hernandez-Perdita Weeks show, which has been a ping-pong bouncing everywhere.

“Magnum P.I.” stars Jay Hernandez and Perdita Weeks will be seen on Amazon Prime’s Freevee streaming site, starting Sept. 1.

These original episodes were honed and developed at CBS, which surprisingly dropped the series, at the end of Season 4, which then was picked up by NBC, where previously-filmed shows of the second half of the fifth and final season, will air Oct. 4 on NBC, perhaps giving the filmed-in-Hawaii a possible edge in winding up in prime time again.

Currently, only NBC’s Peacock streaming site will air the earlier shows of the fifth season. …

The “Doogie Kamealoha” ‘ohana — from left, Matt Sato, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Jason Scott Lee and Wes Tian — have been denied a third-season renewal on the Disney Channel.

Elsewhere, it’s aloha – meaning goodbye – for  “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,” the Disney+ streamer which filmed two seasons in Hawaii, won’t get a third season pickup. The show, starring Peyton Elizabeth Lee as Lahela Kamealoha, aka “Doogie,” was pink-slipped Aug. 25, according to Variety.

“Doogie” is one of two Disney projects shut down because of the unresolved, embattled writers guild strike that has stopped production of nearly all new and ongoing movies and TV shows, in prime time as well as in the widening streaming market, which has been a hot button for actors demanding payment, an issue which has been an under-the-radar till current negotiations.

The other local Disney show also stalled by the strike is “Lilo and Stich,” a live-action film based on the animated film set in Hawaii. It’s still on the agenda, but “Doogie” failed to earn a third-season pickup.

“Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.” was created by Kourtney Kang, who executive produced alongside Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan, Dayna Bochco, Jesse Bochco, Matt Kuhn and Justin McEwen.

A credible ‘ohana bond included Kathleen Rose Perkins as Dr. Clara Hannon, Lahela’s mother who’s also her supervisor at the hospital; Jason Scott Lee as Benny, Lahela’s father; Matt Sato as Kai, her older brother; Wes Tian as Brian Patrick, her younger brother; Emma Meisel as Steph, her BFF, Alex Aiono as Walter, her first boyfriend; Milo Manheim as Nico, her patient and new love interest. The show also boasted Al Harrington in his final TV role as an uncle, before his death. …

Broadway grosses, for week ending Aug. 20

There’s no newbie in the Lucky 7 $1 million club on Broadway.

Translation: The leaders still lead.

The Top 7 on the Great White Way are:

1– “The Lion King,” $2.226 million.

2–“Hamilton,: $1.904 million.

3 — “”Wicked,”: $1.559 million.

4 — “MJ, the Musical,” $1.451 million.

5–“Aladdin, $1.381 million.

6– “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barbor of Fleet Street,” $1.325 millon.

7–“Back to the Future, the Musical,” $1.258 million.

Here’s the entire list of the week’s grosses:


And that’s Show Biz. …

IATSE STRIKE WOULD DIM BROADWAY

Uh oh. The lights on Broadway could be turned off as early as Friday (July 21) since IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union , has called for a strike authorization vote.

Negotiations with The Broadway League and Disney Theatrical have not been successful, and if a shutdown is called, even touring Broadway shows will halt.

The deadline for members to vote is 2 a.m. ET Friday, which means a strike would begin Friday, according to Playbill.com.

However, the strike could be averted if The Broadway League and Disney reps return to the bargaining table before Friday.

The strike would affect about 1,500 union members employed via IATSE’s so-called Pink Contract,  which covers stagehands, hair and make-up artists, wardrobe personnel, and others employed directly by productions. The contract covers 28 of 30 currently-running productions.

If the shutdown takes place, IATSE would be the third major entertainment union to go on strike, following the strikes in the film and television industries where union members of SAG-AFTRA and WGA have halted production. It would be particularly devastating within the Broadway fan base, which buys tickets in advance for the live productions on Broadway, if a strike occurs.

The last IATSE strike, the first in union history, was in 2007, and lasted 19 days. …

‘Beauty & the Beast’ at DHT

The enchantment of Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast” will unfold Friday night  (July 21) at Diamond Head Theatre. The show, Disney’s first entry to the Broadway world in 1994, is based on Disney’s 1991 animated film, and features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Time Rice, with a book by Linda Woolvertin.

Emily North will appear as Belle, the Beauty, and David Spangenthal (pictured) will be the prince, or the Beast, who’s caught in a spell,  in the fabled “tale as old as time.”

The Beast has to be kissed by Belle to undo the spell, which would trigger a happy ending.

Spangenthal is multi-tasking in this one; he’s also directing and choreographing the show. But he also took on the same responsibilities in DHT’s 2005 production. Clearly, he’s found his true love in the play and in his life. In his director’s notes in the show’s playbill, he notes, “So much has changed in my life. I now have two children, and have grown so much as a person since. I have the opportunity to re-tell this story (with its true love theme) and share the stage with my daughter Lanah (Differt) What a blessing.” (Lanah, Kira Stone and Christine Kluvo appear as The Three Silly Girls).

With his husband Timothy, he is happy to be in a two-daddy family. And his triple-threat roles for “Beauty & the Beast.”

In Disney’s retelling of the story, animated characters emerge, such as the teapot Mrs. Potts, played by Cathy Foy, and the candelabra Lumiere, portrayed by David Sheftell.

Other players include Kyle Malis (Cogsworth), Samuel Budd (Lefou), Maurice “Mo” Radke (Maurice), Alexandria Zion (Babette) and Philex Kepa and Tobias Ng-Osario (alternating as Chip), Azaliah Kekuna (Enchantress) and Joshua-Dwayne Figueroa (Young Prince)

Roslyn Catracchia and Jenny Shiroma are co-musical directors.

“Beauty and the Beast” will run through Aug. 20; some performances are already sold out. Tickets: $37 to $62, at www.diamondheadtheatre.com or (808) 733-027

‘Magnum’ set for an Oct. 4 NBC airing

NBC’s peacock feathers are  fluttering.

 The good news: NBC has reversed its decision to drop “Magnum P.I.” after airing half the season, and now will resume airing the series at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on the Mainland) on Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 4. The program was previously seen on Sundays.

“Magnum,” starring Jay Hernandez (Thomas Magnum, pictured left) and Perdita Weeks (Juliet Higgins), have a romance going and logically is continuing; the new time slot follows episodes of  “Quantum Leap,” formerly in a Tuesday time slot.

The bad news: NBC is pushing back its legacy shows like the trio of  “Chicago” procedurals, along with two “Law and Order” series, until 2024, the delay obviously triggered by the ongoing strike by the WGA, SAG and AFTRA, which has shut down productions of all fall shows.

Since the strike, NBC has decided to push back “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.,” a blow to fans, plus “Law and Order” and “Law and Order SVU,” the latter an indefatigable and enduring brand led by Mariska Hargitay (Olivia Benson, pictured right), also tabled for now.

NBC will have to fill prime time with reruns, even movies, since all series are shuttered.

“Magnum’s” second half of the fifth season will be the last, because the sixth season still is canceled. Because there are new episodes in the vault,  the Hawaii-filmed show – without a specific timetable – has earned a fall kick-off.  After that, it’s aloha – a fond farewell – for Magnum and his colleagues…

‘Grace and Glorie’

“Grace and Glorie,” a play by Tom Ziegler, will be the next presentation of The Windward Readers Theatre at The Actors Group in Iwilei.

Jo Pruden and Shari Lynn, pictured below, are veteran stage actors and life-long friends, who are regulars in Readers Theatre shows, will be featured, with Marjorie DeSantis as the Narrator. Vanita Rae Smith will direct.

Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the tale focuses on Grace (Pruden), a feisty 90-year-old cancer victim who has checked herself out of a hospital to return to her beloved cottage, where she wants to die alone. Glorie (Shari) is a hospice worker with baggage – guilt-ridden, due to  the loss of her daughter – whose life is transformed  with new perspectives.

Performance dates are at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 8 and 9 at TAG. Tickets: $20 at taghawaii.net…

And that’s Show Biz. …

TWO MUST-SEE TV SHOWS LAST WEEK

Talk about must-see TV.  Last week’s pair of specials – “Carol Burnett: 90th Years of Laughter+Love”  on Wednesday on NBC and James Corden’s farewell in two segments dubbed “The Last Last Late Late Show with James Corden”  on CBS on Thursday —  were splendid spectacles for the armchair brigade.

And the ratings showed audiences approved, too. The Burnett blockbuster logged 7.6 million viewers in true prime-time, and the Corden finale drew 1.43 million viewers, over two segments, one in prime, the other in late night lane. Hope you saw these shows.

Carole Burnett, with Julie Andrews at the bash.

The wattage of stars assembling to pay homage to Burnett included such iconic celebs like Julie Andrews, Cher, Allison Janney, Susan Lucci, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, and Maya Rudolph, with additional notables in TV clips, largely from Burnett’s indelible and incredible shows that made her a TV queen. Many live vocalizing, too, from the likes of Katy Perry, Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenowith.
Vicki Lawrence, a surviving luminary from Burnett’s gallery of greats, was a standout. Cast greats Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway were remembered in numerous comedic sketches, each demonstrating keen timing…before bursting out in laughter.

Corden’s goodbye boasted a pair of powerhouse stars, Adele returning to the driver’s seat in a funny, impressive “Carpool Karaoke” rendering, which attracted 3.65 million viewers.

James Corden and Tom Cruise in”Hakuna Makata.”

Then Tom Cruise, not one to commonly get out of his comfort zone as a Hollywood biggie, was a good sport, joining Corden in a surprise cameo in “The Lion King,” and appeared in fuel regalia for the “Hakuna Makata” number, before a real audience at The Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Imagine the squeals of delight! ‘Twas also kinda a first, for a Broadway show, would accept this kind of intrusion, but certainly, it was win-win for Corden, Cruise and the Disney empire.

In the second segment, Harry Styles, in chic yellow pants and jacket, demonstrated his smooth style, offering “As It Was,” prompting social media buzz with more than 96,000 mentions and 932 million impressions.

Yep, ’twas TV at its best. …

One in, one out at DHT

Talk about confusing; Diamond Head Theatre has altered its 2023-24 season, in the midst of its campaign to get season subscribers to renew their subscriptions. The addition of one show and the exclusion of another has altered the lineup.

DHT will include Disney’s “Frozen,” and pegged it as a Hawaii premiere, beginning July 26.

That was the slot for “My Fair Lady,” and we erroneously said “Lady” was bumped in earlier reportage. But not so; it’s still aboard, moving up to a Dec. 1 premiere, replacing the previously-scheduled “Scrooge, the Stingiest Man in Town,” which has been yanked.

The rest of the season is intact: “Mamma Mia” bows Sept. 22, “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940,” opens Feb. 2; “Kiss Me Kate,” arrives April 5; and “Tootsie,” premieres May 31.

With “Scrooge” erased from the agenda, it’ll be the second season in a row where DHT has no Christmas show.

DHT needs to update its season flier, without “Scrooge,” but with “Frozen,” and with “Lady” in its new position.

Also, a new season flyer should be issued to season ticket holders, perhaps with a new cover message from John Rampage, DHT artistic director. …

And that’s Show Biz. …