After NCIS: Hawai’i Star Poked At CBS’ Decision To Cancel The Show, Head Honcho Opens Up About ‘Tough Calls’

 Katrina law jason antoon jessica knight ernie malik ncis: hawai'i.
Katrina law jason antoon jessica knight ernie malik ncis: hawai'i.

Hardly a spring goes by without millions of TV fans being disappointed or outright angered when one (or, even worse, more) of their favorite shows gets canceled. Viewer outcry after such events hit pretty much every network and streamer on a regular basis, but the 2024 TV schedule has seen CBS, in particular, make some calls that have really raised the ire of fans and cast members for those former shows, alike. Now, after NCIS: Hawai’i star Jason Antoon poked at the decision to cancel the series, CBS’ head honcho has opened up about “tough calls.”

What Has NCIS: Hawai’i Star Jason Antoon Said About CBS Canceling The Show?

Obviously, when a series gets canceled, the best possible outcome is for the creators to have time to craft a solid ending for its fans. That, however, had not been the case for NCIS: Hawai’i by the time late April rolled around, and it was announced that it would end after three seasons. Even star Vanessa Lachey admitted she was “blindsided” by the move, and her co-star Jason Antoon, who portrayed cyber intelligence specialist Ernie Malik, has been open about his disappointment/confusion over their show getting axed.

At the end of May, Antoon trolled CBS on X by reposting a Variety report about how Hawai’i was cut short even though it ranked 16th in total viewers for this season, and he was back not long after to share the network’s own report on all the spring finale ratings:

As you can see, the Season 3 finale of Hawai’i, which had to be its frustrating, cliffhanger-filled series finale as well, ended up coming in at number 11 overall, which shows that fans definitely made a point to turn up for the end of what is now the long-running franchise’s only series to not make it to at least seven seasons (so far, NCIS: Sydney was renewed for Season 2 in March). And, those in charge at the eye network have heard the complaints and noticed viewer efforts to save the show.

What Did CBS’ Head Honcho Say About ‘Tough Calls’ And Recent Cancellations?

The recent TV season has left lots of CBS viewers reeling from the number of shows that were either unceremoniously canceled or have planned endings for 2024. Series like Young Sheldon and Bob Hearts Abishola had their awaited series swan songs in mid-May, while others like Blue Bloods will end later in the year.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen a number of shows be sent to an early grave, with CSI: Vegas getting bad news, along with fun mystery So Help Me Todd, even though neither series had the worst ratings ever. CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach recently spoke at the Banff World Media Festival (via Variety) and opened up about the cancellations, saying:

They’re extremely tough calls to make. I’m a big fan of TV first and I sympathize and relate to all of the fans out there who are disappointed in the fact that these shows are ending. But at the end of the day, our job at CBS is to make those really tough calls. We toss and turn and have sleepless nights and have endless discussions but we look at all of the numbers. We look at what our projections are for the future, we look at where we see opportunities to potentially have even bigger success on the schedule. And we make those tough decisions.

After the series finale of So Help Me Todd aired, star Marcia Gay Harden revealed that the eventual sale of Paramount likely played a factor in the cancelation of her series (and maybe others), with there being some “mystery” around the process and the kind of numbers and projected numbers the network likely had to meet to impress potential buyers. Though Reisenbach didn’t directly note that the upcoming sale had anything to do with NCIS: Hawai’i and others being canceled, it’s not impossible that it did change their normal benchmarks for such “tough calls.”

Either way, it’s just sad for TV fans and the casts and crews of those series all around. But, at least we can already revisit our lost faves with a Paramount+ subscription.