Hawaii Five-0 shocker: Grace Park, Daniel Dae Kim exit ahead of season 8
Hawaii Five-0 is going through a big shakeup before the show returns this fall.
Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, who first appeared in the CBS series’ pilot, will not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 for season 8, EW has learned.
Battlestar Galactica alum Park portrayed Kono Kalakaua, while Lost‘s Kim played Chin Ho Kelly, both members of McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) Five-0 Task Force, who also happened to be cousins.
At the end of last season, Kono left the team to investigate a child sex trafficking ring, while Chin was offered to start up a San Francisco task force, so it was unclear whether either would be back in season 8. Kono and Chin will both be referenced in the premiere as fans get an update on what’s happened to them. As EW first reported, the show is casting a new female series regular. Details here.
“I will never forget meeting Daniel while still writing the pilot and being certain there was no other actor who I’d want to play Chin Ho Kelly,” executive producer Peter Lenkov says. “Needless to say, Daniel has been an instrumental part of the success of Hawaii Five-0 over the past seven seasons and it has personally been a privilege to know him. Grace’s presence gave Hawaii Five-0 a beauty and serenity to each episode. She was the consummate collaborator, helping build her character from day 1. They will always be ohana to us, we will miss them, and we wish them both all the best.”
CBS also released a statement about the actors’ exits. “We are so appreciative of Daniel and Grace’s enormous talents, professional excellence, and the aloha spirit they brought to each and every one of our 168 episodes. They’ve helped us build an exciting new Hawaii Five-0, and we wish them all the best and much success in their next chapters. Mahalo and a hui hou…”
When Park reunited with her Battlestar Galactica costars in June at Austin’s ATX Television Festival, EW asked whether she’d be back as a series regular in season 8, but a final decision had apparently not yet been made. “I don’t know as of right now,” Park told EW. “I did go talk to Peter Lenkov the other day, who is the showrunner, but it’s still undecided as to what’s going to happen. But, of course, I have hopes for it to go well, but I’m not sure what’s going to come from all this.”
It’s unclear whether either actor will return at some point in season 8 to wrap up their stories, but Park seemed open to the possibility. “That’s one of the things that’s up in the air,” she told EW. “I would love to and I have ideas of that, and we’ve been talking story points, but unfortunately amongst storytelling, there’s also business. It’s called show business. That’s part and parcel of this industry.”
Park and Kim’s exits come on the heels of Masi Oka, who played Dr. Max Bergman since early in season 1, also exiting Hawaii Five-0 during season 7.
Hawaii Five-0 will return Friday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.