Almost exactly a month after posting a lengthy Facebook post about his exit from Hawaii Five-0, Daniel Dae Kim faced reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Sunday while promoting his new series The Good Doctor — but it wasn’t long before the elephant in the room was brought up. In fact, it was the very first question.
“That was a really important part of my life for seven years, and I’m really grateful to CBS and everyone involved with the show for giving me the opportunity,” Kim said, noting that he’s known both CBS chiefs Kelly Kahl and Thom Sherman for years and appreciated their sentiment the other day at TCA. “That said, it’s possible to be grateful for the opportunity and respectful of the colleagues and the people that I work with and still maintain a steadfast sense of your self-worth. All good things come to an end. I close that chapter on Hawaii Five-0 and I begin this new chapter on The Good Doctor. And I couldn’t be more excited to be back at ABC where I started my career in earnest and to be working with such incredible people. This is the start of something new and I’m really grateful for that too.”
In June, it was announced that both original cast members Kim and Grace Park would exit the CBS procedural. Kim then explained that he decided to leave the show after contract negotiations with the network failed. Kim and Park reportedly had been seeking equal pay with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. CBS, in turn, responded with a statement saying the network offered the duo “large and significant salary raises.” In response, show creator Peter Lenkov addressed H50 fans directly in his message on Twitter, explaining that both actors were offered “unprecedented raises” by the “extremely generous” network, but “chose to move on.”
For now, Kim is an executive producer on ABC’s Freddie Highmore drama The Good Doctor, which is based on a Korean series. “I’m very proud to be a part of this show,” Kim said. “It’s one that I saw several years ago after it aired in Korea. I loved the message of it and it was a very familiar genre to American audiences and I thought it would be a good opportunity to make it in America.”
However, just because Kim is no longer acting on Hawaii Five-0 doesn’t mean he’ll be in front of the camera on The Good Doctor. “I’m really content being behind the scenes of this show,” he says. “I feel like it’s in really good hands with David [Shore] and the cast. It’s been fascinating to me to watch their work as a producer. At some point, I’d love to play with them. They inspired me and it would be a nice opportunity.”
The Good Doctor will debut Monday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.