“Hawaii Five-0” is making big changes ahead of its eighth season, adding three series regulars to the CBS series. Variety has learned that Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale have joined the cast, while Ian Anthony Dale has been upped to a series regular.
The casting news comes after stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park departed the series, as both actors were not able to come to terms on new deals to return for another season.
Rath will play Tani Rey, who McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) recruits after finding her working as a lifeguard at a hotel pool after she was kicked out of the Police Academy, despite being a first-rate candidate. Rath is best known for starring on “Being Human,” and also has had prominent roles on Fox’s “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life,” “New Girl” and ABC’s “Secrets and Lies.” She is repped by Paul Kohner Agency.
Koale will play Junior Reigns, a former Navy SEAL who just returned from serving his country and asks McGarrett for a job in hopes to re-purpose his skills as a member of Five-0. Koale, who will next star opposite Miles Teller in the film “Thank You For Your Service,” is repped by Red11 Management, APA and Jackoway Tyerman.
Dale, who has recurred on the procedural since Season 2 and appeared in over 30 episodes of series, will continue in his role as Adam Noshimuri, who becomes a trusted confidant and resource for the team who will now be recruited by McGarrett to work for Five-0. Dale, who is repped by Paul Kohner Agency, is also starring on CBS’s summer series “Salvation.”
The three new recruits join stars O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, along with Chi McBride, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Wily, Kimee Balmilero and Dennis Chun, who will all return for Season 8, which premieres on Friday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. “Hawaii Five-0” hails from CBS Television studios and is executive produced by Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Eric Guggenheim.
The casting changes will result in more diverse actors in series regular roles on the CBS roster. The departures of Kim and Park, both of whom are Asian American, caused an uproar from fans of the show who criticized the network’s lack of diversity, though CBS released a statement regarding Kim and Park, saying, “We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases.” Lenkov, exec producer and showrunner, supported the network’s statement, adding, “Both actors chose not to extend their contracts. CBS was extremely generous and proactive in their renegotiation talks. So much so, the actors were getting unprecedented raises, but in the end they chose to move on. No one wanted to see them go — they are irreplaceable.”
Industry insiders told Variety that both O’Loughlin and Caan are making around $200,000 per episode each for the upcoming season, and the offer to Kim was roughly $5,000 less than the two lead actors. However, another source said the differential was more significant.
Kim posted a message to his fans on Facebook, writing, “As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho. I will miss him sincerely. What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love. It has been nothing short of an honor to be able to showcase the beauty and people of Hawaii every week, and I couldn’t be prouder to call these islands home.”
So far, Park has not commented on her departure from the series.
Drop a comment below: Are you excited about the new casting changes on “Hawaii Five-0?” Will you miss Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park?