11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Hawaii Five-0' Stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park Exiting Ahead of Season 8
There's a major change coming to CBS' Hawaii Five-0.
Original stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will not be returning for the previously announced eighth season. Viewers will be updated on their characters, Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua, in the season eight premiere set for Friday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m.
"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," showrunner Peter Lenkov said in a statement. "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 one. They will always be ohana [Hawaiian for "family"] to us, we will miss them and we wish them both all the best."
Kim and Park have been with the CBS reboot from the start, playing cousins on the Hawaii-set police procedural.
"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 [until we meet again]," CBS said in a statement.
Season seven of Hawaii Five-0 ended with Kono (Park) on a plane en route to Carson City in a bid to further investigate a child sex trafficking ring. Chin, meanwhile, had an offer to start a San Francisco task force.
For his part, Kim has been focused on development, with his first series, the Freddie Highmore medical drama The God Doctor, picked up at ABC. Kim exec produces the Sony Pictures Television drama from David Shore.
Cast departures are nothing new for veteran series. This season, many returning shows faced license fee reductions — including ones produced in-house by networks' studio counterparts — in a bid to manage costs amid dwindling viewership and increased competition from cable and streaming platforms.