A “missing” person has been found, as Scott Caan returns to TV this weekend with his first role since Hawaii Five-0 wrapped its run in April 2020.
In Fox’s Alert: Missing Persons Unit — premiering this Sunday at 8/7c (following NFL on Fox), before moving to its Mondays-at-9 time slot — Caan plays Jason Grant, a former cop turned private military contractor who, while on the job in Afghanistan, gets word from his wife Nikki (Devious Maids‘ Dania Ramirez) that their son Keith has gone missing.
Jason races home, albeit to what proves to be a marriage doomed by Keith’s devastating, unsolved disappearance. With the action jumping forward six years, Nikki is heading up the Philadelphia Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit (MPU), whereas Jason’s world is still a bit asunder.
Losing Keith “drove Nikki to continue to help people, but with my character, it drove me to check out and fall apart,” Caan adds. “The difference is it got her focused, and it messed me up.”
Jason regains some of his focus when the separated couple receives a proof-of-life photo that suggests Keith is alive and still out there somewhere — though Jason and Nikki, along with their teen daughter Sidney (Fivel Stewart), have trouble arriving at a consensus.
Upon chasing this first lead on Keith, Jason winds up joining Nikki’s team at the MPU, alongside Nikki’s current love interest Mike (Only Murders in the Building‘s Ryan Broussard) and forensics whizzes Kemi (Adeola Role) and C (Petey Gibson). But whereas Five-0‘s Detective Danny Williams was pretty spot-on with his instincts and execution, Jason is… not.
“In a lot of procedural shows, everybody does the right thing all the time — they have no flaws and they’re perfect,” Caan observes. “But when I read this, I was like, ‘This is a flawed, screwed-up dude who does not always do the right thing.’ To me as an actor, that’s my favorite part of the character, but that’s also probably his weak point. He’s a hothead and doesn’t always take other people’s feelings into consideration.”
Speaking with Caan for the first time since Five-0 ended its 10-season run, we had to invite this generation’s erstwhile “Danno” to reflect on his time on the series, and the ohana that formed. (Keep in mind, Caan aggravated an old knee injury while filming Season 1 and required ACL surgery, and a few seasons in, he began “missing” a handful of episodes each year.)
“Look, obviously some of it was difficult, some it was easy, but at the end of the day, man, I look back at with with nothing but appreciation,” Caan shared. “I made some close friends — Alex O’Loughlin and Meaghan Rath, they’re like my brother and my sister — and the crew in Hawaii is like family. In fact, one of my buddies I worked with for 10 years, a guy from the art department, just stayed at my house for a week.
“Hawaii will always be a special place to me for the rest of my life,” he attested.
“To clarify that, I could’ve [been in all episodes] and made a lot more money,” he responded, “but I chose not to, so I could spend more time with my family. That’s all that was about.
“If you notice, the first three years when I didn’t have a wife and kid, I wasn’t out of any episodes; that only happened as I started to make family.”
And as for his thoughts on how Five-0 eventually ended, with a planned series finale? Um….
“Honestly, I could not even tell you what it was. That’s how long ago it was, how many episodes of it we did,” he admitted. “The only thing that would shock me is if you told me I died.”
When we quickly recapped that, no, Danny merely took a bullet from a baddie, Caan rightly quipped, “Do you know how many times I got shot on that series??”