Any dad in their 30’s and 40’s can probably remember watching one of their parents watch Magnum P.I. and catch a glimpse of Tom Selleck getting the best of the bad guys before likely going to feed his mustache off-screen. While kids today might still swoon over the endless number Law & Order spin-offs, during its original run from 1980 to 1988, Magnum P.I. laid the groundwork for a lot of the detective dramas we see today. And now that show is coming back as a reboot with a very different leading man. But don’t worry, Tom Selleck is cool with it.
The Magnum P.I. reboot is set to premiere on CBS and will feature Mexican actor Jay Hernandez playing the lead role of Thomas Magnum. In the original series, Magnum was a former veteran and P.I. hired by a mystery employer who lets him live on their huge Hawaiian estate where he regularly clashes with his partner and groundskeeper, Higgins. In the new run, not only are the showrunners putting a non-white actor in the lead, Higgins will be portrayed by a woman.
Executive producer Peter Lenkov mentioned in an interview that giving the role of Higgins to a woman was really important. He said that: “If you’re going to do it [Magnum] in 2018, you need a strong female voice.”
As far as the character of Magnum, Lenkov said that the showrunners wanted to “step away” from Selleck’s version, and said that trying to replicate it is a slippery slope.” Plus Lenkov said that a carbon copy isn’t what Selleck, who already approves the reboot, would want. But, as is the case with all things that change, even some of the most iconic vestiges of the original have to go. In the reboot, Hernandez will not be sporting Selleck’s famous stache. While that may devastate some of the hardcore fans, Lenkov said that its absence will be addressed early in the series.
Magnum P.I. is set to premiere on September 24th