How the Magnum P.I. reboot honors the legacy of the original
We’ve officially entered the era of the TV revival, but the timing of CBS’ Magnum P.I. reboot is more than just part of a trend.
“If I would have done this show 10 years ago, when we did Hawaii Five-0, it wouldn’t be as relevant,” executive producer Peter M. Lenkov told EW at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday. “At the core of this story, it’s about veterans returning home and reintegrating into society.”
Lenkov visited EW’s video suite at Comic-Con along with series cast members Jay Hernandez, Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, and Stephen Hill to talk about bringing the beloved ’80s crime drama back to the small screen. “If I was going to get an opportunity to reboot something, it was going to be Magnum P.I.,” Lenkov, a lifelong fan, tells EW’s Samantha Highfill in the video above. “As a teenager, I drew pictures of Magnum, and when I went to go pitch Tom Selleck on the idea of bringing it back, I showed him those pictures, because I didn’t want him to think I was somebody who wanted to capitalize on his success.”
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The new take on Magnum honors the spirit of the original, but — as you can see in the trailer — kicks up the action a notch. “We’re trying to reinvent, not the actual show, but the P.I. genre, which has been dormant for a long time,” Lenkov says. “We’re trying to bring that back and trying to make that genre have some big stakes.”
Hernandez proved to be the man to do it, taking over the iconic title role first filled by Selleck. “I grew up watching the show, so to be able to step in those shoes was a little bit daunting,” the actor admits. “But at the end of the day, it’s such an honor, and it’s a lot of fun.”
So how did Lenkov and his team land on Hernandez as their Thomas Magnum? “He brought the biggest bag of cash,” the EP deadpans. “I’m always a big believer in bribery.”
Watch the video above for more from Lenkov and the cast. Magnum P.I. premieres Sept. 24, on CBS.
Magnum P.I. (2018 TV series)