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CBS set to premiere reboot of ‘Magnum P.I.’

September 23, 2018

"Magnum P.I." is a modern take on the classic series starring Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, a decorated former Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator in Hawaii.

It seems everything old is new again. That goes for fashion and television.

Popular hit shows from the past are either being rebooted or brought back for second incarnations.

In the case of “Magnum, P.I.,” it is being rebooted for CBS. While that might anger true fans of the original show, it also will be fun for new fans.

For those of us who were devoted fans of the original, it will be difficult to see another actor in the role of Thomas Magnum. After all, Tom Selleck made that role and for us Magnum is synonymous with Selleck. But times have changed. It has been 30 years since the show ended so a new generation of viewers will undoubtedly not be aware of the pop culture aspects of the original.

But as Jay Hernandez, the new Magnum, said to the media, “What’s great that I thought Peter (Lenkov, executive producer) and the creative team behind ‘Magnum P.I.’ did was get a lot of Easter eggs and little homages to the original show that fans of the original show will love: the Cross of Lorraine, the Dobermans, the cars. The original 308 is in the show. There’s a lot of things like that that are peppered throughout the pilot and probably throughout the season and the rest of the show that fans of the original will love. And in terms of the people who have, like, trepidation or some reservations about this reboot, we’re going to do things that are going to satisfy them, that are going to make them happy. We’re doing an homage to the mustache at some point. So there’s a lot of that.”

Hernandez admitted he watched the original show when he was “a kid.”

“One thing that’s really exciting to me is to be able to bring this show to a new audience also,” he said. “So I think the younger demographic has this vague, almost innate awareness of ‘Magnum P.I.’ and the cars and the background, the locale of Hawaii, but they don’t know it so well that they’re sort of married to certain things. So it’s going to be great to bring this to a whole new generation of people.”

Viewers who knew the original will immediately notice that the role of Higgins is now a woman. Perdita Weeks plays Juliet Higgins. Stephen Hill is the new TC, and Zachary Knighton is the new Rick. There are a lot of changes in this reboot, but as the cast and Lenkov explained, they hope to satisfy fans of the original series.

“Thomas Magnum survived on his charm,” said Lenkov. “He lived off the good graces of his friends and his friends giving him favors. He was also somebody who didn’t use a gun. He was somebody who was the underdog in most situations that he went into. But, for the most part, I think it distills to charm. In casting the role, that was the hardest part. We didn’t want to do a clone of Tom Selleck. What we wanted to do was just find the essence of what he brought to that character, which was charm.”Will fans embrace this new reboot? Time will tell.“Magnum P.I.” premieres Monday on CBS.

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