Magnum P.I. Returns… Again

Cancelled by CBS and picked up by NBC, 'Magnum P.I.' is back as things heat up between Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks)

New network, new romance

Magnum P.I. rose from the television ashes once before—and now, the show is doing it again. 

The Hawaii-based detective romp that made Tom Selleck a star had a second life on CBS with a reboot that cast Jay Hernandez in the title role. 

It lasted four years on that network before a 2022 cancellation that was met with a massive outcry from fans. Luckily, NBC swooped in to save the day, picking the show up for at least two more 10-episode instalments. 

The first of those begins Sunday with back-to-back episodes, as Magnum and his partner Juliet Higgins (Perdita Weeks) search for a mystery woman last seen with a married man who died in a car accident. 

“It was incredibly humbling, the outpouring of support,” executive producer Eric Guggenheim reflects of the fanbase that has kept Magnum P.I. going. “I mean, there was a billboard in Times Square! Jay and I were both saying that we couldn’t believe it. We knew we had a loyal audience, but the way they rallied was just so moving. We really owe it to the fans to deliver for them. They did their part in helping to rescue the show.” 

Magnum P.I.CTVIn that spirit, Guggenheim—who was also an executive producer of fellow CBS reboot Hawaii Five-0—promises more of that signature Magnum mix of “humour and mystery and a little bit of action. I will say that I think this season is probably the most emotional one we’ve done. It’s also probably the most serialized.” Indeed, a continuing plot involves the former military commander (played by returnee James Remar) of Magnum and his pals Rick and TC (Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill). Also, former police detective Gordon Katsumoto (Tim Kang) seeks reinstatement, but in the meantime, the new police foil for Magnum is Chris Childs, played by Michael Rady (Chicago Med). “He’s very different than Katsumoto,” Guggenheim explains. “He’s cockier and he’s more willing to break the rules, and he just adds this new element that’s so great for us.” 

Magnum P.I.CTVThe biggest development, though, is the romance between Magnum and Higgins that sprang up in the final moments of the season-four finale. In season five, they’re trying to keep the relationship under wraps, at least initially. “Things are certainly more complicated than ever between them,” Guggenheim acknowledges. “These two characters are opposites in so many ways that no matter what we do with them moving forward, we’re always going to have that sort of friction between them.” 

Despite being well into production on this new season, Guggenheim admits, “Even now, I’m like, ‘Wow. Did we really cheat death? Are we really back?’ Any time you get renewed, you feel kind of blessed, but this is really special. It makes all of us appreciate each other and the show even more.” 

The new season of Magnum P.I. premieres Sunday, February 18 on CTV & NBC