ⓘ Magnum P.I. (2018 TV series)

Magnum P.I. (2018 TV series)

ⓘ Magnum P.I. (2018 TV series)

Magnum P.I. is an American action drama television series developed by Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim. It is a reboot of the series of the same name created by Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson, which aired from 1980 to 1988. It stars Jay Hernandez as the title character alongside Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Amy Hill, and Tim Kang. The pilot was directed by Justin Lin. It was ordered to series on May 11, 2018, and premiered September 24, 2018, on CBS. On October 19, 2018, it was announced that the series had received a full season order from CBS. In January 2019, CBS renewed the series for a second season which premiered on September 27, 2019.


1. Premise

As in the original series, the reboot follows Thomas Magnum, a former Navy SEAL turned private investigator who occupies the guest house on the Hawaiian estate owned by famous author Robin Masters. He lives with Juliet Higgins, a former MI6 agent assigned by Masters to protect the estate, and native Hawaiian "Kumu", who is the estates cultural curator. Juliet Higgins replaces the male character Jonathan Higgins from the original series. Juliet often assists Thomas with his cases, and becomes a full partner in the agency during season 2. Magnum is also frequently assisted by two former U.S. Marines, Rick Wright and TC Calvin. Rick is now a bar owner, while TC is a pilot whose main business is running helicopter tours of the islands. Magnum tends to butt heads with HPD Detective Gordon Katsumoto, but the two also help each other when needed.


2.1. Cast Main

  • Stephen Hill as Theodore "TC" Calvin, a Marine veteran and helicopter pilot who runs helicopter tours of Hawaii and is a member of Magnums team
  • Tim Kang as HPD Detective Gordon Katsumoto, who dislikes Magnum but usually comes to the teams aid when needed
  • Zachary Knighton as Orville "Rick" Wright, a Marine veteran and former door gunner, who runs his own tiki bar and is also a playboy
  • Amy Hill as Teuila "Kumu" Tuileta, the cultural curator of Robin Masters estate
  • Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, a former Navy SEAL who is a security consultant for the successful novelist Robin Masters, living in the guest house on his estate, while also working as a private investigator
  • Perdita Weeks as Juliet Higgins, a former MI6 agent who is majordomo to Robin Masters; she and Magnum bicker but become allies

2.2. Cast Recurring

  • Corbin Bernsen as Francis "Icepick" Hofstetler, Ricks underworld-connected father figure. Bernsen guest starred in Hawaii Five-0 in another part.
  • Brooke Lyons as Abigail "Abby" Miller, Magnums DA girlfriend
  • Domenick Lombardozzi as Sebastian Nuzo, Magnums friend who was killed in the pilot but recurs in flashbacks
  • Christopher Thornton as Kenny "Shammy" Shamberg, a wheelchair-bound veteran and mechanic
  • Ken Jeong as Luther H. Gillis, shady private investigator
  • James Remar as Captain Buck Greene, Magnums former C.O.

2.3. Cast Crossover characters from Hawaii Five-0

  • Meaghan Rath as Officer Tani Rey
  • Kimee Balmilero as medical examiner Noelani Cunha
  • Katrina Law as Sergeant Quinn Liu
  • Shawn Mokuahi Garnett as Flippa
  • William Forsythe as P.I. Harry Brown
  • Taylor Wily as entrepreneur Kamekona Tupuola
  • Beulah Koale as Officer Junior Reigns
  • Larry Manetti as Nicky" The Kid” DeMarco; lounge singer at Tiki Bar: LaMariana. Manetti played Rick on the original series.
  • Willie Garson as Gerard Hirsch
  • Dennis Chun as Honolulu Police Department Sergeant Duke Lukela

2.4. Cast Notable guests

  • Carl Weathers as Dan Sawyer, fisherman
  • Roger E. Mosley as John Booky, Veteran and barbershop owner Mosley played T.C. on the original series.
  • Cyndi Lauper as Vanessa Nero, attorney at law
  • Ben Vereen as Henry Barr
  • Halston Sage as Willa Stone
  • Jordana Brewster as Hannah, former CIA analyst & Magnums ex-girlfriend
  • Aaron Donald as himself
  • Sung Kang as HPD Lieutenant Yoshi Tenaka
  • Brian Austin Green as Special Agent Adam Kreshner
  • Lee Majors as Russell Harlan
  • Navi Rawat as Isabelle Simpson
  • Patrick Monahan and Skylar Grey performing as Train
  • Tiffany Hines as Lara Nuzo
  • Peter Facinelli as Gene Curtis, a.k.a. Ivan
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Toni
  • Chef Roy Yamaguchi as himself
  • Elisabeth Rohm as Brooke Mason
  • Christian Yelich as himself
  • Bobby Lee as Jin


3.1. Production Development

On October 20, 2017, CBS announced a pilot commitment for a remake of the original series to be written by Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim. The pilot would be co-produced by CBS Studios and Universal Television, the latter of which holds the rights to the original series. In February 2018, CBS announced that pilot production had been greenlit. Justin Lin was set to direct.

On May 11, 2018, the network picked up the series. Co-developer and executive producer Peter M. Lenkov will serve as the showrunner. On May 16, 2018, CBS released a first video trailer for new series. The pilot episode was aired as a special preview prior to the series San Diego Comic-Con panel.

On July 19, 2018, Lenkov announced that multiple crossovers have been planned with the ninth season of Hawaii Five-0. Lenkov confirmed that Kimee Balmilero and Taylor Wily will make guest appearances as their Hawaii Five-0 characters, medical examiner Noelani Cunha and entrepreneur Kamekona Tupuola respectively. Balmilero is set to appear in episode one while Wily is set to appear in episode two. Meanwhile, Alex OLoughlins character, Steve McGarrett, is set to cross paths with Hernandezs character later in the season.

On Wednesday, August 22, 2018, with the anticipated landfall of Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 hurricane, in Hawaii CBS reported that they "were closely monitoring the situation" but that production would continue as planned. The following day CBS temporarily shut down production of both Magnum P.I. and Hawaii Five-0 until further notice.

On November 19, 2019, CBS announced that the second season of Magnum P.I. will go on hiatus after MacGyver returns to Friday nights on February 7, 2020. The network further announced that Magnum P.I. will return on April 10, after Hawaii Five-0 has ended its tenth season run.


3.2. Production Casting

On February 20, 2018, Jay Hernandez was announced as the new Magnum. It was announced on March 2, 2018 that Perdita Weeks will play Juliet Higgins. According to a May 16, 2018 announcement, Magnums best friend from U.S. Marines, Rick Wright, will be portrayed by Zachary Knighton. Three days later, it was announced that another one of Magnums friends, Theodore "T.C." Calvin, will be played by Stephen Hill. On July 20, 2018, it was announced that Tim Kang would join the cast as Honolulu PD detective Gordon Katsumoto, who will develop a friendly rivalry with Magnum as they work cases. Finally, it was announced on July 25, 2018 that Amy Hill had been cast in a recurring role. Hill and Kang both debuted in the series third episode.


3.3. Production Filming

Following production of the pilot earlier in the year, filming for the first season began on July 23, 2018, with a traditional Hawaiian blessing.

A central theme of the original series was Magnums constant, if not always approved, use of Mr. Masters vehicles. Then Magnum almost exclusively favored his Ferrari 308 GTS. The 308GTS has become a cultural icon, inextricably linked to the series, such that it was briefly shown in the pilot episode. In 2018 the production team updated his favored vehicle to a Ferrari 488 Spider. Both cars are a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-seat, roadster variant of the current V8 Ferrari.

Filming on the second season also began with a traditional Hawaiian blessing on July 8, 2019.


4. Reception

Critical response

Magnum P.I. has been met with mixed reviews. On review aggregation Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 57% with an average rating of 6.35/10, based on 21 reviews. The websites critical consensus reads, "The rebooted Magnum P.I. may not be quite distinctive enough to hold up to comparisons with its source material, but a charismatic star, slickly staged action, and a handful of modern twists hint at greater potential." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 47 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."