Home Entertainment ABC developing new female led MAGNUM P.I. series

ABC developing new female led MAGNUM P.I. series

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I’m confused. Last I checked, we were living in the year 2016 and not 1987. And yet, this month we’re seeing the return to screen of MacGyver, not to mention TV series based on Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist. And that’s nowhere close to the end of this Hollywood trend of reviving old 80’s properties though, with Deadline reporting that ABC is developing a new version of Magnum P.I. With a twist!

The original series starred Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, an ex-Navy SEAL turned private investigator with a thing for Hawaiian shirts. As recompense for offering his security services to reclusive author Robin Masters, Magnum lived on Masters’ lavish Hawaiian estate, run by by-the-book ex British soldier Jonathan Higgins III and his pair of doberman pinschers. Magnum’s laid back attitude often clashed with Higgins’ rigid manner, but the pair made a good team in solving all kinds of cases on a weekly basis.

The show was created by Glen A. Larson, possibly the most prolific TV producer of the time, and ran for eight seasons from 1980 to 1988. It’s combination of action, comedy, sports cars (Magnum’s red Ferrarri 308GTS was a cultural icon) mystery and one seriously catchy theme song meant the show was immensely popular during its run. So you can kind of understand why ABC would want to revive it. And they’re taking an interesting approach to it.


Instead of rebooting things like all the recent 80’s adaptations, this new show will actually be a sequel, following the exploits of Magnum’s daughter Lily “Tommy” Magnum. Now all grown-up, Tommy was an ex-Naval Intelligence officer forced to quit her career after a botched operation who now runs her dad’s old Hawaiian detective agency. Besides for the weekly cases she will be solving, there will also be a greater mystery of Lily uncovering just what happened on the spy op that torpedoed her former career. The exact wording of the premise from Deadline is that “she and her tribe of friends mix tropical beaches with the seedy underbelly of international crime and modern espionage” but I would rather you ignore that because that sounds utterly terrible.

That last bit aside, I must admit this doesn’t sound like the absolute worst idea ever. Successful TV shows have certainly come from far less. If the right new Magnum is cast, it could definitely work. My only question is whether they will be progressive enough to allow her to have a mustache. I mean, it’s Magnum. You got to have the mustache. It’s a law or something.


Facial hair or not, this new show will be penned and run by Leverage and The Librarians creator John Rogers, and co-produced by Eva Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. Longoria explained the premise of the show:

“We knew no one could replace the iconic role of Thomas Magnum, so John decided to make the reboot a sequel and continue the adventure of a Magnum — his daughter, who was established in the original series.”

And that last part is actually accurate as Lily was introduced in four episodes of the original series as being raised by Magnum’s once presumed dead wife Michele, and her second husband. It was implied at the end of the story that Magnum was taking custody, so this actually lines up.

What do you guys think of a modern Magnum sequel?



Last Updated: September 23, 2016

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