Industry site Deadline has just officially confirmed the rumours circling over the last week or so that Magnum PI will be returning to screens with new episodes. Despite solid ratings and many fans, the modern reboot of the show was cancelled by CBS/Universal TV in a surprise move following its 12th May season finale
Contractually, series stars are often ‘optioned’ for specific time periods and the option to renew the actors’ contracts was to run out on 30th June. Deadline reports that specifics were still being worked out on Thursday evening ahead of that deadline, with some speed-bumps over budget concerns. However NBC (which had previously saved another Universal TV-produced show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, came to terms on the deal and contracts were being formally extended before the calendar reached July. The deal will see a confirmed twenty episodes – with the plan to split them between two shorter seasons and with an option for more if everyone is happy to extend.
The series is, of course, based on the iconic Oahu, Hawaii-based primetime show of the 1980s which saw Vietnam-veteran turned private detective Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) solving crimes on the island. It ran for 162 episodes (eight seasons) between 1980-1988 and made Selleck a major star (though his contract infamously prevented him from taking the role of Indiana Jones). The reboot, with Jay Hernandez playing the role (and the mythology shifting the military background from Vietnam to the Middle East) ran for four seasons and 76 episodes before CBS‘ cancellation.
Though details are scarce at this point, it looks as if Hernandez alongside Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Tim Kang and Amy Hill are all expected to be back. Showrunner Eric Guggenheim, Justin Lin, John Davis and John Fox also look to be returning.