CBS is revisiting Magnum P.I.
The network has handed out a sizable pilot-production commitment to a reboot of the Hawaii-set Tom Selleck cop drama.
The new Magnum P.I. is being written by Peter Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim, who also are behind the network’s Hawaii Five-0 reboot. (Lenkov, for his part, serves as showrunner on both Hawaii Five-O and the network’s MacGyver reboot.)The Blacklist producers John Davis and John Fox will executive produce via their David Entertainment banner. The potential series is a co-production between CBS Television Studios — where Lenkov is based — and Universal Television, with the latter having produced the original show.
The new Magnum P.I. is described as an update of the original. It follows Thomas Magnum (Selleck’s former role), a decorated ex-Navy SEAL (also like the original) who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. With help from fellow vets Theodore “TC” Calvin and Orville “Rick” Wright, as well as that of disavowed former MI:6 agent Juliet Higgins, Magnum takes on the cases no one else will, helping those who have no one else to turn to. Action, adventure and comedy aside, the new Magnum P.I. will also explore a brotherhood forged by the trauma of combat, what it means to return home an ex-soldier and a commitment to continuing to serve while in the private sector.
The news comes as CBS and CBS Television Studios are also home to Selleck, who stars in the Friday-night staple Blue Bloods. The actor is not attached to the Magnum P.I. reboot, though given his connection to the network, it’s not hard to see a cameo should the project move forward.
ABC tried its hand at a Magnum P.I. reboot last year, with the Disney-owned network’s version serving as more of a sequel and revolving around Magnum’s daughter. Eva Longoria and John Rogers (Leverage) produced the Universal Television entry.
Originally created by Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson, Magnum P.I. launched in 1980 and ran for eight seasons on CBS.
Reboots continue to remain in high demand this development season as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered landscape of more than 450 original scripted series. Also in the works this season are reboots of Blue Crush (NBC), Nancy Drew (NBC), Roswell (The CW), The Nice Guys (Fox), True Lies (Fox), The Jetsons (ABC), The Munsters (NBC), Starsky and Hutch (Amazon) and Party of Five (which is currently being shopped). Key to the remakes is having the original producers involved in some capacity — which Magnum P.I. has with Universal — as more studios look to monetize their existing film and TV libraries.
Lenkov, who also scored a second season for his CBS summer drama Salvation, is repped by CAA and Del Shaw; Guggenheim — whose brother Marc Guggenheim is adapting True Lies for Fox — is with ICM Partners.