Magnum, P.I.

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to be appointment television in a world prior to peak TV make that sort of thing commonplace. Certification Tom Selleck and set against a lush Hawaiian backdrop, the series was a triumph many thanks to its tense action, humor, and also eclectic cast of characters. Selleck’s cutting board Magnum melted the typical activity hero mold for something far an ext relatable, and for eight seasons, the collection was among the most popular on the air. To bring you back to a time once all you needed was a Hawaiian shirt and a Detroit Tigers lid to it is in a star, here are 12 facts around Magnum, P.I., which aired its final episode 30 years ago.


Magnum, P.I. do its premiere top top CBS in 1980, the exact same year the network’s long-running Hawaii Five-0 was acquisition its last bow. Magnum’s ar was picked because the network didn"t desire to permit its Hawaiian production framework go come waste, so the Tom Selleck-led present filmed many of its indoor scene on the old Hawaii Five-0 soundstage.

The two shows are even collection in the same universe, as thomas Magnum would make references to Detective Steve McGarrett, that was famously played by Jack mr on Hawaii Five-0. Despite Lord never did expropriate the sell to make a cameo, the link in between the two mirrors was never broken.


Can you imagine Indiana Jones through a mustache? Or Tom Selleck without one? Well among those practically became a reality as Selleck was the top an option for the swashbuckling excavator when manufacturing on Raiders the the shed Ark began. Unfortunately, the actor’s contractual commitment come Magnum, P.I. prevented that from acquisition the role.

In a devilish twist that fate, a authors strike subsequently delayed filming ~ above the an initial season the Magnum, theoretically releasing up Selleck because that the role—if he hadn’t already dropped out of consideration. Though the part will forever be connected to Harrison Ford, the ever-excitable George Lucas defined Selleck’s screen test as “really, yes, really good.”


If girlfriend think the Magnum, P.I. layout is a wonder of network television, you’re not alone. The song, created by Mike Post, reached number 25 on the Billboard hot 100 graph in 1982—a rare feat for a TV theme. Write-up is also the man behind fight TV songs prefer The A-Team, The Rockford Files, Quantum Leap, The greatest American Hero, and also plenty of other "80s and "90s staples. He is probably finest known together the man behind the common “dun, dun” sting native Law & Order. (The Who"s Pete Townshend actually created a song around Post"s design template work, title "Mike article Theme," which was released on the band"s 2006 album, Endless Wire.)

The Magnum, P.I. song you’re bopping her head to right now wasn’t the original opening song, though. For the first handful the episodes, including the pilot, the collection had a much much less memorable intro song.


Orson Welles’s last years to be a blur the voiceover work and jug-o’-wine commercials, and also one the his last work was acting together the voice the Robin Masters—the mysterious author who lends Magnum his guesthouse in exchange for protection services. Masters is only ever before heard, never fully seen, in the show, leading to plenty of conspiracy theories end his actual identity (some pan still think he was Higgins every along).

Occasionally Masters would certainly be seen, just briefly and from behind. For those rare moments, actor Bruce Atkinson would carry out the crucial body components for filming. Though his voice was just heard rarely throughout the series’s first five seasons, wells was reserved to pat the duty for as long as the show was ~ above the air, however the actor’s death in 1985 carried a premature finish to his tenure.

5. There WAS practically A QUANTUM LEAP CROSSOVER.

Donald Bellisario’s TV realm is among the industry’s many impressive feats, resulting in multiple top-rated reflects and an important favorites. But getting two of his many popular series to cross over proved to be much more trouble than anyone would have anticipated.

In order to secure a fifth season because that Quantum Leap, Bellisario argued that Scott Bakula’s Dr. Sam Beckett character “leap” into the body of cutting board Magnum in the final moments that season four, bring about the following year’s premiere. But there was a snag v securing Selleck; his publicist even declared he was never ever formally approached about the subject, saying, "We’re hoping. It’s on hold. We don’t have an answer.” The idea was quickly dropped, and also a 5th season of Quantum Leap walk on there is no any assist from Magnum.

Magnum, P.I. to be off the air in ~ this point, for this reason Selleck was currently on various projects. Part test footage of Bakula as thomas Magnum was shot and also shown at a Quantum Leap fan convention, yet that’s as much as viewers got.


A crossover between Magnum and also Murder, She Wrote? the did happen, oddly enough. The occasion took place in the Magnum, P.I. episode "Novel Connection" during season seven and Murder, She Wrote’s “Magnum on Ice.” In the story, Magnum is arrested because that murder, and also the only human being who can clear his name is Jessica Fletcher, play as always by Dame Angela Lansbury.

During its third season, Magnum also crossed over v his other CBS private investigators top top the show Simon & Simon. Both collection ran all at once on CBS for practically the entirety of the ‘80s, and in this episode the trio banded with each other to certain a Hawaiian artifact that supposedly had actually a death curse attached come it.


If you’re no old sufficient to appreciate what a phenomenon Magnum, P.I. was, consider this: Selleck’s iconic Hawaiian shirt, Detroit many tigers hat, and also insignia ring from the show were every donated to the Smithsonian’s national Museum that American History.

The objects joined other culturally far-reaching TV relics from end the years, including Archie Bunker’s chair native All in the Family, the Lone Ranger’s mask, and also a Kermit the Frog puppet. Perhaps just as huge of an honor, Selleck found himself in the Mustache room of Fame because that the memorable lip fuzz the sported transparent the series. His digital plaque reads:

“Throughout his exhilaration career, Selleck’s charismatic grin, unflinching masculinity and also robust, stocky lipholstery have made the the ingredient of legend.”

8. IT created A failure BACKDOOR PILOT.

The very first season that Magnum, P.I. was about more than just establishing Tom Selleck as a family members name; CBS executives also wanted an episode to act as a backdoor pilot for an action collection starring Erin Gray. In the illustration “J. ‘Digger’ Doyle,” viewers meet Gray as the titular Doyle, a security professional who Magnum phone call on to help thwart a potential assassination attempt against Robin Masters.

Though the episode went turn off without a hitch, the spinoff never materialized. In fact, Gray never ever reappeared top top the series after that.


By the moment season 7 rolled around, it appeared that Magnum, P.I. had actually run that is course—so lot so the the network had actually planned for that to it is in the show’s sendoff.

In the season’s final episode, “Limbo,” Magnum winds increase in vital condition after acquisition a bullet throughout a warehouse shootout. The illustration gets Dickensian together Magnum, caught in between life and death, fall in on all his closest friend (and sustaining cast) together a specter no one deserve to see or hear. He makes tranquility with everyone approximately him prior to he reportedly walks off right into heaven, punctuated through the john Denver tune “Looking for Space.”

To the surprised of the cast, crew, and fans, the collection was renewed for a shortened eighth season, definition Magnum had to come back from the beyond and also continue his adventures for an additional 13 episodes.

10. THE REAL collection FINALE is one of THE MOST-WATCHED OF every TIME.

When Magnum, P.I. in reality ended, it ended with among the most-watched finales of all time. It right now sits as the fifth most-watched collection finale, not far behind the likes that Cheers, M*A*S*H, Friends, and Seinfeld. The grand complete of viewers? 50.7 million.

11. SELLECK and TOM CLANCY failed TO obtain A MAGNUM MOVIE off THE ground IN THE ‘90s.
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Rumors the a Magnum, P.I. movie have actually been rumbling since shortly after the credits rolling on the series"s last episode (and likely well prior to that). It gained close in the ‘90s once Selleck teamed with well known novelist Tom Clancy to key a Magnum movie come Universal.

Clancy to be a big fan that the show and was all set to crack the story through Selleck, yet nothing ever before came of it. Selleck later recounted:

"We obtained together, and also I checked out Universal, and I claimed ‘It"s time we could do a series of function films.’ castle were very interested, and also I had Tom, that wanted to carry out the story, and also I had actually this package placed together, but Universal"s the only studio that might make it, and also they go through 3 ownership changes in the "90s, and also I think the was the real home window for Magnum."

12. THE series IS about TO obtain A REBOOT.

The time for a Selleck-led Magnum, P.I.

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movie may have passed, but there’s still hope for the franchise. The series is right now one of several retro hits the is gift rebooted for the little screen. Previously this year, Variety reported that Jay Hernandez has been cast in the title role.