Hawaii-based ‘Magnum P.I.’ moves to NBC

LOS ANGELES — “Magnum P.I.” has been rescued from series cancellation. 

NBC has ordered two more seasons of the Hawaii-based detective drama, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Each season will comprise 10 episodes, and NBC may opt for further seasons if the show is successful at its new home.

The first four seasons of the show aired on CBS, and despite being one of the highest-rated shows in its Friday night time slot, the network canceled the drama in May after negotiations broke down over licensing fees.

“Magnum P.I.” is a co-production of CBS Studios and Universal Television. In June, word broke that NBC or its sister cable network USA Network were in serious negotiations to pick up the show. Time was running out, as options on the cast would have expired on June 30.

A reboot of the 1980s series starring Tom Selleck, “Magnum” stars Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator in Hawaii. Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Amy Hill and Tim Kang round out the cast. The show employs several hundred people in Hawaii, including technicians, film crew and extras.

The cancellation prompted an outpouring of fan support around the world to try to save the series. They held tweet parties, sent letters and postcards to the networks and called them daily.

They also organized a crowdfunding campaign and sent more than 1,000 leis to executives at NBC to urge them to pick up a new season. But they didn’t stop there. They raised money to pay for a billboard in Times Square pleading with television executives to “Save Magnum P.I.”

Fans crowdfunded to pay for a billboard in Times Square. It was designed by a fan in Germany, Yvonne Bruhnke. (Courtesy Dr. Tori Jones)

Dr. Tori Jones, a fan in London, told Spectrum News Hawaii she discovered the show at the beginning of the pandemic while working long shifts as a physician on a COVID-19 unit.

“This was pre-treatments and pre-vaccinations, and it was a truly awful experience,” she said. “But the show’s inherent ‘feel good’ factor gave a lot of us a very welcome escape from reality each week – it certainly helped to keep me going, and gave me something to look forward to at a very bleak time.”

It was a bit circuitous but we did it!Your love & support helped get us over the finish line, thank you & thanks to @nbc for stepping up!Time to dust off the Aloha shirt! #ohana ❣️🍾😎🏝🌈🏎 https://t.co/wJqoJ64lEh

— Jay Hernandez (@jay_hernandez) July 1, 2022

Hernandez reacted on Twitter to the renewal, writing, “It was a bit circuitous but we did it! Your love & support helped get us over the finish line, thank you & thanks to @nbc for stepping up!Time to dust off the Aloha shirt!”

Knighton added, “This one is for the FANS. You guys are AMAZING!”

This one is for the FANS. You guys are AMAZING! ❤️ 🌈 🏝 https://t.co/LPv5EEjjrT

— zaChknighton (@ZachKnighton) July 1, 2022

Jones said the fans are “absolutely delighted” with the news the series has been saved.

“This cancellation was incredibly unfair from the beginning (based on money, rather than ratings), so the fandom really feels that an injustice was done to the cast and crew.

“The show means a lot to so many people, and the themes of friendship and family have really resonated with viewers, especially during the past couple of years,” she said.