BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The people behind the new Thomas Magnum don’t want you thinking too much about the old Thomas Magnum.
CBS’s upcoming reboot of “Magnum P.I.” (due Sept. 24), starring Jay Hernandez in the title role, updates the 1980s favorite for a 2018 audience. And as executive producer Peter Lenkov told the Television Critics Association press tour Sunday, that includes adding a female voice to the “boys club.”
“First and foremost, I thought it was a boys club,” Lenkov said of the original series, which aired from 1980-88 and starred Tom Selleck. “If you’re going to do it in 2018, you need a strong female voice.”
Lenkov added that female voice by making Higgins (originally portrayed by John Hillerman) a woman, played here by Perdita Weeks.
“I love that conflict, in the original show, between Higgins and Magnum,” he said. “There was real respect at the core of it. And on the surface they would butt heads. And I thought playing it a little differently with a female character just felt really fresh … and ultimately we’ll see where it goes as relationship grows.”
When asked why he didn’t choose to make any other supporting character, like T.C. or Rick (Stephen Hill and Zachary Knighton in the new version) a woman, Lenkov said he wanted to preserve the “brotherhood” established by male military veterans.
“I did want to keep the bromance in terms of the relationship between guys in the service together,” he said. “I felt like I could get more mileage out of a female character in a conflict role.”
As far as the show’s other major change – losing that iconic mustache – Lenkov said producers wanted to “step away” from the Selleck version. .
“I think trying to clone Tom Selleck, trying to do that Magnum, that’s a slippery slope,” he said. “I don’t think we wanted to do that.”
But, he added, “we are going to acknowledge” that mustache absence. “We are going to nod to it in the second episode.”
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2Kw0eud