Magnum P.I. Showrunner Explains Why Tom Selleck Never Appeared in Reboot

The Magnum P.I. reboot ended its run last week and did so without giving fans one thing they’d hoped for over its run: an appearance by Tom Selleck, star of the original Magnum P.I. Now, reboot showrunner Eric Guggenheim explains to TVLine that they did consider having Selleck appear (specifically as the never-seen Robin Masters) — and why it never happened.

“We joked about that very early on in the first season,” Guggenheim said. “But we never thought getting him was a real possibility. Was fun to dream about, though.”

As fans of the original Magnum P.I. will recall, the character of Robin Masters — the novelist who wrote fictional accounts of Magnum’s military adventures — was never seen though he was voiced by Orson Welles. In the reboot, fans neither see nor hear Masters.

However, despite Selleck never appearing in the reboot, the actor was supportive of the new Magnum P.I.

“We’ve been in touch with [Selleck] and he’s actually been really supportive,” executive producer Peter Lenkov said back in 2018. “I know in the past they’ve tried to do versions of [Magnum] and getting his blessing was very important — and we got that, so we’re very lucky.”

What is Magnum P.I. About?

Jay Hernandez starred in the series as Thomas Magnum, a decorated former Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. A charming rogue, an American hero, and a die-hard Detroit Tigers fan, Magnum lives in a guest cottage on Robin’s Nest, the luxurious estate where he works as a security consultant to supplement his P.I. business. The Series is a revival of the classic series starring Tom Selleck. In addition to Hernandez, the series starred Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Tim Kang, and Amy Hill.

Magnum P.I. Had Initially Been Renewed For Two More Seasons

Magnum P.I, was cancelled in June 2023 for the second time — the series had previously run on CBS before that network cancelled it in 2022. The second cancellation came as a shock to fans after NBC picked up Magnum P.I. for two additional seasons from CBS in July 2022. It was speculated last summer that the cancellation came in part because of the strikes this past summer with the cast set to have their option expire last June 30th. Had NBC picked up the cast’s option, it could have been seen as a waste of money by higher ups at the network due to the length wait for an actual renewal on the series.