Throughout the course of the past few years, television – and particularly network television – seems to have developed a love affair with resurrecting one time hit series’ as well as adapting popular films to the small screen. While this formula has yet to be determined an overall hit or not, the final verdict on these efforts should become apparent sometime in the next year or two, once the bulk of the series' have aired.
In many cases involving the return of the one-time hit series’, crucial changes have been made to either the cast or the plot so that audiences aren’t faced with a straight regurgitation of what they once knew – or loved. So far this has met a mixture of responses from one-time fans of returning series like MacGyver, as well as potentially Fantasy Island and Xena: Warrior Princess in the future. As the list of these returning series’ grows on an almost daily basis, keeping track of them all can be a challenge.
News of the latest blast from the past to be dusted off for a crack at a new generation now comes to us courtesy of Deadline. Magnum P.I., the Hawaii-dwelling, Ferrari-driving, caterpillar-mustachioed private investigator made famous by Tom Selleck in the early 1980s is officially in the works at ABC. The new series will be a sequel to the original and will focus on Magnum’s daughter, Lily “Tommy” Magnum, played by Eva Longoria (Telenovela, Devious Maids) as she takes up the reins of her father’s successful private eye firm.
With a background in Naval Intelligence, Magnum’s daughter will tackle a wide variety of cases involving international crime as well as modern espionage, all while trying to narrow down the specific causes for a blown operation in the Navy that brought an end to her career with the organization. As of this writing, there is no confirmation or even mention as to whether Selleck will reprise his role as her father, nor is there any word as to whether or not the beloved (and mysterious) estate caretaker Jonathan Higgins will return. However, the fact that the series focuses on Thomas Magnum’s daughter stays true to the original series, as fans will recall that Magnum took custody of his young daughter in the finale.
At the risk of sounding dismissive, there’s something about this concept that seems more at home as a mock TV series in an episode of The Simpsons than in real life. While this resurgence of one-time hit TV series’ is a definite trend for networks at the moment, surely there’s more original ideas out there than simply changing the gender of the familiar protagonist and “updating” the exact same premise? And if a series such as Magnum P.I. can’t work without maintaining the classic P.I. angle, then perhaps it’s best to pass it up in favor of something brand new and altogether unique?
But of course, Longoria has proven herself a likeable and popular TV personality over the years and should ABC be able to once again pull off a high stakes, engaging and action packed series out of Magnum P.I., then there’s really no reason why audiences wouldn’t take to it. Should Selleck also sign on, the appeal of a bit of the past alongside the present could potentially work well in luring fans of the original series to this latest incarnation. At this point the series is still in its infancy, so those intrigued by this concept can expect more news in the weeks and months to come.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on the Magnum P.I. sequel series as news develops.