Fast & Furious director Justin Lin will helm the pilot episode for CBS's recently announced Magnum P.I. TV reboot. In addition to Magnum, CBS will also reboot the female-headed cop drama Cagney & Lacey, and plans to revive Murphy Brown with original lead actress Candice Bergen returning.
The first incarnation of Magnum P.I. debuted on CBS in 1980 and ran until 1988. The series starred Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a laid-back investigator living in Hawaii in the guest house of a never-seen wealthy patron. When he wasn't sparring with the mansion's stern caretaker Higgins (the late John Hillerman), Magnum solved crimes with the help of his pals Rick (Larry Manetti) and T.C. (Roger Mosley). A classic episodic action series carried largely by Selleck's easy charm, Magnum spent five years in the top 20 of the Nielsen ratings before falling off in its sixth season. The show would earn Selleck one Emmy win for Best Actor in a Drama. Hillerman himself would snag an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.
Now CBS will bring back Magnum P.I. with an all-new cast, and Deadline reports they've hired Justin Lin to helm the pilot episode. Lin will also executive produce along with Danielle Woodrow through Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment. Peter Lenkov (Hawaii Five-0) produces and co-writes together with Eric Guggenheim.
Director Justin Lin has made a name for himself in feature films, having directed four Fast and Furious movies as well as Star Trek Beyond. Lin also has a healthy TV resume including the pilot episodes for S.W.A.T. and Scorpion. Lin also did two episodes of True Detective season 2. His action chops should come in handy as he relaunches Magnum P.I. for a new generation.
The new Magnum will keep the same core of characters as the original series, though Hillerman's Higgins role will be re-imagined as a woman named Juliet Higgins. In this version of the series, Magnum is an ex-Navy SEAL whose skills come in handy as he takes on difficult cases. The show figures to be a little less breezy than the original as it tackles issues of combat trauma and commitment to service. One imagines they will also try to maintain at least some of the original character's wise-cracking charm. Audiences loved Tom Selleck, with his iconic Hawaiian shirts and mustache. Whoever takes on lead role in the new Magnum P.I. will have big shoes to fill.
Of course Magnum P.I. is far from the only old show making its way back to TV. Other upcoming revivals/reboots include Roseanne, Charmed, The Greatest American Hero, The Office, and The Twilight Zone.