‘Magnum P.I.’ Could Reportedly Be Rescued for Season 5 by NBC, USA

by Joe Rutland

After its surprise cancellation by CBS, there’s a possibility that the Jay Hernandez-starring Magnum P.I. might end up on NBC or USA Network. The series, which is based on the 1980s show starring Tom Selleck, could possibly have new episodes on NBC with USA Network carrying previous seasons. There is no final decision on this matter yet talks are reportedly underway.

A story from Deadline indicates Universal Television started looking for new places where the show could air. Universal Television co-produces Magnum P.I. with CBS Studios. USA Network was an early entrant in the race for the show. NBC followed as did Paramount Plus. Yet the focus reportedly is on the NBCUniversal networks to have a solid chance for the show. CBS Studios would need to be involved in making a deal for a new network. The series plot follows Thomas Magnum, played by Hernandez. Magnum is a private investigator and former Navy SEAL who solves crimes in Hawaii after returning home from Afghanistan and repurposing his military skills.

Other stars include Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Tim Kang, and Amy Hil. Eric Guggenheim, Justin Lin, John Davis, John Fox, and Danielle Woodrow are executive producers. The series is based on the 1980s drama created by Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson.

Streaming Options For ‘Magnum P.I.’ Might Include Peacock

Here’s the deal: Universal TV and CBS Studios have split rights. Universal TV handles international work while CBS would spearhead domestic off-network sales. Magnum P.I. has not been sold out to domestic cable or SVOD buyers as of now. No price tag is apparently on the show’s library of episodes yet.

Meanwhile, it isn’t clear whether Paramount Plus might be interested in the SVOD library rights. Peacock has a connection with the NBCUniversal family so it might be a strong possibility there. In other words, an agreement will need to be done by the end of June.

Under Different Circumstances, Show Might Still Be On CBS

Additionally, in case you didn’t know, Magnum P.I. is a very important show in Universal’s TV library. The reboot with a Latino lead, which is rare for a broadcast drama, has been a Top 25 show in total viewers. There is some belief that the show is the most-watched broadcast series to get canceled. That move did happen after some lengthy talks between CBS and Universal Television, which also is behind CBS’ FBI franchise and The Equalizer.

Negotiations led to those four series, among CBS’ top rating performers, getting multi-season renewals. Some feel that with different circumstances, Magnum P.I. would have made the cut. Therefore, CBS’ 2022 drama pilots coming in strong also likely factored into what the network said was a difficult decision to cancel Magnum P.I.