HomeEntertainment‘Blue Bloods’: Tom Selleck Described Differences Between ‘Magnum P.I.’ and ‘Blue Bloods’

‘Blue Bloods’: Tom Selleck Described Differences Between ‘Magnum P.I.’ and ‘Blue Bloods’

by Jennifer Shea
Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic

“Blue Bloods” star Tom Selleck has been lucky enough to star in two successful television shows, “Magnum P.I.” and, more recently, “Blue Bloods.” And the actor doesn’t take that success for granted. But he said his busy work schedule has left him precious little time to reflect on how far he’s come.

Selleck was a little-known actor when he landed “Magnum P.I.” – he had yet to star in blockbuster films like “Three Men and a Baby” and “Mr. Baseball” – and also successfully auditioned to play Indiana Jones. While Jones may not have worked out, “Magnum P.I.” paid off in spades. The show would last for eight seasons, from 1980 to 1988.

In a 2017 interview with CBS This Morning, Selleck meditated on the similarities and differences between his “Magnum P.I.” and “Blue Bloods” characters, and he marveled at how fast his most recent show has flown by.

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Analyzes Shows’ Similarities, Differences

“Magnum P.I.” and “Blue Bloods” have in common the idea of the man alone, Selleck said. Both Frank Reagan and Thomas Magnum are basically urban cowboys who have to tackle the problems before them without a partner in crime.

“Frank is a widower,” Selleck explained of his “Blue Bloods” character. “He’s still wearing his wedding ring. Magnum, for all that hype, wasn’t very successful with women, and still considered himself married, ironically.”

“They’re not the same guy,” he hastened to add. “I’m an older guy [on ‘Blue Bloods’], I’m a grandpa, which I am in life.”

Still, Selleck said the two protagonists do share a sort of common denominator, in that they must be compelling enough for the audience to want to follow the show’s plot through them.

“I just find, with lead characters, that there is a certain common denominator,” he said. “Maybe it’s just the audience must, in a character-driven show, want to see the story unfold through your eyes.”

Selleck Has Been Fortunate to Star in Two Hit Shows

Selleck told CBS that he was approaching an important milestone on “Blue Bloods.” At that point, they had almost taped as many hours of the show as “Magnum P.I.” totaled over the course of its run. They’ve since surpassed the classic TV series

“We did 163 hours of ‘Magnum,’” Selleck explained then. “Makes me realize how fortunate I am. So we’re gonna be at 150 [of ‘Blue Bloods’] next show. It will take some cooperation from my boss.”

“It feels great,” Selleck added of the milestone. He added, “It sneaks up on you. It’s funny, you know, we’re in our seventh season and I go, ‘God, what happened?’ But you don’t—when you’re fortunate like I have been to work as much as I have, I don’t think you reflect enough. Maybe that’s good. But yeah, this kind of success is rare twice.”

But “Blue Bloods” is still going strong now. And with the show recently finishing up its Season 11 finale, it’s safe to say it has surpassed “Magnum P.I.” and outlasted even that classic hit TV show.