HomeEntertainmentOn This Day: ‘Magnum, P.I.’ Series Finale Airs in 1988

On This Day: ‘Magnum, P.I.’ Series Finale Airs in 1988

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Fotos International/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Private investigator Thomas Magnum finished his last case as “Magnum, P.I.” closed out an eight-season run on this day on CBS.

The show starred Tom Selleck, who can be seen these days on another CBS series, “Blue Bloods.” He was at the beck and call of the always-unseen Robin Masters, who hired Magnum. Fans of the show know that Masters’ assistant Higgins, portrayed by John Hillerman, was the go-between for Masters and Magnum.

Also, when Magnum gets cases on his own, Masters lets him stay on the vast 200-acre beachfront estate called Robin’s Nest. Magnum also leans on friends T.C., played by Roger E. Mosley, and Rick, played by Larry Manetti, to help him out. T.C. and Rick served with him during the Vietnam War, so their ties go way back.

These four actors are the only ones to appear in all 158 episodes of the original CBS series.

Hillerman, a native Texan who didn’t sound like a guy with a Texas accent on the show, died on Nov. 9, 2017, at 84 years old. The show’s other three main stars remain alive today.

Take a look at the original show’s opening sequence and see if it brings back some warm memories of this CBS drama.

‘Magnum, P.I’ Continued Trend Of Hawaii-Based TV Shows

Obviously, “Magnum, P.I.” had its episodes pretty much based in Hawaii. Now it’s not the first TV show to have used the Polynesian paradise as a backdrop.

Classic TV fans will immediately point toward “Hawaii Five-O” in its original incarnation starring Jack Lord. Before that show, though, “Hawaiian Eye” ran for four seasons from 1959-63. It, too, had episodes centered around the Hawaiian Eye Private Investigations company.

What’s interesting to note is both “Hawaii Five-O” and “Magnum, P.I.” had series revivals in recent years. Alex O’Laughlin and Scott Caan starred in the “Five-O” remake for 10 seasons, ending in 2020. The “Magnum” revival is in its third season starring Jay Hernandez.

But TV shows seemingly find something fantastic about using Honolulu and other islands in Hawaii as ways to enhance their storylines. Hawaii is a beautiful land filled with beautiful people, so it makes sense to highlight them all in shows.

Other shows calling Hawaii home included “Dog The Bounty Hunter” and “Fantasy Island.” We will not even get into movies here since we’re paying homage to the original Thomas Magnum and his crew, who called it a wrap on this day.