On this day in 1980, the iconic ‘Magnum, P.I.’ series starring Tom Selleck debuted 41 years ago. The series aired for eight seasons and was one of the most popular shows on the air from 1980 to 1988. In 2018, a remake of the series debuted.
The ‘Magnum, P.I.’ series is credited as Tom Selleck’s breakthrough role, launching him into a successful career that spanned decades. The series followed Selleck’s character, Thomas Magnum, on his adventures as a private investigator in Oahu, Hawaii. Selleck eventually left the show for personal reasons, wanting to live a life away from the spotlight.
Selleck Explains Why Magnum, P.I. Was Cancelled
Having said that, the actor believes the show could have lasted longer due to its success. In a 2017 interview, the actor discussed taking a break. “Magnum was never canceled,” Selleck explained. “God only knows how many episodes we could’ve done if we hadn’t had the number one show on the air.”
Despite the series’ success, Selleck says he knew he needed a break. “I gave the show an extra year,” the star explained. “I had completed the world’s number one film.” I was exhausted from (Magnum) because I had been working 90-hour weeks for the past eight years. I wasn’t sick of it yet. So it was finally time. What a lovely way to leave. What a lovely way to honor the show. It was still extremely popular.”
Despite the fact that the star’s decision ended the series in 1988, Tom Selleck says he is eternally grateful for what the role taught him. “The character of Thomas Magnum is very important to me for a variety of reasons,” Selleck said of the character. “When you don’t get a steady job until you’re 35… To think it could happen twice (including Blue Bloods) makes me feel extremely lucky. That is unusual in people’s careers. The majority of people’s are shorter. It’s sometimes just the way things fall. “I got a little lucky.”
A Decision to Remain Private in the Face of His Success
Selleck went on to star in the popular CBS show “Blue Bloods,” which has been on the air since 2010. Selleck’s most popular TV projects to date are Magnum, P.I. and Blue Bloods. Between the two series, Selleck appeared in a number of TV movies. However, Selleck’s popularity in the two series in which he has starred is undeniable.
“I quit ‘Magnum,’ not because I didn’t like it or was tired of it,” Selleck says of his breakthrough role. I was exhausted as a result of it. And I desired a three-dimensional life because I lacked one.” Selleck goes on to explain why he decided to live a more private life after the series ended.
“I knew intellectually what it would mean to be a public figure, but there’s no way to understand it until you’ve lived it.” ‘I don’t think I’m cut out for this,’ I thought.
As Selleck’s year-long acting hiatus continued, headlines and rumors swirled around his career. Would Selleck ever act again? “I put up with the articles that said he’d vanished, that he was finished,” Selleck continued. “And I’m well aware that you do get things done. It was a long lull, but it helped put things into perspective.” Selleck, on the other hand, has no regrets and considers himself fortunate.
“I’m proud of my work, I still enjoy what I do, and I have my family,” he explained. “I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate.”
Magnum, P.I. continues to have an impact on modern television, with a remake starring Jay Hernandez premiering in 2018. Every Friday at 9/8 central, new episodes air on CBS.