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4 Major Upgrades You'll See in the Magnum P.I. Reboot

It's not about the mustache, promise

Malcolm Venable

Everyone already knows that when Magnum P.I.premieres Monday, Sept. 24, Magnum's upper lip will bear no trace of the sexy 'stache Tom Selleck rocked back in the iconic original series. (The title is also missing the comma, because apparently it's confusing when you search for the show). For the most part though, the reboot of the series, which ran for eight seasons on CBS and eventually became an iconic part of American history (seriously, Magnum's Hawaiian shirt is in the Smithsonian!) has a whole lot in common with the '80s series.

Thomas Magnum, this time played by Jay Hernandez, is a decorated former Navy SEAL turned private eye in Hawaii, living in a guest cottage on Robin's Nest, the luxurious estate where he does security consulting by day and P.I.'ing... also by day, but you get the idea. He still runs with his buddies Theodore "TC" Calvin (Stephen Hill), a former Marine chopper pilot who operates a helicopter tour business, and Orville "Rick" Wright (Zachary Knighton), a former Marine and the most connected man on the island thanks to his nightclub in Oahu.

This Is Why the New Magnum P.I. Doesn't Have a Mustache

But while Magnum still wears a floral print like no other man and loves to zip around in his cherry red Ferrari, there have been some upgrades to the original series that allows the reboot to be a own modern interpretation instead of a note-for-note copy. Here are the four updates to the Magnum P.I. that might have you saying "Oh my God, Magnum" just like Higgins, but you know, in your own way.


Perdita Weeks, Tiffany Hines, Jay Hernandez, Zachary Knighton, and Stephen Hill, Magnum P.I.

Karen Neal/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

1. Higgins isn't male
Let's start with the biggest upgrade: the majordomo -- "head butler at a fancy residence" in layman's terms -- at Robin's Nest is no longer named Jonathan Quayle Higgins but Juliet Higgins and... wait, whaaa? Yup. Dude is now a lady, and while her character description points out that she's beautiful, we're more impressed that she's a former MI6 agent who keeps Magnum in line with the help of two Dobermans. She's played by Perdita Weeks who, unlike original Higgins John Hillerman, won't have to fake her English accent since she's actually from the U.K.

2. It looks like the future
Jay Hernandez is from Los Angeles, but he is the son of two third-generation Mexican-American parents. This makes Hernandez one more kickass lead actor of Mexican descent on TV right now, which is not only awesome but also sorely needed; Latinxs are underrepresented on TV, and when they do appear, the depictions aren't always great. One report said some 50 percent of immigrant Latinos on TV between 2014-2016 had committed a crime of some sort. Yeesh. So, to see Hernandez taking down bad buys (and screwing up things) and looking fresh to death in those aviators is most definitely a good look.


Jay Hernandez, Magnum P.I.


3. The veterans fought in modern conflicts
OG Magnum -- as well as the original Rick and TC -- fought in Vietnam (which ended just five years before the show premiered). The new Magnum served time in Afghanistan, while the updated versions of Rick and TC are POW survivors. Just as the first series did, the reboot speaks to heroes watching at home.

4. Robin's Nest is going to make you want to move
The original Robin's Nest was nothing to sneeze at, but the new one is, like everything these days, bigger than it was in the '80s. It's on a wider, greener and more lush slab of land that's going to give you major house envy. It also doesn't look very secure, with its indoor-outdoor configuration, which will almost certainly come to present some security slip-ups for the man of the house.

Magnum P.I. premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)