CBS’s Magnum P.I. reboot stars Jay Hernandez in the role made famous byTom Selleck in the 80’s. Asked how much of the new Magnum’s cultural background will influence the show and if there are any Latinx writers in the writers’ room, EP Eric Guggenheim said they are “not denying the fact he’s Latino. It’s something we plan to acknowledge throughout the season.”
“Are there any Latinx writers in the room?” the TV critic persisted. EP Peter Lenkov finally acknowledged there were not, adding, “Not for any reason other than, when staffing a show, it’s incredibly hard to find writers.”
“We have a very diverse writers’ room” he said. TV critics later learned that, of the show’s seven writers, four are men, three women.
Perdita Weeks got asked to walk critics though the ways in which her Juliet Higgins differs from the original series’ Higgins. It was a joke, Higgins having been played by John Hillerman in the original series, and named Jonathan Quayle Higgins III.
“Higgins is now a woman,” Weeks shot back. She said her character is, in fact, similar to Hillerman’s in that she, too, is a former member of the military “and they play on that a little bit.”
“This is a 2018 Higgins,” she said.
Asked if her Higgins is as “snooty” as the original, she said without missing a beat, “Well, she’s British,” and finds the lackadaisical way Magnum goes about everything anathema to the way she does things. So, not so different.
One critic wondered if the writers would play the “Magnum/Higgins sexual chemistry” of the original 80’s iteration, marking a second joke attempt by TV critics on the subject of the casting of a woman in a role formerly held by a man. One more and we have a trend.
Also gone is 80s Magnum’s mustache, because trying to replicate Tom Selleck’s “is a slippery slope,” Lekov explained, though there will be a nod to it in an early episode.
On the bright side, Magnum’s car is the same – red Ferrari. “Boys with toys is what we’re basically going for,” Weeks said.
Meanwhile, the woke room asked Hernandez whether he did his own stunt work on the reboot, but failed to put the question to Weeks.
When Hernandez said “I did a lot of it,” Weeks jumped in to add, “Not as much as I did.”