EXCLUSIVE: Magnum P.I. has been saved. It came down to the wire but a deal just closed for NBC to order 20 new episodes of the action drama starring Jay Hernandez following its cancellation by CBS last month, I have learned. I hear the 20 episodes will be split into two seasons, bringing the reboot’s run to 96 episodes, with an option for more.
In anticipation of the deal closing, CBS Studios, which co-produces the series with Universal TV, did not extend the options on the cast which expire at the end of day today, June 30, ahead of time, so the final stage of the negotiations stretched into the night tonight. With an agreement on the order reached, the cast is now being picked up and finalizing deals to return for the new seasons.
Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Tim Kang and Amy Hill star alongside Hernandez in the series. Showrunner Eric Guggenheim, Justin Lin, John Davis and John Fox are executive producers; they are also expected to return. The series will continue to be a co-production between Universal TV and CBS Studios.
As Deadline reported several weeks ago, immediately following CBS’ surprise May 12 cancellation of Magnum P.I. after four seasons, Universal Television sprung into action and started exploring potential new homes for the show.
NBCUniversal’s NBC and USA quickly emerged as the prime contenders. Conversations with NBC were progressing until they got to making the budget work. Negotiations have been difficult ever since among efforts to trim costs.
As co-producing entities, Universal TV and CBS Studios have split rights, with Universal TV handling international and CBS spearheading domestic off-network sales.
Magnum P.I. is a marquee title in Universal’s TV library. Additionally, the reboot, a rare broadcast drama with a Latino lead, has been a Top 25 show in total viewers. It is believed to be the most-watched broadcast series to get the ax this past upfront season.
With the rescue, Magnum P.I. follows into the footsteps of fellow Universal TV-produced series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which also was picked up by NBC after it had been canceled by its original network, Fox, after five seasons. The cop comedy ran on NBC for three additional seasons.
A reboot of the 1980s drama created by Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson that starred Tom Selleck, Magnum P.I. follows Thomas Magnum (Hernandez), a private investigator and former Navy SEAL who solves crimes in the Hawaii after returning home from Afghanistan and repurposing his military skills.
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