Why Tom Selleck Has Vowed To Never Call His Famous Series Magnum PI

Why Tom Selleck Has Vowed To Never Call His Famous Series Magnum PI

Tom Selleck, the iconic actor known for his role as Thomas Magnum in the 1980s series “Magnum P.I.,” has made a surprising vow regarding the show’s title. Despite the enduring popularity of both the original series and its recent reboot, Selleck has pledged never to refer to the series by its full name, “Magnum P.I.”

The original “Magnum P.I.” aired for eight seasons from 1980 to 1988, totaling 162 episodes. Selleck recently reflected on his time on the show in an interview with Esquire, revealing his disdain for the title. He explained that he always shortens it to “Magnum” when discussing the series, and he has a compelling reason for this decision.

Selleck recounted a conversation with the show’s creator, Don Bellisario, who informed him that the studio wanted to change the title to “Magnum P.I.” Selleck was immediately opposed to the idea, stating, “That’s a horrible title.” He explained that during his time in Hawaii, he had learned that “P.I.” was a derogatory term for a Philippine islander. This cultural sensitivity led him to vow never to use the full title, opting instead to call it simply “Magnum.”

While “P.I.” in the show’s context stands for “private investigator,” Selleck’s awareness of its potential negative connotations influenced his decision. Despite the title never officially changing, Selleck remains steadfast in his commitment to refer to the show as “Magnum.”

This raises the question of why the show was never officially renamed to “Magnum,” especially given Selleck’s strong feelings about the title. It’s possible that the decision was made too late in the production process, or that executives believed “Magnum P.I.” had a better ring to it. Regardless, Selleck’s dedication to the role and the show is evident, as he continued to portray the character despite his reservations about the title.

The recent reboot of “Magnum P.I.” concluded earlier this year, much to the disappointment of fans. Notably, Selleck never made an appearance on the reboot. Showrunner Eric Guggenheim revealed that while they had considered the idea, logistical challenges made it difficult to bring Selleck on board. With Selleck busy filming “Blue Bloods” in New York and the reboot filming in Hawaii, coordinating a cameo proved to be too challenging.

Despite the reboot’s end, “Magnum P.I.” remains an iconic show, whether referred to by its full title or simply as “Magnum.” Selleck’s portrayal of Thomas Magnum left an indelible mark on television history, and his commitment to the character and the show is evident in his continued affection for it.

Selleck’s career spans over five decades, and he has shared many memorable moments from his life and career. In his memoir, “You Never Know,” he reflects on his journey, from his early days playing baseball in his neighborhood to his time in the California Army National Guard. He also shares anecdotes from his acting career, including his first television role in the western “Lancer” and his experiences on “Magnum P.I.”

One particularly notable moment in Selleck’s career was when he was offered the role of Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Despite being the top choice for the role, Selleck had already committed to the “Magnum P.I.” pilot, and CBS was unwilling to let him take on both projects. While missing out on the iconic role was a disappointment, Selleck has no regrets, as “Magnum P.I.” became a significant part of his career.

Selleck’s dedication to his craft and his principles is evident in his decision to stand by his beliefs, even when it comes to something as seemingly minor as a show’s title. His commitment to referring to the series as “Magnum” reflects his respect for cultural sensitivity and his deep connection to the character and the show.

As Selleck prepares for the end of “Blue Bloods” on the 2024 TV schedule, he continues to look back on his time as Thomas Magnum with fondness. While he may no longer don the iconic mustache and Hawaiian shirts, his legacy as the beloved private investigator lives on. Whether you call it “Magnum P.I.” or simply “Magnum,” Tom Selleck’s impact on television history is undeniable.

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