'Magnum P.I.' Producers On Why They Changed Race Of Character & Gender Swapping Higgins

Magnum P.I. Cast Photo 850

"Magnum P.I." executive producers/showrunners Peter Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim revealed their thinking behind casting Jay Hernandez as Magnum and why they gender swapped Higgins character for the new fall show.

Jay Hernandez, an actor of Mexican-American descent, is the new Thomas Magnum in a reboot of the show that brought Tom Selleck his fame. The updated "Magnum P.I." also gender swaps John Hillerman's Higgins with a woman played by Perdita Weeks.    

CineMovie sat down with the "Magnum P.I." showrunners at the San Diego Comic Con to address the changes to the characters, and why the 80s series was a boy's club that had to change for the rebooted version. 

"Magnum P.I." stars Jay Hernandez (Thomas Magnum), Perdita Weeks (Higgins), Stephen Hill (TC) and Zachary Knighton ("Rick) were also at the annual convention talking about the new series.

The series premiere of "Magnum P.I." is Monday, September 24 at 9pm on CBS.

Official Synopsis:

MAGNUM P.I. is a modern take on the classic series centering on Thomas Magnum, a decorated former Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. A charming rogue, an American hero and a die-hard Detroit Tigers fan, Magnum lives in a guest cottage on Robin’s Nest, the luxurious estate where he works as a security consultant to supplement his P.I. business. The “majordomo” of the property is Juliet Higgins, a beautiful and commanding disavowed MI:6 agent whose second job is to keep Magnum in line, with the help of her two Dobermans. When Magnum needs back-up on a job, he turns to his trusted buddies and fellow POW survivors, Theodore “TC” Calvin, a former Marine chopper pilot who runs Island Hoppers, a helicopter tour business, and Orville “Rick” Wright, a former Marine door-gunner-turned-impresario of Oahu’s coolest nightclub and the most connected man on the island. With keys to a vintage Ferrari in one hand, aviator sunglasses in the other, and an Old Düsseldorf longneck chilling in the fridge, Thomas Magnum is back on the case!


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