Magnum. P.I., Starring Tom Selleck, Debuts on getTV!

by getTV Staff

Given the rousing reaction to Tom Selleck in two episodes of the getTV staple The Rockford Files, his star was rising. Much like The Rockford Files, Magnum, P.I. would tackle crime-themed and action-packed storylines through the leadership of a likable, relatable, carefree and easy-on-the-eyes lead character.

Using Hawaii as the backdrop, the setting on Magnum, P.I. is the rambling beachfront estate called “Robin’s Nest” on Oahu’s north shore. In return for his expertise in security, Magnum is offered free living quarters by the unseen owner, Robin Masters (voiced by the legendary Orson Welles). But there is one caveat: the stuffy British manservant, Jonathan Quayle Higgins III (played by John Hillerman) is also an occupant. Of course, Higgins is the direct opposite of Thomas Sullivan Magnum. Despite their constant bickering, however, a mutual affection and admiration builds between the two.

Laid-back and carefree, Magnum has two favorite pastimes: romancing a plethora of beautiful young women and driving around town in Robin Masters’ ultra-expensive Ferrari 308 GTS. There are even moments on the show when, presented with a ridiculous situation, Selleck as Thomas Magnum “breaks the fourth wall” and looks right into the camera to address the audience. But, alas, there is also detective work to tackle.

With a background as a former Vietnam naval intelligence veteran, Magnum utilizes the services of two of his wartime buddies: Theodore “T.C.” Calvin and
Orville "Rick" Wright. T.C., played by Roger E. Mosley, is the owner and operator of a local helicopter charter service; and Rick, played by Larry Manetti, runs a Honolulu nightclub initially inspired by the club run by Humphrey Bogart in the classic theatrical Casablanca. The trio have been lauded for their positive portrayals of Vietnam veterans on network television.

An Immediate Hit

Stepping in for CBS’s Hawaii Five-O, Magnum P.I. rose to as high as No. 3 for the season in all of primetime (in season three). It finished each of its first five seasons ranked in the Top 20. It aired for a total of eight seasons, producing 162 episodes and amassing several accolades, including Emmy Awards for Tom Selleck and John Hillerman for “Outstanding Lead Actor” and “Supporting Actor in a Drama Series”, respectively.

Even the rousing theme song for Magnum, P.I., with its disco-rock guitars, cracked the Top 30 charts after being adapted into a pop music single. “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself, Frank Sinatra, guest-starred as a retired New York City Cop in the season seven episode titled “Laura.”

Magnum, P.I will air weekdays from 6-8p ET, immediately following The Rockford Files on getTV, and on weekends at 10pm!

Ironside, Walker, Texas Ranger, The Rockford Files, Hunter, Kojak and now Magnum, P.I…crime does not pay on getTV!


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