Why Blue Bloods' Tom Selleck Will Never Appear On CBS' Magnum P.I. Reboot

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. intro screen shot CBS

The Magnum P.I. reboot with Jay Hernandez is getting about 6 million viewers each Friday night, but for many TV viewers, Tom Selleck will always be THE Thomas Magnum. CBS moved the new Magnum P.I. Season 2 to Fridays right before Selleck's Blue Bloods, which is now airing Season 10 through 2019-2020.

The two shows' current proximity must have plenty of fans thinking about Tom Selleck's time as Magnum from 1980-1988. However, don't go thinking any crossover appearances will be happening. Selleck has made it clear he will not be making any kind of cameo on the new Magnum P.I. However, he's also made it clear he wishes the new show well.

As Tom Selleck explained it to TV Insider, he was approached by CBS and producers about remaking Magnum P.I., and they said if Selleck had a problem with it, they wouldn't move forward on the new show. Selleck said he gave it some thought.

In the end, I thought, ‘We couldn’t have a better bow tied around our show. We went off with our final episode as the number one show on all of television. We’re in the Smithsonian for recognizing Vietnam veterans in a positive light, the first show to really do that. And it led to countless other opportunities.' I just felt success is so hard to come by in this business, why do I want to root for somebody to fail? I just stepped back, and said, ‘I won’t get in your way.'

Tom Selleck said he wouldn't do anything to stop the new Magnum, but that didn't mean he wanted to be involved with the show:

They asked and I said, ‘Absolutely not. I’m busy with Blue Bloods.’ [Plus] It will never be what in my fantasy world I would make it to be.

Blue Bloods premiered in 2010 and airs 22 episodes a year, with Tom Selleck in a lead role as Frank Reagan. So that keeps him plenty busy.

Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods Season 10 CBS

Tom Selleck also made it clear to new Magnum P.I. co-creator Peter M. Lenkov that he didn't want to make any kind of cameo on the new show as some kind of cheeky nod or endorsement or whatnot:

I told them that I won’t do some cameo guest spot to let the audience know I approve. I’m sure they’d like it, but I have an obligation to my version. And Peter’s [doing] his take on what a Magnum under some similar circumstances should be about.

I appreciate Tom Selleck's loyalty to his version. Besides, no one will ever be able to top this intro:

So Tom Selleck is out, but another original Magnum P.I. star has already been in.

Tom Selleck's original Magnum P.I. was originally set to end after Season 7, but there was a fan outcry when the finale ended with Magnum's death. (See? Fan outcry getting a show to come back is nothing new.) So CBS brought Magnum P.I. back for Season 8 in 1987-1988, explaining Magnum's death by having him just wake up from a coma after a near-death experience. The real series finale ended up being one of the most-watched ever, with more than 50 million viewers.

The Magnum P.I. reboot premiered in September 2018 to more than 8 million viewers. It moved from Mondays to Fridays for Season 2. Hawaii Five-0 -- which has a big episode this week, directed by one of its main stars -- moved into MacGyver's old timeslot, leaving MacGyver Season 4 as a midseason show in 2020.

Meanwhile, Tom Selleck and company just celebrated Blue Bloods' 200th episode with the Season 10 premiere. This week, Selleck's Frank and son Jamie are going to butt heads over the public's treatment of cops. Blue Bloods continues Fridays at 10 p.m., right after Magnum P.I., on CBS.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.