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When Jay Hernandez's Magnum P.I. Is Reportedly Kicking Off Season 5 Filming After CBS Cancellation

Thomas Magnum in woods on Magnum P.I.
(Image credit: CBS)

It’s once again that time when, a month ahead of the biggest TV premiere week of the year, the majority of broadcast network dramas and comedies are hard at work bringing new episodes together, whether it be NCIS’ squad bringing Season 20 to life or Law & Order: Organized Crime’s Christopher Meloni bringing his zaddy vibes back. Jay Hernandez’s Magnum P.I. isn’t so lucky to be in that pack, given its shocking cancellation at CBS during May’s plug-pulling bloodbath. But now that Thomas Magnum & Co. are set for a return via their new home at NBC, it sounds like production will finally kick off anew right around the time when it would usually be premiering.

Though Magnum P.I. won’t be part of CBS’ Fall 2022 schedule, or any other part of the overall fall schedule, the drama is envisioned to serve as a midseason arrival for NBC, and according to TVLine, production on new episodes is reportedly set to kick off in mid-September. Star Perdita Weeks had some fans thinking filming had already begun thanks to a social media post about getting “back to work,” but that was confirmed to not be in reference to her reprising Juliet Higgins just yet. 

Barring any left-field episodes that involve extensive post-production special effects work — Thomas Magnum fights aliens in outer space! — that should give the cast and crew more than enough time to get the premiere episode and more completed in time for a January premiere date.Which isn’t to say that Magnum P.I. is 100% destined to arrive on NBC in January, since the network has yet to go public with any official debut announcements. 

Given that the next two seasons of Magnum P.I. will only deliver ten episodes apiece, rather than the usual 20 — only Season 3 was shorter, with 16 — it’s entirely possible that network execs will want to push the start date to later in the spring, so that Season 5 would be timed to end in May alongside most other broadcast offerings. 

A January premiere would likely mean a March finale, which might be an undersell for what could end up being one of NBC’s biggest ratings winners of the season. After all, Magnum P.I.’s ratings were very solid for CBS, and reportedly weren’t tied into the cause behind its cancellation decision, which was tied more into filming costs. It might be a smarter move to set its debut a month or so after the Super Bowl, with a plan to build a massive hype train in the interim.

To that end, I imagine that NBC will want to promote the show as much as possible whenever finalized footage is available to cut together, with Sunday Night Football as the marquee place for such footage to air. (Fox has the Super Bowl in 2023, so no luck there…probably.) And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to preface the eventual trailers with ads that point to and celebrate the amazing billboard-infused #SaveMagnumPI campaign that fans come together for in the aftermath of the initial cancellation.

While it’s not yet clear if the new season, or the first four, will be available on Peacock, fans can rewatch everything we’ve seen so far with a Paramount+ subscription while waiting for the stars to share photos in September as filming gets underway. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.