Magnum P.I. hands Jay Hernandez the keys to the Ferrari

 Magnum P.I. is back with Jay Hernandez as private detective Thomas Magnum in Hawaii driving a red hot Ferrari around the tropical paradise. The CBS show is a reboot of the popular action series that made Tom Selleck (and his mustache) a star.

Of course Hernandez addressed the mustache question when CBS held an interview panel during the Television Critics Association’s summer 2018 press tour. Hernandez was at the session with co-stars Perdita Weeks (“Juliet Higgins”), Stephen Hill (“Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin”), and Zachary Knighton (“Orville ‘Rick’ Wright”), Tim Kang (“Det. Kimball Cho”), and executive producers Peter M. Lankov and Eric Guggenheim.

The 40-year-old actor reported that he wasn’t going to copy the mustache look “because that was Selleck’s signature look, and I can’t do any better than that. I’ll just be me.” But he assures there will be plenty of nods to the original show starting with wearing a Detroit Tigers cap. “I’ll be honest, I’m not a Tigers fan, but I’ll play one on TV.”

Hernandez also explained, “What’s great about the creative team behind Magnum P.I. is that they are going to do a lot of ‘Easter eggs’ and little homages to the original show that fans will love, including the Cross of Lorraine, the Dobermans, and the cars.”

“The original Ferrari 308 is in the show. There’s a lot of things like that peppered throughout the pilot and throughout the rest of the show’s season for the fans. In terms of the people who have some reservations about this reboot, we’re going to do things that are going to satisfy them, that are going to make them happy.”

 Hernandez started his acting career as a youngster playing a high school basketball player in 1995 on the NBC Saturday morning sitcom Hang Time. His career took off when he co-starred with Kirsten Dunst in the teen romance, Crazy/Beautiful, and followed up with another hit film Disney’s The Rookie. Other notable film roles were in Friday Night Lights opposite Billy Bob Thornton, and starring in Eli Roth’s Hostel.

 Now he’s the new Magnum, and producer Lankov said Hernandez has something in common with the old Magnum and the spirit of the show. “In terms of the character, I think charm,” Lankov said. “Thomas Magnum survived on his charm. He lived off the good graces of his friends and his friends giving him favors. He was also somebody who didn’t use a gun. He was somebody who was the underdog in most situations that he went into. But, for the most part, I think it distills to charm.”

“Casting the role was the hardest part. We didn’t want to do a clone of Tom Selleck. What we wanted to do was just find the essence of what he brought to that character, which was charm. And we found that in this man, Jay Hernandez.”

 The new show centers on Thomas Magnum (Hernandez), 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.

 In charge of the estate is Juliet Higgins, a beautiful 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-turned-impresario of Oahu’s coolest nightclub and the most connected man on the island.

 With the keys to a vintage Ferrari, and rocking the aviator sunglasses, Hernandez brings Thomas Magnum back on Mondays on CBS and CBS All Access. Tune in.


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who have written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 35 years.

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