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What would Magnum P.I be like without Tom Selleck? We’re about to find out!

Magnum P.I is returning to the box – and fans of the long-running ‘80s series are likely going to be washing up spitballs in its direction.

While the plan at one stage was to bring the Hawaiian-shirt wearing action hero to the big screen (with George Clooney rumoured for the gig at one point), seems that incarnation has been freeze-dried in favour of a ready-to-go TV reboot.

While another network might have the smarts to cast Tom Selleck in his original role (and one near did, see below), even if he’s reduced to a supporting or occasional pop-up part, CBS wants to simply recast the role for a new generation.

Let’s pause here.

The role of “Magnum P.I” is such an iconic part that it’s hard to imagine anyone else but “the mo” in the lead. Magnum without Selleck is Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford, Bond without Martinis, tracksuit pants without a pull-string, peaches without a hard-stone middle… it just doesn’t work.

At least I don’t expect it to.

I challenge Eric Guggenheim and Peter M. Lenkov (“Hawaii Five-0”) to prove me wrong, and wash me quickly invested in a new Magnum, with a new support cast, but I just don’t see it yet. In this version, “Higgins” will be a female.

Last year ABC were said to be looking at doing a “Magnum” sequel series fixing on Magnum’s daughter. Would be very interested to know why it didn’t happen. Script sucked? Selleck couldn’t appear (due to his “Blue Bloods” obligations)? Hawaiian-shirts not as readily available for women?

Whatever the case, it didn’t get as far as this new CBS version, which has scored a put pilot commitment. Expect it to hit sometime next year. Sigh.

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