Cancellation of ‘Magnum PI’ delivers blow to Hawaii’s film production industry
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After four seasons, CBS show “Magnum P.I.” has been canceled.
The show, which takes place in Hawaii, is among four cancellations the network announced on Thursday.
Cast member Amy Hill got the call Thursday morning.
“Eric (Guggenheim), the showrunner, he’s like, ‘Call me. I have some news. It’s not good,’” she said.
Hill played the role of Kumu on the series. She said there were no clues that the last season would be the end.
“Our ratings were good. We get along. No drama behind the scenes. The scripts were getting better every season,” said Hill.
According to Deadline, the decision to cancel the show — the most established CBS series — may have been due to a disagreement between the network and lead studio Universal Television, as well as competition with other drama pilots this season.
The remake of the hit 1980s show, which starred Tom Selleck, has filmed in Hawaii for the past few years. It was averaging 5.5 million weekly viewers on CBS, which is currently the highest-rated broadcast network.
In the reboot, Jay Hernandez played Thomas Magnum, a decorated former Navy SEAL who repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator.
The cast also includes Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton and Stephen Hill.
“We’re deeply saddened by it,” said state Film Commissioner Donne Dawson. “We understand how these things go, but we’re appreciative that CBS believed in Hawaii and invested in Hawaii to the degree that they did to bring this show to life.”
She added, “Shows like ‘Magnum P.I.’ and ‘Hawaii Five-0′ have been instrumental in putting Hawaii on the map.”
Dawson also said Magnum was one of the first shows to restart production when they were allowed to resume after a COVID shutdown
“What they proved, and what the other productions have proved, is that film production is extremely safe from a COVID perspective, and they have gone to great lengths to ensure safety on their sets,” she said.
The loss of the series also means the loss of hundreds of jobs.
“On average, a show like a ‘Magnum,’ for example, would hire anywhere from 350 to 400 regular technicians and creatives in the industry, and then also those extras and other acting roles,” said Georja Skinner, director of the state Creative Industries Division.
They may find positions with other shows in production here, including “NCIS Hawaii,” which has been renewed for a second season.
“Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.” resumes filming next week for Disney+.
And Jason Momoa’s “Chief of War” series for Apple TV starts filming here in August.
“I think that 2022 is shaping up to be on par with 2021, which was a $423 million year,” said Skinner, referring to the revenues generated by TV and film productions.
The state Legislature also passed a measure to increase the tax credit for those productions in an effort to continue enticing them to film here.
Losing “Magnum,” however, is still like losing family for production members.
“I was hoping for many, many seasons, like ‘Hawaii Five-0.′ But I never expected that we would be canceled, at all,” said Amy Hill. “None of us did.”
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