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'Magnum P.I.' cast on why rebooted series features mustache-less Mexican-American lead

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Believe it or not, it has been 30 years since the impeccably mustachioed Thomas Magnum romped around Hawaii in his short shorts and signature red Ferrari. When Magnum P.I. returns to CBS in September, the show — and its hero — will look a little different. In place of Tom Selleck, Magnum will now be played by Mexican-American actor Jay Hernandez. And that’s not all; his frequent foil Higgins — originally played by John Hillerman — is now portrayed by Perdita Weeks. “We’re certainly not denying the fact that [Magnum] is Mexican-American,” executive producer Eric Guggenheim tells Yahoo Entertainment. “It is something that is acknowledged in the series. But I think we’re very proud of the fact that we have a cast that, frankly, looks like America does.” (Watch our video interview above.)

Selleck himself likely won’t be making a cameo on the series any time soon, but the producers confirm that he has signaled his support for the reboot to them. And there is one way that Hernandez will follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. Although he’s ’stache-less in the first episode, the actor teases that there might be a facial flourish in his future. “I think we’re going to do something interesting,” says Hernandez, who visited Yahoo Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con with a week and a half’s worth of scruff. Asked how long it would take for him to grow a full Selleck ’stache, he puts the timeline at about a month. “The ’stache is not on the show, because he’s an executive producer,” Hernandez jokes. “He’s part of the show, just behind the scenes.”

Magnum P.I. star Jay Hernandez  giving the camera an explosive look at just how good he is at filming action scenes. (GIF: tumblr)

Magnum P.I. premieres on CBS on Sept. 24.

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