Magnum P.I. — and its passionate fans — have been through the mill.
The successful reboot launched on CBS in 2018, and we’ve been hooked ever since.
We’ve watched the trials and tribulations of Thomas Magnum, Juliet Higgins, and everyone in their orbit.
Compared to many other procedurals on the air, It’s been fun, light, and infused with romance.
Unfortunately, the series has faced a lot of hurdles, many of which have left fans gasping for air. It’s not often that a show is canceled and survives on another network, and when it does, hopes rise for a longer run or a fantastic finish.
Here we are at the end of the road again, and frankly, it’s a miracle the fans are still so devoted to it because now two networks have now mishandled Magnum P.I.
The latest blunder (in a long line of them!) is the decision to save the series’ final two episodes until early 2024.
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That’s never a good sign, and it’s even worse when you’re ending the series with those final episodes. The momentum had already been ruined when NBC split up the 20-episode Magnum P.I. Season 5.
As bad as that was, reserving the final two episodes as fans prepare to say goodbye is just cruel.
While Magnum P.I. Season 5 hasn’t been crafted with an end in mind, we trust that there will be enough of a resolution that fans will not leave disgruntled. Still, the constant hiatuses aren’t the best way to keep fans invested.
It’s almost as if NBC wants the numbers to go down to justify its poor decision to bring the show to a close.
What else should we expect from the network that initially planned on holding the final ten episodes for 2024?
It’s rare when you get a show this good, with respectable ratings, and one that the fans adore. There are plenty of fair to middlin’ shows that stay on the air with much less going for them.
It’s impossible not to feel disheartened that a show with so much going for it is coming to a conclusion after such a long line of blunders.
Thankfully, the fans are not slowing down their efforts to find the show a new home. Hope is alive, and we are rooting for the little show that could to find life elsewhere again.
It’s hard to believe that this time last year, the audience was thrilled that Magnum P.I. had found an exciting new home on NBC.
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Instead of treating the show with the respect it deserved, NBC buried it on Sundays despite needing a reliable Friday performer.
Magnum P.I.’s audience had become accustomed to watching on Fridays, so keeping it on that night was the best chance of success.
Sundays are fast becoming a TV wasteland for broadcast networks, with everything not sporting-related struggling to keep up with the ever-changing nature of broadcast TV.
It’s a surprise NBC didn’t trial it on Fridays after the less-than-stellar initial numbers on Sunday.
The move to Wednesdays has been a welcome one from fans, and the numbers are decent. What helped those numbers was the decision to run five episodes uninterrupted.
It’s amazing how a show actually airing when it’s expected to air helps the momentum to grow. People don’t like fumbling their way to their favorite characters. They want to know when the story continues.
After five episodes, Magnum P.I. went off the air for two weeks, then it crawled back for one episode, and now the show will be off the air now until December 6.
With so many shows on NBC’s midseason schedule, these random hiatuses are unnecessary and are doing the series more harm than good. It’s also why so many people have turned to streaming or choose to watch cable on Sundays.
Streaming is always reliable, and Sundays without football are a welcome respite from a football clogged (and always time deviating) schedule.
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If there were an issue of available real estate on the schedule, fans would prefer to see these final episodes airing on Fridays (yes, another schedule change) rather than be left waiting for weeks to see the story continue.
But the truth is, NBC lacks content at this point due to the effects of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, so unless these episodes are being reworked, there’s no reason to keep them off the air.
At this point, even a Thanksgiving burn-off of all of the remaining episodes being made available would have been a welcome treasure because, at least then, we’d have been able to see them this year.
Being a fan of a show that’s constantly being treated like dirt by its own network is tough, but we need to remember that NBC fought to get Magnum P.I. on the air.
The network saw the value in bringing the show to NBC, or they wouldn’t have done it. What went on behind the scenes with the people who made those decisions that changed things so quickly?
In my nine years as an entertainment journalist, I’ve seen several mishandled shows, but most of those had issues that needed to be worked out.
Magnum P.I. is one of those rare shows where everything works, and with a bit of nurturing, it could be the crown jewel of any schedule.
That’s part of the reason why fans are not giving up the fight to keep the show alive.
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Magnum P.I. deserves to be on the air, and it’s hard not to wonder whether the reports that the network could be handing the 10 p.m. hour back to affiliates have anything to do with its poor treatment of Magnum P.I.
Without that 10 p.m. slot, NBC would prioritize The Voice and the countless shows from the Law & Order and One Chicago franchises.
There is a slight glimmer of hope that Magnum P.I. will land somewhere that will treat it with the respect it deserves.
The first four seasons hit the ad-supported Freevee earlier this year.
The Amazon-owned streamer has picked up countless series following cancellation, so there is that possibility they might step up to keep Magnum P.I. around for additional episodes.
Wouldn’t it be great for the show to land on streaming after being mishandled by two broadcast networks?
Magnum P.I. gets plenty of engagement on social media, and there are already campaigns for Freevee to step up to the plate, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on all of the players.
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For now, all we can do is hope we get to see the final episodes very early in the new year because holding two filmed and edited episodes makes very little sense.
These episodes have been finished for some time, so it’s not like they haven’t been filmed. It’s just impossible to wrap your head around any justification for making fans wait like this to say goodbye to their beloved show.
What are your thoughts on pushing the last two episodes of Magnum P.I. to 2024?
Do you think it’s another blunder in a long line of them?
Chat with me in the comments about it, Magnum P.I. Fanatics.
Magnum P.I. airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Remember, you can watch Magnum P.I. online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.