Magnum P.I. TV Series

Magnum P.I. TV Series
Magnum P.I. TV Series

Magnum P.I. TV Series Overview

The Magnum P.I. TV Series was a popular show starring actor Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum. Thomas Magnum is a fictional private investigator who lives in Oahu, Hawaii. The series lasted eight seasons from 1980 to 1988 on the CBS television network. The series ran for 162 episodes (see a list of episodes below).

Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson created the Magnum PI television series. Corey Allen and Ray Austin directed it.

The basic premise of the Magnum P.I. television series centers around a Former Naval Intelligence officer, Thomas Magnum. Initially, he resigned his Navy commission to become a private investigator on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Filming Locations

The series is filmed in Hawaii in numerous beautiful locations. For example, the crew filmed many scenes at the fictional Robin Masters estate, “Robin’s Nest.” In addition, the supporting cast is top-notch, including his buddies T.C. and Rick, who are always there to help him on a case, though they never miss an opportunity to give him a hard time. The scripting is always interesting, funny, and witty.

The series consistently ranked in the top twenty U.S. television programs during the first five years. The series was originally broadcast in the United States. Undoubtedly, the show inspired many people to become private investigators.

Most of Thomas’s actions fail to meet the approval of Higgins, the servant to Robin Master’s estate where Thomas lives. Indeed, the interactions and witty banter between the two characters are part of the show’s main appeal.

Magnum P.I. TV Series – List of Cast Members

The main cast consists of the following:

  • Tom Selleck – Thomas Magnum
  • Roger E. Mosley – Theodore Calvin, more commonly known as T.C.
  • Larry Manetti – Orville Wright, more commonly known as Rick
  • John Hillerman – Jonathan Higgins, usually just Higgins

In addition, there were many recurring characters. Plus, many well-known actors and actresses made guest appearances in the series. For example, Frank Sinatra, Sharon Stone, Ted Danson, and Carol Burnett. Of particular note were crossovers and tie-ins from other detective shows, including:

  • Angela Landsbury from Murder She Wrote
  • Gerald McRaney and Jameson Parker as Rick and A. J. from Simon & Simon

Magnum P.I. TV Series Episodes

The television season episodes chronicle the private investigation efforts of Thomas and his colleagues. The private detective show had the right balance of exciting plot, mystery action sequences, and humor.

Season 1

In the first season, Magnum worked as a security consultant for the wealthy Robin Masters, who owned a luxurious estate on the island. Living in the estate’s guest house, Magnum had access to the estate’s resources and vehicles, including the iconic red Ferrari. Also, a significant character in the first season was Jonathan Higgins, the strict and proper British estate caretaker with a love-hate relationship with Magnum. Often, Higgins clashed with Magnum’s laid-back approach but occasionally assisted him in investigations.

The first season has 18 episodes available to watch on Amazon Video.

  • S1 E1 – Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii – Part 1 – In the series premiere, Thomas works to clear the name of one of his friends from the Navy.
  • S1 E2 – Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii – Part 2 – In the second part of this two-part episode, Magnum’s efforts to investigate his friend’s death lead to problems with drug dealers.
  • S1 E3 – China Doll – Next, Thomas has to protect an ancient vase from a secret society.
  • S1 E4 – Thank Heaven for Little Girls, and Big Ones Too – A teacher goes missing.
  • S1 E5 – No Need to Know – A general must hide at the Robin Master’s estate during a high-profile trial.
  • S1 E6 – Skin Deep – A beautiful actress commits suicide, but things are not as they seem.
  • S1 E7 – Never Again, Never Again – In episode seven, a woman claims that a group of Nazis kidnapped her husband.
  • S1 E8 – The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii – A group of gangsters wants to steal a dog from a local socialite.
  • S1 E9 – Missing in Action – Thomas works to locate an MIA Marine.
  • S1 E10 – Lest We Forget – Thomas has just 24 hours to search for someone missing for 40 years.
  • S1 E11 – The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club – A Hawaiian man places a curse on the King Kamehameha Club.
  • S1 E12 – Thicker Than Blood – T.C. gets arrested for smuggling a man onto the island.
  • S1 E13 – All Roads Lead to Floyd – Magnum gets hired to find a small-time thief.
  • S1 E14 – Adelaide – A job to protect a prize horse.
  • S1 E15 – Don’t Say Goodbye – Next, A blind woman needs to pay off someone who is blackmailing her.
  • S1 E16 – The Black Orchid – A new case involving a rich woman.
  • S1 E17 – J. “Digger” Doyle – A new security expert gets assigned to the estate.
  • S1 E18 – Beauty Knows No Pain – Thomas must locate a woman’s missing fiance in the season finale.

Season 2

In the second season of “Magnum P.I.,” which likely aired around 1981-1982, the show continued to follow the adventures of Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living in Hawaii. Throughout the season, Magnum took on various cases, ranging from missing persons and thefts to murders and international espionage. Often, he found himself in dangerous situations but relied on his wit, charm, and resourcefulness to solve the mysteries and catch the culprits. As usual, his fellow Vietnam War veterans, close friends Rick and T.C., and the estate’s caretaker, Higgins, provide assistance and comedic relief.

The second season explored Magnum’s past as a Navy SEAL and occasionally delved into his military experiences. Also, the second season looks deeper into Magnum’s complex relationships, particularly his on-again, off-again romance with the British estate caretaker, Higgins.

The show’s second season continued to blend action, humor, and drama, capturing the essence of Magnum’s character as a charismatic and skilled investigator. The episodes often featured picturesque Hawaiian locations, high-stakes scenarios, and a touch of Magnum’s signature Hawaiian shirts and Detroit Tigers baseball cap.

Some say the second season was more action-packed, dramatic, and funny than the first. Next, here’s a list of the 22 episodes in season two:

  • S2 E19 – Billy Joe Bob
  • S2 E20 – Dead Man’s Channel
  • S2 E21 – The Woman on the Beach
  • S2 E22 – From Moscow to Maui
  • S2 E23 – Memories Are Forever (1)
  • S2 E24 – Memories Are Forever (2)
  • S2 E25 – Tropical Madness
  • S2 E26 – Wave Goodbye
  • S2 E27 – Mad Buck Gibson
  • S2 E28 – The Taking of Dick McWilliams
  • S2 E29 – The Sixth Position
  • S2 E30 – Ghost Writer
  • S2 E31 – The Jororo Kill
  • S2 E32 – Computer Date
  • S2 E33 – Try to Remember
  • S2 E34 – Italian Ice
  • S2 E35 – One More Summer
  • S2 E36 – Texas Lightning
  • S2 E37 – Double Jeopardy
  • S2 E38 – The Last Page
  • S2 E39 – The Elmo Ziller Story
  • S2 E40 – Three Minus Two

Season 3

  • S3 E1 – Did You See the Sunrise? (1)
  • S3 E2 – Did You See the Sunrise? (2)
  • S3 E3 – Ki’i’s Don’t Lie (1)
  • S3 E4 – The Eighth Part of the Village
  • S3 E5 – Past Tense
  • S3 E6 – Black on White
  • S3 E7 – Flashback
  • S3 E8 – Foiled Again
  • S3 E9 – Mr. White Death
  • S3 E10 – Mixed Doubles
  • S3 E11 – Almost Home
  • S3 E12 – Heal Thyself
  • S3 E13 – Of Sound Mind
  • S3 E14 – The Arrow That is Not Aimed
  • S3 E15 – Basket Case
  • S3 E16 – Birdman of Budapest
  • S3 E17 – I Do?
  • S3 E18 – Forty Years from Sand Island
  • S3 E19 – Legacy from a Friend
  • S3 E20 – Two Birds of a Feather
  • S3 E21 – …By Its Cover
  • S3 E22 – The Big Blow
  • S3 E23 – Faith and Begorrah

Ratings and Reviews

The series has a rating of 5.1 out of 10 stars on IMDB, 8.7 out of 10 on IMDB, and 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. 88% of Google Users like the show.

Additional Facts

Tom Selleck won an Emmy in 1984 and a Golden Globe Award in 1985 for his portrayal of Thomas Magnum. In addition, John Hillerman won a well-deserved Golden Globe Award in 1982 and an Emmy in 1987 for his role as Higgins. Plus, both actors received several nominations between 1982 and 1988.

More Information

For more information about the series, the cast, and individual episodes, visit the Magnum P.I. Wikipedia page. Also, visit the official website for the 2018 reboot of the series.

If you like this show, check out other detective TV series.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at
magnum-pi Magnum P.I. TV Series Overview The Magnum P.I. TV Series was a popular show starring actor Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum. Thomas Magnum is a fictional private investigator who lives in Oahu, Hawaii. The series lasted eight seasons from 1980 to 1988 on the CBS television...


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