Episode #149 (7.22) Limbo, where Magnum was to be shot dead by mobsters was to be the CBS series finale on 15 April 1987. When the show's fans heard this, there was a huge public outcry and the "shot dead" plotline was nixed by the producers. Magnum was indeed shot by mobsters in this episode. Magnum returned for an unprecedented 8th season on CBS, filming 12 more episodes.
On his navy uniform, one can see the blue and white ribbon for the navy cross, as well as the naval special warfare insignia. This means he earned the nation's second highest award for naval personnel and was a SEAL.
One of the reasons for this series being set in Hawaii is that CBS did not want to close its Hawaii production offices when Hawaii Five-0 (1968) ceased production in 1980. This show started production that same year and contains occasional references to Steve McGarrett and "Hawaii Five-O", although McGarrett was never shown.
The design shown during the closing credits comes from Magnum's ring.
In the first episode, Rick was owner of a club called 'Rick's Cafe Americain', and played a Humphrey Bogart wannabe. After's the Cafe's demise, Rick became manager of the King Kamehameha Club. T C always referred to Higgins as "Higgy Baby".
This drama series was one of the highest rated shows on Thursday nights until the debut of The Cosby Show sitcom. The sitcom eventually became the #1 show on the air and routinely out-rated Magnum.
Tom Selleck is a big Detroit Tigers baseball fan. Several episodes feature references to the Tigers. When they won the World Series during the run of the show, tentative plans were made to film an episode in the Detroit area but those plans were scrapped.
When Frank Sinatra agreed to do a guest part on the show, producers sent Sinatra a list of story ideas they were considering and Sinatra chose the idea he wanted to do. The story he chose was called "Laura" and it ran during the seventh season.
Producers eventually wanted Orson Welles to be revealed as Robin Masters, but he died before the series ended its run.
Magnum's full name was Lieutenant Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV, USN (the two gold stripes on the shoulder-boards of his dress whites indicate he was a Lieutenant, if he was a commander he would have three stripes). His father, Commander Thomas Sullivan Magnum III, USN, was a Naval aviator killed in Korea, and is seen in flashbacks (played by Robert Pine). His grandfather, Captain Thomas Sullivan Magnum Jr, USN, (played by Howard Duff), is seen in the 8th season episode "Resolutions." His great-grandfather, Thomas Sullivan Magnum, is seen in a home movie watched by Magnum and his nephew in the 6th season episode "Going Home."
Robert Pine, who played Magnum's father in flashbacks attended Ohio Wesleyan University. Tom Selleck's father in real life also attended Ohio Wesleyan University.
Higgins was actually a baronet, a British hereditary noble. He was engaged to a countess, but she broke it off when he refused to renounce his title; she didn't want to take a step down in the heraldic list. When Robin bought a castle in England and set the crew to get things set up, Higgins refused to see his father (they were estranged over Higgins' dismissal from Sandhurst), so Magnum 'kidnapped' Higgins and drove him to the family estate, where he was embraced by his father, also played by John Hillerman.
Higgins used two Dobermans to guard the estate. The dogs were named Zeus and Apollo and also referred to as "the lads".
The episode "Echoes of the Mind" (which guest-starred Sharon Stone) opens with the New American Orchestra's version of the Blade Runner theme on the soundtrack. At the time, this was the only version of the "Blade Runner" theme legally available.
Higgins has four illegitimate siblings, all sharing the same father but different mothers: Father Paddy McGuinness, an Irish priest; Soo Ling, a half-Chinese sister; Elmo Ziller, a rodeo owner from Texas; and Don Louis Mongueo, a royal heir to the throne of Costa De Rosa in South America.
Higgin's father, Albert Stanley Higgins, was played by Anthony LaPaglia in #6.19, "Who is Don Louis, and Why Is He Doing These Terrible Things to Me?", which aired in 1986.
Soon after Magnum PI ended, there was some interest on Universal's part on doing a theatrical film with the original cast, and a script was written by Tom Clancy dealing with Magnum returning to the Navy and his subsequent adventures. However, Universal ultimately felt that the original cast and Clancy's script would not be a big enough draw at the box-office and passed.
While Higgins was English and served in World War II, John Hillerman who played him was a native Texan and just a child at the time of the war.
Magnum was a Vietnam War Veteran. At the time the series began, the war and it's aftermath was still very much a controversial issue. Magnum (along with TC and Rick) have been cited as among the first positive portrayals of Vietnam Veterans on a Network TV series.
Throughout the series, it was made clear that TC abstained from drinking alcohol. Oddly enough, a scene of him in the pilot raising a bottle of beer was shown for many seasons during the opening credits.
Just prior to Magnum, Tom Selleck played a recurring role on The Rockford Files. Producers had wanted to do an episode of Magnum in which James Garner guest starred as Jim Rockford, but were unable to due to rights issues.
The series featured crossover episodes with Simon and Simon and Murder, She Wrote. A planned crossover with The Equalizer was never finalized.
The episodes featuring visiting St Louis Detective Luther Gillis were unsuccessful attempts to sell a new TV series based on the character.
A few episodes were written (or re-written) to focus mainly around one or more of the show's secondary characters. This was done to accommodate Tom Selleck, who as the result of being cast in some feature films, was at times unavailable to film full episodes.
Higgins's full name is Jonathan Quayle Higgins III.
Magnum's date of birth is January 5, 1946.
TC's initials stood for Theodore Calvin.
During the run of the series (and shortly after), John Hillerman appeared in a series of ads for Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts, essentially playing the role of Higgins.
Many of the s how's recurring cast members, notably Gillian Dobb, Kathleen Lloyd, Jeff McKay, Lance DeGault and Elisha Cook, Jr originally guest starred on the show playing different characters.
Larry Manetti was the only regular cast member without a mustache.