Expectations were high, when “Magnum P.I.” aired in a new time slot on a new network this past Sunday (Feb. 19), but audience response was disappointing.
“Magnum” moved to NBC on Sundays, with a double-dose two-episode launch. The Peacock network rescued the island-based show which ran for four seasons on CBS … then abruptly cancelled the show.
Simply stated, the highly-anticipated “Magnum” debut on NBC drew lower-than-expected ratings.
The first of two episodes drew 3.8 million viewers and a 0.3 rating in the demo.
The second logged 3.2 million viewers and a 0.3 rating.
The slightly good news? The second episode won the 9 p.m. hour. So numbers matter.
You remember, Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Juliet Higgins (Perdita Weeks) were smooching like young lovers, at the finale of season four last year.
Magnum and Higgins still are very much together during season five, sharing an intimate shower, hugging, and engaged in lovey-dovey banter while cruising on Magnum’s signature red Ferrari or settled in their Windward Oahu estate.
But mum’s the word, so far, so the chat’s not out of the bag yet. Their relationship is still hush-hush.
Hernandez remains one of the show’s producers, so he’s likely in the driver’s seat to help steer the storytelling. How and when he and Higgins will come clean will be an ongoing sideshow.
For now, they’re clearly an “item,” and it’s a big secret.
The question now is, they’re harboring an awkward shibai (Japanese for “lies” or, bull) and they’re afraid or confused about how and when they tell their colleagues that they’re in a relationship.
After all, both are investigators and professional and devoted to their jobs. A romantic alliance is not an easy task, no different from any office affair. Lips are sealed. Period. But gossip will emerge.
Alone, they share affection but are treading slowly and it makes sense that the episode when the revelation is made will highlight the fifth season.
Meanwhile, there’s a new sweetness in their unexpected relationship. Magnum and Higgins have a new normal with extreme pressure to only display their feelings privately. When they’re a coosome twosome.
There was a warm aw-shucks moment when he surprised her with dinner in the wine cellar.
They demonstrate their commitment to their jobs, and they go undercover to play lifesavers to help solve a mystery of a drowning death.
There are potential conflicts, challenges and changes to complicate their new roles as partners in life and in work
Immediately, Rick (Zachary Knighton) moves into the guest house, without earlier informing Higgins, and he’s a potential third wheel distraction (four, if Rick’s new infant daughter is included).
Higgins is often the thinker and the smart one in the equation, confessing there would be issues if Rick is on the premises.
So there’s a period of adjustment in the immediate future.
Further, there are other red flags:
- The uncertainty of the fare of Timothy Det. Gordon Katsumoto (Tim Kang), a police honcho in the four seasons. He has a successor, however temporary, in season five, so yep, he’ll soon do his soul-searching to decide his fate.
- The presence and purpose of Katsumoto’s replacement, Det. Chris Childs (Michael Rady), is somewhat shady with valid concerns: Is he a loyal peer or potential foe of Magnum and Higgins?
- The return of Jin Jeong (Bobby Lee), a comedic character now involved in offering $5,000 to purchase the innards of a storage slot, is a convenient diversion from the romance.
So: how will Rick (Zachary Knighton), Theodore TC Calvin (Stephen Hill) and “Kumu” Tuileta (Amy Hill) discover the under-wraps romance between Magnum and Higgins?
My bet’s on Kumu, who seems to know a lot of things a lot of times. …
And that’s Show Biz. …