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Magnum PI gets a TV reboot with a twist

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Jay Hernandez, left, and Perdita Weeks participate in the "Magnum P.I." panel during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Magnum PI is getting a television reboot with Latino actor Jay Hernandez taking on the role of Thomas Magnum and Jonathan Higgins' character turning female with Perdita Weeks on the cast.

Executive producer Peter Lenkov said the CBS reboot will keep the spirit of the original 1980s hit crime series that starred the famously moustached Tom Selleck, while making it less of a boys' club.

"Thomas Magnum lived off of his charm - off of the good graces of his friends giving favours. He was also somebody who didn't use a gun [and] was the underdog in most of the situations he went into," Lenkov said on Sunday.

"We didn't want to do a clone of Tom Selleck, we just wanted to find the essence of what he brought to that character, which was charm."

Lenkov said he's confident Hernandez can deliver this in the new series, which will pay homage to Selleck's moustache.

"We're going to do things that are going to satisfy [the original audience] - make them happy. We're doing a homage to the 'stache," Lenkov said of the series which is due out in September in the US.

Having Weeks play the role of Higgins was another way they are updating the show.

"I thought it was a boys' club," Lenkov said of the original.

"If you're going to do it in 2018, you need a strong female lead."

Lenkov said he wanted to play with the "essence" of Magnum and Higgins butting heads on the surface, being "combative -- but in a fun way".

"I felt I could get more mileage out of a female character in the conflict role," he admitted, saying he didn't want to change the brotherhood of the other characters, such as Rick and TC (played by Zachary Knighton and Stephen Hill, respectively).

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