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Why is Magnum PI canceled again?

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NBC has made the decision to cancel Magnum PI. There are 10 episodes to air still, and they will air eventually. But why is the series canceled?

There is some bad news for Magnum PI fans. Back in June, NBC decided to cancel the series. Season 5B will still air, but those 10 episodes are going to be the last of the series.

Why would NBC cancel something that it had only saved a year ago? Were the linear ratings really that bad? Well, the decision came just ahead of the cast options expiring, which came at a rocky time for the networks.

There was too much unknown for Magnum PI

The linear ratings weren’t great, but it doesn’t look like they were the reason NBC canceled the show. In fact, NBC admitted that scheduling wasn’t great for Season 5A and wanted to do better for Season 5B. Now it doesn’t really get the chance.

So, what’s the reason? Well, cast options were going to expire on June 30. That was the same time as the last day of SAG-AFTRA negotiations came to an end. Nobody knew how those negotiations would go and if they would lead to strike action, and NBC didn’t want to take a risk.

There’s already the writers strike pushing production back. More people striking leads to more delays. And that would have also had an effect on negotiating cast options. So, rather that go into the unknown, NBC opted to cancel the series and let the actors deal with finding new projects after all negotiations had come to an end.

It is disappointing. The worst part is that the decision came so late that there’s no way another network is going to save it. The cast options have expired now, so actors will start looking for other work and may not be available if the show is saved. Networks aren’t going to take that risk.

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What did you think of NBC’s decision? What do you hope to see in Magnum PI Season 5B? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Magnum PI* is available to stream on Peacock in the U.S. and on the CTV App in Canada.