Magnum PI interview: Peter M. Lenkov on Tim Kang’s character, possible crossovers

Magnum PIThe second episode of Magnum PI is coming onto CBS come Monday night, and with that, you’re going to get more of what you saw in the premiere — action, personal relationships, fun, and a chance to build momentum on the pilot. You will also see a brief Hawaii Five-0 crossover with Taylor Wily appearing, and moving forward, you will also see The Mentalist alum Tim Kang on board as Detective Gordon Katsumoto, a character who will bring more of an official police presence to the series.

In the second part of our interview with executive producer Peter M. Lenkov (read the first part of our interview focused on Hawaii Five-0 over at this link) discusses possible crossovers in the future, Kang’s character, and the goal for the upcoming episodes this season.

CarterMatt – You have three different shows on TV this fall with Magnum PI on the air. Now that you’ve been doing this for a while, is the workload what you’ve expected it to be?

Peter M. Lenkov – I’m good with time management, but it’s pretty much what I’ve expected in terms of the workload.

Are you already thinking about getting a back nine order for Magnum beyond the initial thirteen?

I’m not even thinking about. It’s basically a triangle just trying to get done whatever needs to be done and then thinking about that down the road. At some point, we’ll start thinking about that because we’re breaking our thirteenth episode right now, but I really haven’t considered when that will come or what’s going to happen.

Usually, they tell you after the first couple of episodes have aired.

After all of these years of showrunning, has it made it easier for you to just be in the moment than think about what a network is going to do two or three weeks in the future?

I definitely do not worry about it as much as I did when I first started doing the job. You eventually start to realize that you can’t control what the decisions are going to be. The only thing that you can control is the work, so I try to do the best job with whatever the decisions are. I’ve learned to understand that; I always thought that I could control it as all people in this position want. They want to be able to control everything, but it’s the one thing that I do not have a say in.

I’ve been a fan of Tim Kang for a long time, so I was super-excited to see that you had brought him on board here. What can you say about his character?

He’s a really good cop. Unlike Magnum, who is sort of anything-goes, he’s more by the book. He’s really smart, and probably the smartest guy in the room. He looks down on someone like a private investigator because those people break the rules.

But, it’s interesting because he’s got these great, stoic responses to the things that Magnum does. There’s a lot of humor there in his body language and his looks. They just make a great team.

Through this first run of thirteen, are you looking to strike some of the same balance between action and character stories that we get on your other shows?

We really want to flesh out the characters. There is a lot of plotting going on, but everything is really about what the characters are doing in each episode and how it educates the audience to who they are, why they’re on the island, and why they do what they do. That really is the focus with every episode.

Are you planning a larger crossover later this year between Magnum and Five-0?

That’s the plan. I’m hoping we can do it.

So it would not be in the first thirteen episodes?


The idea of this may probably make heads explode and be impossible, but have you thought about doing a three-way crossover with these shows and MacGyver? Is that something even logistically possible?

I think my line producers would kill me (laughs). I think it would have to be the last script I do before my retirement because I think they’d want to shoot me. It’s difficult because of the time difference — if it was between LA and Hawaii, I think we’d have a fighting chance. (MacGyver films in Atlanta.)

Also, I’d want to ship the gang from MacGyver over to Hawaii and the gang from Hawaii over to Atlanta in order to do it right. I don’t want to do one character. It’s just hard.

I mean, it’d be amazing, and maybe there’s a way we can do it someday, but right now it’s definitely not in the plans.

Magnum PI episode 2 airs on CBS Monday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. To preview that further, visit the link here! Thanks to Peter for his time and sharing some details with us about the show.

Meanwhile, remember that you can like CarterMatt on Facebook in the event you want some other news and information when it comes to the series. Its a great way to stay up to date with all of our scoop on the show and connect with other fans of the series. (Photo: CBS.)

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