Interview: Magnum PI, Hawaii Five-0, and MacGyver EP Peter M. Lenkov on PaleyFest, getting cast together

Magnum PIOn Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time, there’s a good chance that you’re going to want to be at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Why? This is the site of PaleyFest and a special panel featuring top talent from Hawaii Five-0, Magnum PIand MacGyverAs of right now Alex O’Loughlin, Lucas Till, Jay Hernandez, Tristin Mays, Meredith Eaton, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Tim Kang, and Amy Hill are among the actors planning to attend, and they will be joined by the man who oversees all of them in Peter M. Lenkov. This is his own first experience at PaleyFest after doing Comic-Con and plenty of other panels over the years.

Want another reason to get excited about this event, which you can buy tickets for over here? CarterMatt recently spoke with Lenkov about taking part, plus also the recent renewal of Magnum PI and his hopes for more of Five-0 and MacGyver moving forward. (If you want to see our video discussion on the Magnum PI renewal, you can check that out below! For more great video coverage, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube.)

Be sure to come back on Thursday for part 2 of our interview, which is focused on all things MacGyver in the midst of some exciting times for the show.

CarterMatt – Have you had the cast for all three shows before in the same place like this?

Peter Lenkov – No. It’s sort of like The Avengers. I know they’re all excited to meet each other.

I’ve joked with you in the past about doing a three-way crossover with all of these shows — this is as close as it’s going to get, I guess.

I think so (laughs). It’s hard with them being so far apart. It’s pretty wild. MacGyver is probably going to wrap pretty close to that day and Five-0 is still going to be in production. Getting them out there is difficult — Magnum just wrapped, so it’s a little easier to get those actors.

As a showrunner and as a writer, do you ever get nervous doing these sort of panel events? I know being in front of all of these people is a little bit of a different experience for you than for some of the actors.

You know what? The whole reason you choose to be a writer is so you don’t have to do public speaking or be in front of anybody. I sort of liked that until I got to a place where I had no choice but to be in front of people for some of these events like Comic-Con. The first few times, for sure, it’s incredibly nerve-wrecking. I think now, I’ve had so many good experiences doing it that I remind myself that the audience is there to see the actors. They’re not really there to see me. Probably, in this situation, the less I say the better — the same thing with Comic-Con. They’re there to see the actors. It’s easier for me to do those panels than it is for them.

Is this the biggest chance for fans of these shows to really get together as a community, or is that Sunset on the Beach (the annual Hawaii Five-0 event that takes place around the start of the season, which also included Magnum PI this year)?

When we did Magnum and Five-0 [at Sunset on the Beach], it was amazing. There are a lot of people who’ve had that Five-0 experience on Sunset on the Beach over the years, and I think they were just curious to see the Magnum cast and what the show would look like before anyone else.

I think with this, you’re getting to see all of those actors in one place at one time, and in LA — they’re usually in Atlanta (where MacGyver shoots) or Hawaii. I think even if I was a fan of just one of the shows, it’s just a bonus to see the other actors.

You have a lot of cool stuff cooked up for this, right?

There’s definitely a lot of stuff. We don’t have an exact agenda yet, I think if you’re a fan of the shows or any of the actors, I think it’s going to be a fun day.

Congratulations on Magnum PI being renewed — I saw the video of everyone finding out about it at once, and I wish all the renewals were handled like that. Were you surprised and thrilled it came in so early?

We had our wrap party on Saturday in Hawaii. When we’ve had some for Hawaii Five-0, we never really get an early renewal. It’s weird to be at a wrap party with everybody knowing that you’re coming back, rather than a wrap party where nobody is sure that they’re coming back. It was a surprise to everybody — it made getting to the end of the season that much more fun, because everyone wanted to end strong, knowing they were coming back. Usually if you don’t know, the energy starts to dissipate, but knowing that you’re coming back added a lot of energy to everyone to finish off the season strong.

Have you noticed a groundswell of support with Magnum, where there are more and more viewers getting on board? I feel like the show keeps getting stronger and [‘Murder is Never Quiet’] is one of my favorite ones you’ve done.

It’s funny — the studio always says ‘it takes a while for an audience to find a show’ and I think the same is true for us. It takes us a bit to find a show and see what works, and I think for us we feel every show gets better and stronger. People really seem to really respond to the core characters; it feels like they’ve been on the air longer than they have. You know who they are and what their connection to each other is.

I think we honesty get better and we have a good rhythm coming into the past last few episodes.

Are you feeling good that we’re going to be seeing renewals for Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver?

I am. I’m thinking as if they’re coming back.

Want to preview the next new Magnum PI episode?

You can do that now over at the link here! Also, let us know in the comments if you’re planning to attend PaleyFest this year. Remember you can pick up tickets for the event at the link here. (Photo: CBS)


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