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Tom Selleck writes in his new memoir “You Never Know” (via Business Insider) that he personally gave the crew of “Magnum P.I.” bonuses for $1,000 when the studio refused to during contract negotiations for the CBS series’ eighth and final season. Selleck headlined “Magnum P.I.” in the title role for 162 episodes between 1980 and 1988, becoming one of the decade’s most iconic television stars. The actor admits in his memoir that he debated whether or not to continue the show for an eighth run because “I didn’t want anyone to think that last season was just a ploy to get more money.”

During contract negotiations, Selleck writes that he asked the studio to give the crew $1,000 bonuses as long as “Magnum P.I.” Season 8 came in under budget and on time. According to Selleck, the studio “responded that they could not under any circumstances talk about crew bonuses, that it would set a dangerous precedent.”

“They always invoked precedent when you had an original thought beyond their contractual boilerplate,” Selleck adds. “Honestly, that pissed me off.”

Selleck decided to take matters into his own hands and found a loophole to get his crew the bonuses they deserved by ensuring the studio gave him a “substantial” personal bonus for the final season. The actor worked closely with his agent Bettye McCart and his lawyer Skip Brittenham to get the deal just right so that Sellek would be able to cut the crew $1,000 checks from his own bonus.

“I called Skip and Bettye and told them to tell Universal — not ask them tell them — to issue thousand-dollar checks to every regular member of our ‘Magnum’ company in both Hawaii and L.A.,” Selleck writes about once his bonus deal with signed, “And that since it was coming out of my bonus money, there was no precedent involved.”

“When the checks came out, I got a picture from our L.A. crew standing on a bleacher with big smiles on their faces,” the actor adds. “In front of them was a very big oversized check for a thousand dollars. The caption below read, ‘Thanks, Tom. What a ‘grand’ gesture.’ That made me happy.”

“Magnum P.I.” ended in 1988, but the franchise was rebooted in 2018 with Jay Hernandez in the title role. The reboot series aired for five seasons and 96 episodes between 2018 and 2024. Selleck, meanwhile, would find continued TV success as the star of CBS’ police procedural “Blue Bloods,” which is wrapping up this fall after 14 seasons and nearly 300 episodes.

Selleck recently told CBS News that he is hoping the network “comes to their senses” and un-cancels “Blue Bloods,” adding: “We’re the third-highest scripted show in all of broadcast. We’re winning the night. All the cast wants to come back. And I can tell you this: we aren’t sliding off down a cliff. We’re doing good shows, and still holding our place.”

Selleck’s memoir “You Never Know” is now available for purchase.



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