The Watchman: Making ‘Magnum’ Their Own, FX Ventures to Oz, New Fox Comedy Pretty ‘Cool’

The fall season is here! Magnum P.I. starts on CBS Sept. 24. Stephen Hill plays T.C., and said he reached out to Roger E. Mosley, who played T.C. in the original series.

He told Mosley he would “pay homage” when he could to Mosley’s helicopter-driving henchman. At Comic-Con, Hill wore a beret, as Mosley at times did on Magnum.

At the TCA Summer Press Tour last month, Hill mentioned how Mosley instructed him to make the character his own. “He said, ‘Don’t worry about me,’ ” Hill said. “ ‘Higgins is a woman now. They’re not trying to do the same show. Make it your own.’ ”

Magnum, of course, shoots in Hawaii. “It’s beautiful, but it can be lonely,” Hill said. “At this point in my life, I actually like the loneliness.”

Mr. Inbetween starts on FX Sept. 25. Australian Scott Ryan stars in this unique series. Ryan made the film The Magician, a mockumentary about a hit man, in Australia back in 2005. The series is based on the film. Ryan plays a criminal for hire who’s balancing the responsibilities of fatherhood. Nash Edgerton directs the series, which was shot in Australia.

The Magician was critically lauded, and commercially ignored. Ryan came to the States to do a new film, and it fell through. He delivered pizzas and drove a cab.

“I lost the desire to make anything,” he said during TCA. “I figured I’d get a 9 to 5, do what everybody else does.”

Then FX called.

Ryan said he made The Magician for $3,000. He wrote, produced, acted and provided the catering. It’s a different story with Mr. Inbetween. “It was great to have other people to help,” he said. “It made it a lot easier.”

And The Cool Kids starts on Fox Sept. 28, leading out of Last Man Standing. Martin Mull, David Alan Grier, Vicki Lawrence and Leslie Jordan play high-energy senior citizens in an old folks’ home.

Mull, who just turned 75, refers to the project as “my gold watch” after a long career in entertainment. “To work with David and Leslie and Vicki and Charlie [Day, executive producer] on a thing that’s 20 minutes from my house,” he said, “it’s my thank you note for doing this for 50 years.”

Mull credits Day, of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, for having the knack “to find the right line to fit in the right place.”

Roles for guys his age, Mull said, are between him, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. “Steve is busy playing his banjo and Chevy doesn’t want to do it,” Mull said. “So let’s get Martin Mull.” 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.