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Tom Selleck Says He Gave ‘Magnum P.I.’ Crew $1,000 Bonuses After Studio Refused

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In his new memoir You Never Know, Tom Selleck reveals that he gave the Magnum P.I. crew $1,000 bonuses after the studio refused to do so during the show’s last season.

Selleck recalled that during that time, the show had “decreased our budget overages each year.” The actor explained that he asked for an eight-day schedule and that if the crew delivered their “biggest budget savings yet,” he wanted them to have a bonus.

“The studio said yes to the eight days. But they responded that they could not under any circumstances talk about crew bonuses, that it would set a dangerous precedent,” he recalled, adding that it “pissed” him off.

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Unable to get a bonus for the crew, Selleck used his leverage as the series’ star to ask for a bonus for himself. The studio agreed. “That really pissed me off. And I won’t tell you the amount, but it was substantial,” he wrote.

After closing the deal for Magnum P.I.‘s eight and final season, Selleck “chose not to consider the bonus my money. Now it was time to execute my plan.”

He called execs and told them to tell Universal to “issue thousand-dollar checks to every regular member of our Magnum company in both Hawaii and L.A.” Selleck added in the demand that since it’d be coming from his own bonus money, “there was no precedent involved.”

The studio, wanting to keep Selleck happy, complied.

“When the checks came out, I got a picture from our L.A. crew standing on a bleacher with big smiles on their faces,” he wrote. “The caption below read, ‘Thanks, Tom. what a ‘grand’ gesture.’ That made me happy.”

In the same chapter, Selleck shares that for the two-episode finale, “Resolutions,” he wrote a fake scene in which Magnum is killed off. He sent a tabloid a copy of it with a note attached: “Tom Selleck is an asshole! Here’s the last scene in their season finale. And Magnum dies. Selleck can kiss my ass!!”

The note was unsigned, and the tabloid didn’t bother to verify if the scene was real. It turned out to be a genius ploy to get ratings up, with Selleck keeping his plan a secret until now.

“True to their nature, the tabloid knew it was too good a story to pass up. They accidentally forgot to do any checking to verify it. And they published the story,” Selleck wrote. “You know what? It created an enormous appetite and curiosity to see our show. So I owe them my qualified thanks.”

Universal Television has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter‘s request for comment.

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