Thursday, December 11, 1980: 'Magnum, p.i.' premiered.

"Within 3 weeks after your show goes on the air," actor Tom Selleck revealed, "your whole life changes very fast. It's an enormous adjustment."

Of the series, producer Rick Dumm remarked, "If Hawaii Five-O lasted for 10 years, there's no reason that we shouldn't be good enough for at least 5."

'Magnum, p.i.' lasted 8 seasons. "In hindsight," Tom observed, "I looked like I had a crystal ball ending the series when I did."

Co-star Larry Manetti acknowledged, "When I heard that Tom Selleck was going to be in Magnum, that Don Bellasario was going to create and produce it, and that they were going to film in Hawaii, I knew it would be a hit."

"A show becomes a big hit because it is dynamically different," producer Norman Lear pointed out. "But the networks are afraid of different. They want carbon-copy television."

Tom Selleck won Best Acting at the Emmy Awards in 1984. John Hillerman won Best Supporting in 1987. Magnum's target audience comprised 56% females. Ladies' Home Journal readers voted Tom the sexiest man in America in 1986. At the same time, TV-Q ranked Tom the 2nd most popular star on television.

"Doing the lead in an hour dramatic series," Tom conceded, "is one of the best jobs in television." However he argued, "I also don't think it's very healthy for you as an actor, because you get into a private little cocoon where you really aren't out there observing life, and I think that would affect your ability to interpret scripts and really understand what an audience might like to see you in."

He made the observation, "It’s more important what's perceived than what's true in this business."

"I've learned about the perception of movie hits and misses," Tom explained. "When it comes to my pictures, it's not what's real that counts, but what is perceived. The perception was that my career in pictures was a bust. But I was baffled because my stock kept going up with filmmakers. I kept getting better offers with better directors and more money with each movie. It was always a case of perception versus reality."

Of acting, Tom shared, "The real test for an actor is whether you can sustain, career-wise....For me, acting is an act of confidence. It takes a lot of confidence, and maybe a bit of arrogance, to think you can get up and whatever you're going to do, or react to, is enough to entertain people."

Being in Hawaii, Tom confessed, "I've been sheltered from a lot of the stuff that goes on in the mainland. It's great to be chosen favorite this or that." But, he countered, "What happens when you're not at the top of the opinion polls?" He told McCall's magazine, "I shouldn’t be on every magazine cover."

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