Why CBS Killed the Comma for Its ‘Magnum PI’ Reboot

“There’s a little science behind it,” CBS Entertainment chief Kelly Kahl says

Last Updated: May 16, 2018 @ 7:25 AM

CBS’ new “Magnum P.I.” is a reboot of 1980s series “Magnum, P.I.” There are two distinct differences in this version: 1) A goatee instead of a mustache for the titular character, and 2) No comma in the title.

CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl explained both decisions Wednesday morning during the network’s annual pre-upfront breakfast with reporters.

“We debated the ‘Magnum’ thing for quite a bit, believe it or not,” Kahl said about the latter. “There was a comma before, we’re taking the comma out this time to streamline things.”

“I think there’s a little science behind it, actually,” he continued. “In the new world of searching, commas are not your friends.”

Perhaps that explains rival ABC’s issue with the one-and-done “Alex, Inc.” (It definitely does not.)

After the eggs benedict, the “Magnum” facial hair switcheroo served a little bit more as comic relief than sincere Q&A.

When asked by a reporter about how “rigorous” the debate was about if new star Jay Hernandez ought to copy former lead Tom Selleck’s trademark look, Kahl came up with the following:

“It’s a goatee, so it’s… half-mustache,” he said. “Thom [Sherman, a senior vice president] and I dictated that he have a goatee.”