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‘It was a shock,’ says Jay Hernandez of the unexpected cancellation of ‘Magnum P.I.,’ which will return in February.

Among all the dangers that private investigator Thomas Magnum faced, cancellation had the potential to be the most lethal.

Fortunately for fans, NBC intervened and rescued “Magnum P.I.,” a remake of the 1980s Hawaiian crime-fighting action series starring Tom Selleck. The reboot, led by Jay Hernandez, ran for four seasons on CBS before being cancelled in May. It won USA TODAY’s 25th annual Save Our Shows poll, with nearly half of nearly 70,000 votes (49%) pleading for “Magnum” to return.

NBC has ordered a 20-episode fifth season, which will premiere on February 19 (Sundays at 9 EST/) and will be split into two parts.

Hernandez, 44, told the Television Critics Association on Sunday that the show’s cancellation completely surprised him.

“It was surprising that the show was going to be cancelled in the first place…and then even more surprised that it found another home,” he said. “It’s such a rare occurrence, and seeing the things that were happening on social media, billboards, and petitions, as well as seeing the amount of support that the show was receiving from the audience, was humbling to me. I kind of put my head down, we do our work, and it’s easy to lose sight of people and the impact that the show has.”

Eric Guggenheim, the series’ executive producer, said he began looking for a new home “within minutes” of learning of the cancellation.

“NBC stepped in immediately,” he said, noting that the series is owned by NBC’s sibling Universal Studios. “We were in limbo for about four to six weeks, discussing with NBC how to keep the show and how we would move forward.”

Magnum and Juliet Higgins (Perdita Weeks) kissed at the end of Season 4. The upcoming season follows the two as they develop their relationship in episodes that Guggenheim claims are steamier than those that aired on CBS.

“I believe that would have happened regardless, just once we put them together,” he explained. “But it’s undeniably sexier this season. It has a more romantic feel to it. It has a more emotional tone.”

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