Magnum PI and Quantum Leap don’t have much in common. In one of them, a mustachioed private eye races through Hawaii in a Ferrari, and in another, the protagonist “jumps” to other times in the body of another person. But for a short time, the shows almost came together in a crossover. At a press event in 1992, an NBC executive announced that Dr. Sam Beckett would “jump” into Thomas Magnum. Bob Meyer, an NBC spokesperson, backed off, stating, “We hope. It’s been postponed. We don’t have an answer.” In 1992, Tom Selleck’s publicist hammered the final nail in the coffin: “That’s not true” (via electronic warfare).
Although the proposed crossover never came to fruition, it does exist. grainy screen test frames mustachioed Scott Bakula portraying Magnum in the best possible way. In a video courtesy of the Quantum Leap convention, Bakula can be seen wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Selleck’s signature smile.
With the Magnum P.I. and Quantum Leap reboots set to air simultaneously this fall, the stars have aligned for a potential crossover. Magnum P.I. first returned to television in 2018, and after its cancellation by CBS, NBC stepped in to save the series starring Jay Hernandez (via Term). Meanwhile, the Raymond Lee reboot of Quantum Leap is slated to premiere on NBC on September 19. It’s all fan speculation at this point – but with the same network hosting both series and more mainstream crossover events on network TV. than ever, fans were finally able to see the inter-series “jump” thirty years later.