He'll live forever in fans' minds as the sexy investigator from the hit show, "Magnum, P.I.," but award-winning actor Tom Selleck is returning to CBS this Sunday night in serious dramatic role in the two-part mini-series "Scott Turow's Reversible Errors."
In it, Arthur Raven (William H. Macy) is a successful corporate lawyer whose world is turned upside-down when he is assigned to draft the final appeal of a potentially innocent inmate nearing his execution date. Selleck plays a police detective who helped sentence a man to death row for three murders he may not have committed.
"He's a pretty rough guy," Selleck tells co-anchor Rene Syler, explaining his character. "He's a very good cop, but he's not quite as good at relationships."
To prepare for his role, Selleck notes he did not read.
He says, "Movies are different than books. And I had a real take on the character from the script I read. And I thought the novel would confuse me. And Scott understood. He's a great guy."
Though reading the book can help fill out the background of the character's history, Selleck says, not reading the book also allows him the freedom to be creative.
He says, "I think it lets you kind of bring whatever -- I always call it your instrument. What you bring in relation to what you saw in the book. The trick is always not doing imitations of books or characters, but kind of capturing the spirit of the character. And I got it right away. So I thought the book would confuse me. I'll read the book now."
Next for Selleck is another TV movie, "Ike" airing on A&E. Selleck says, "I'm very proud of it, as I am 'Reversible Errors.' It's about the 90 days leading up to D-Day. It really pays homage on Memorial Day to what Tom Brokaw called, 'The Greatest Generation.' It's real good."
Selleck says he is just happy to be working. Since he was seen on "Friends," Hollywood is trumpeting his comeback. "It's nice that people still want me to work," Selleck says, "Work's been great. I can't complain. If people want to call it a comeback, I couldn't mind."
When he is not on the screen, Selleck works on his avocado farm. "I'm just a family farmer," he says, pointing out he had a bad crop this year. "I'm the cheapest laborer I can hire and I'm out there. You know, I got a mortgage."
He says he is serious about that comment, but quickly points out everybody laughs when he says he's got a mortgage and is looking for more work to pay for the bad fruit.
"Scott Turow's Reversible Errors" airs this Sunday night on CBS at 9:00 p.m./ET, 8:00 p.m. Central.