MacGyver Reboot Update #56

The Season 2 Finale has aired two weeks ago, so no new episodes at the moment. Fans don’t have to be sad, though: Filming for Season 3 should start in July in Atlanta.

BtS photo of Episode 2×23: MacGyver + MacGyver (via Craig Nix)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Seasons 2 and 3 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)


What’s been happening lately?
Main production wrapped on March 24 and the Season 2 Finale aired on May 4. It’s been quiet on social media lately. Some of the cast and crew enjoyed holidays and birthday parties or celebrated sobriety milestones while others started working on new projects.

Sadly, there weren’t many BtS photos of the Extras and guest-stars for the S2 Finale Episode. Kevin Marshall Pinkney (Stand-In for Justin Hires) re-posted a BtS photo of the Stand-Ins of Season 2. Both Meredith Eaton and Justin Hires posted some more pictures of themselves with the main cast. Every now and then, cast or crew upload a never-seen-before BtS photo (e.g. Jake Alvarez), though it’s not always clear what episode it belongs to.

Lucas Till celebrating the birthday of his boss (via Peter Lenkov)

Lucas Till has been spending some time in LA since production wrapped. Together with cast mates Tristin Mays, George Eads and Executive Producer Peter Lenkov, he attended the Bad Ash Cigar Company Opening Party on April 21. (Bad Ash is run by Alan Cohen who worked on the Reboot as well.) He live-tweeted from the Paramount studio lot when the Season Finale aired, but also celebrated Peter Lenkov’s birthday with a giant steak on May 9. (Lenkov reposted a cropped version of the photo on May 15; stating that he misses his “third son”.)

Tomorrow, Lucas will attend a Q&A to celebrate the 10-year-anniversary of his movie Dance of the Dead, a zombie comedy filmed when he was 16.

Season 2 Ratings
There has been a slow, but steady loss of audience numbers nearing Summer. To freshen up your memory: Episode 2×22 (UFO + Area 51) pulled in 6.26 million live viewers, but lost in the important demo-rating and only got an 0.7 in the important demo group of 18-49 year-olds. Sadly, May 4 was a bad day for TV in general – after a difficult week overall with lower ratings: Basketball Games and sunny weather managed to impact the amount of people tuning in to regular TV. All shows struggled with a loss of ratings and audience numbers; the CBS shows included.

Episode 2×23: MacGyver + MacGyver (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

While Hawaii Five-0 lost about 800’000 viewers and 0.2 in ratings compared to the week before, the Season 2 Finale of MacGyver only lost about 150’000 viewers and 0.1 in demo. Still, the overall numbers by themselves didn’t look too well, since Episode 2×23 reached 6.10 million live viewers and an all-time-low rating of 0.6 in demo. Demo-ratings like these often leads to shows being cancelled or suffering budget-cuts, so lets hope CBS sees this as a one-time-deal and believes in Season 3 getting higher ratings again.

Back in September 2017, TV by the Numbers had predicted that CBS would most likely take over the No. 1 spot in both viewers and adults 18-49 on Friday. And yes, they had been right – although Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods again did better in the ratings than the Reboot. The Season 2 Finale included, Season 2 of MacGyver had an average demo-rating of 0.83 with 6.86 million live-viewers per episode. Looking at the Season 2 Premiere with 6.69 million live-viewers (and a demo of 0.8), the show didn’t lose too many viewers over the season, even surpassing 8 million live-viewers (with a demo of 1) around mid-season.

Season 1 vs Season 2 Audience Numbers (via DashboardOnFire)

It would have been nice if the show had ended with higher ratings, though – especially when considering the competing shows in the same timeslot were not as strong this season as they were in 2016/17 for Season 1. Also, the show could use some “safety-cushion” since competition will be stronger this Fall, so the ratings for Season 3 might be affected (see more about that further down).

When Limitless got cancelled by CBS in 2016 after only one season, it had ended with less than 6 million live-viewers, but a better demo-rating of 1.14. In general, it had also better ratings than the Reboot on average per episode (7.05 million live-viewers with 1.34 in demo). Of course, the Reboot has a well-known name and better marketing and franchise potential. Along with Lethal Weapon, it was one of the best-sold show for international markets at the Upfronts 2016. Also, the syndication potential might help to achieve a fourth season (since syndication needs 88 episodes nowadays), but after that, it might be fair game and risking cancellation (as happened with Scorpion this year).

Sneak Peeks and other Promo
Matt Carter published an interview with Meredith Eaton on May 3rd; asking several questions about the Season 2 Finale. Meredith was careful not to reveal too much about the up-coming plot twist, so I was a bit suprised when CBS released 3 Sneak Peeks; two of them spoiling a majority of the fans who hadn’t yet figured out who MacGyver Senior is. Entertainment Tonight shared another exclusive Sneak Peek, also with Mac and his father.

BtS photo of Episode 2×23: MacGyver + MacGyver (via Meredith Eaton)

Otherwise, there wasn’t much promo for a Season Finale; especially compared to the Season 1 Finale. I had hoped to get a new Interview with Lucas or Lenkov; e.g. a short overview of the season and what we can expect for the next one. In an interview with GQ, Henry Winkler talked about many topics, but also about the Reboot:

When they rebooted it, it was in my contract to be part of the series. I was supposed to be in name only, but I get along so well with the man who runs it, Peter Lenkov, that I go in and edit the show with him. We sit in the room and have a fabulous time together. It was picked up for a third season, so I’m doing nothing but saying thank you, thank you lord. A lot of shows never get to the third season. There’s an alchemy [to making a TV show] I don’t even get after all of these years. It’s a miracle! All you can do is the best that you can bring to the moment, that day, on the show. And everything else, you just have to let it melt into the cosmos. You have no control.

Season 3 News: Speculations
The Reboot has been renewed for a 3rd Season. The Premiere Date hasn’t been set yet, but it should be sometime in September. Shortly before the CBS Upfronts on May 16, CBS released the schedule for their Fall shows and revealed that the Reboot will stay in its old timeslot of Friday, 8pm. Unless we hear otherwise, I’m assuming it will be a direct Full Season Order of 22 episodes again.

Tristin Mays and Lucas Till at the Bad Ash Cigar Company Opening (via Alan Cohen)

We haven’t heard any new infos about the cast for next season, either. Justin Hires is attached to produce and star in Homecoming, a comedic movie he also wrote the script for. It looks like the project got delayed, so I’m not sure what this means for Justin’s involvement. If I remember correctly, the movie was supposed to film this summer, so I assumed Bozer might have reduced on-screen-time in the beginning of Season 3. Either the movie will be made next year, or Bozer might go on extended vacation – unless Justin is willing to juggle both projects by dropping out of playing one of the Homecoming lead roles.

Kate Bond’s character Jill was listed as recurring cast for Episode 2×23, which means she will probably be a recurring character for the show for next season. Due to the ending of the Season Finale, it seems necessary that Oversight (played by Tate Donovan) will return as a recurring character as well. (I would be disappointed if he just vanished again after Episode 3×01.)

In the Season Finale Episode, Matty offered Bozer’s girlfriend Leanna a job at Phoenix. Reign Edwards’ level of engagement may vary, depending if she’s a field agent or rather staying in the lab. Also, while Reign just finished her long run on The Bold and the Beautiful, she’s back for her “old” show Snowfall. Since that show only has 10 episodes per season and premieres in July as a Summer show, she could manage to be a regular cast member on the Reboot for the full Season.

Lucas Till and George Eads at the Bad Ash Cigar Company Opening (via Alan Cohen)

I’m not sure yet about the guest cast.  Jermaine Rivers will be back on the new season of The Gifted. Both Javicia Leslie (Jesse Colton) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Mama Colton) are attached to new TV shows this fall while Lance Gross (Billy Colton) will probably be working on his renewed show Star again. The Season Finale Episode implied that Billy expects Riley to make a decision that will have an impact on their relationship, but it’s not clear yet if that means Billy will be seen more often or completey fall out of the picture. There could be trouble in Paradise if Riley decides to say “No” to Billy’s offer to come working with the Coltons, after all.

I’m assuming we will see Riley’s parents (Michael Michele and Billy Baldwin) again in at least one episode. David Dastmalchian’s Murdoc is a likely bet and Michael Des Barres and his fans have been very vocal about wanting him being back for another episode.

Live-Tweeting for the Season Finale (via Peter Lenkov)

On May 2nd, a Portuguese news outlet did an interview with Diogo Morgado (who played Mac’s friend Carlos in Episode 2×21); “revealing” that he will come back as a recurring character next season. Diogo denied the statement, saying that there is a misquote in said interwiew and that nothing has been decided yet. Thinking about the plot twist in the Season Finale, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have MacGyver help Carlos re-building more homes in Puerto Rico in the Season 3 Premiere.

Peter Lenkov’s long-time dream project Magnum has been ordered to series by CBS; meaning that at the moment, he’s the showrunner for three shows (MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum) while co-producing another show (Salvation). Since both Magnum and H50 are being filmed in Hawaii, we’ll have to wait if that means he might temporarily move there to oversee things and if his involvement for the MacGyver Reboot will change if the work-load gets too much. Technically, editing work can be done anywhere with the right equipment, so maybe there will be no changes (besides seeing a bunch of Magnum BtS material on Lenkov’s Instagram).

Season 3 News: The Schedule
As mentioned above, Season 3 will air on Friday 8pm, followed by Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods as usual. Let’s take a look at the competition, which is stronger than last year and might have an impact on the ratings.

Friday 8pm schedule 2018/19 (via SpoilerTV)

Good News first: Similar to Season 2, Dynasty (CW) shouldn’t be a problem since its ratings are marginal (690’000 live-viewers with a demo-rating of 0.19).

Blindspot (NBC) also got the same timeslot again. It had about 3.3 million live-viewers this season with a demo of 0.62 so far (the Season Finale will air today). It lost in ratings since its last season and is down to 2.8 million live-viewers at the moment, but has a similar target audience age-wise. The ones that avidly watched Blindspot so far will probably stick to it. If they want a change in “drama scenery”, they might flock over to MacGyver (and vice versa).

The situation with Last Man Standing (FOX) is a bit unique. It was the biggest competition against the Reboot in 2016 with about 6.4 million live-viewers on average and a demo of 1.15, sometimes surpassing the Reboot in the demo ratings. It got cancelled in 2017 and will be “resurrected” this year.

BtS photo of Episode 2×23: MacGyver + MacGyver (via Justin Hires)

Interestingly, the show had started with less than 6 million live-viewers on the day the Reboot premiered, then started to gain in audience numbers for every episode as the Reboot gradually lost some viewers. This might indicate that the shows shared a part of their audience; the Tim Allen fans going back to the show after snooping in for the Reboot. I guess it depends how strong the show will come back, but I think it will definitely affect the Reboot audience numbers – and if it’s as strong as before it was cancelled, maybe even cost MacGyver its usual timeslot win.

The two shows on ABC are comedies with a new timeslot. Fresh Off The Boat had about 3.8 million live-viewers last season with a demo of 1. Spechless had about 4.3 million live-viewers and a demo of 1.1. For both shows, that’s more than Once Upon A Time had last year in the 8pm timeslot and could cost the Reboot a few more viewers.

New/Old BtS photo of Season 2 (via Jake Alvarez)

The Cool Kids is a new show, so no clue how it will do. I’ll say most people watching Last Man Standing might either stay on FOX for this one or switch over to ABC for some more comedy.

In General, Season 2 of MacGyver was weaker in ratings than Season 1, but a lot stronger when it comes to the writing and the storylines. It also had some interesting guest-stars. The competing shows are stronger this year, but if the writers turn it up a notch with writing even better scripts and if the Reboot gets the same (or even a higher budget) as for Season 2, I think it can do well and succeed in getting renewed for another season.

MacGyver in Austria
The rerun of Season 1 does still pretty well in Austria. The live-audience numbers were usually in the range of 50-60’000 viewers, but fell to a meager 26’000 three weeks ago. The numbers made it back to 47’000 two weeks ago and up to 53’000 last Saturday.

There’s finally a date for the DVD-Release for Season 1 in Germany (July 6), but still no further infos about the extras on the Amazon DVD version yet. The version sold in Switzerland (starting July 5) will contain the same extras as the UK and the French version.

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