MacGyver Reboot Update #92

With an order of only 13 episodes for now, filming for Season 4 is already halfway done. Meanwhile, CBS has started the Fall TV Season alongside the other networks.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Levy Tran)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about characters and storylines in Season 4 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided! For daily news and to join the discussion and/or speculate away, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)


Season 4 Overview
The Fall TV Season started on Monday – without MacGyver, sadly. Before we delve further into the shooting days during the last two weeks, here’s the usual overview of the upcoming episodes so far with the guest stars for the three newest episodes the production has been working on.

  • 4×01: (title tba)
    Directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×02: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×03: (title tba)
    Directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: (title tba)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan
    Directed by Duane Clark
    Guest Appearances by Amanda Ayres as Soccer Coach and by James Callis.
  • 4×06: (title tba)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey
    Guest Appearances by Devon Sawa, by James Murray and by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver).
  • 4×08: (title tba)

To recap my last blog post about the ongoing production: Filming for Episode 4×06 had started around September 3; with the cast filming in the War Room, in the Phoenix Interrogation Room, on the Phoenix Jet and on a set dressed up as a hospital. Also, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov came to visit for a few days.

Working on Episode 4×07
Filming for Episode 4×07 started around September 13. They filmed an Upscale Restaurant Scene before the cast went almost “dark” for several days.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Lucas Till)

We did get some photos and Instagram Stories, though. They filmed in the War Room, on a set dressed up as an upscale restaurant and in an appartement. As Lucas Till revealed, MacGyver will once again bring some fire into the kitchen. On September 20, Levy Tran posted a photo of Mac and Desi for Aloha Friday. Costumer Sarah Downer later added two more shots of Levy in the Hawaiian dress.

According to the blurry photo of the call sheet, the episode it titled “Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey”. So, who’s Aubrey? According to the call sheet, he’s played by Leonardo Nam. Leonardo is about the same age as the other three mentioned in the episode title, so he could be a love interest, a friend or a relative. The call sheet hints at Mac and Desi dating and Riley being involved with Aubrey, but I guess we have to wait and see. After all, blurry snippets can be deceiving. On Tuesday, Leonardo uploaded a nice BtS photo of him with Tristin Mays, Lucas and Levy; indicating that this day was a wrap for him.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Leonardo Nam)

Working on Episode 4×08 and beyond
Filming for Episode 4×08 started on September 24 and included shooting at Chattahoochee Hills and in the cabin at the lake used for one of the Avengers movies. Starting Wednesday, they filmed scenes at the Yanmar Evo Center in Acworth.

Sadly, there were barely any BtS materials uploaded in the last few days. Justin Hires hasn’t been on set since Tuesday and it seems like Tristin Mays has a few days off, as well. It’s possible the episode is centered around the MacGyvers (both Junior and Senior).

Interestingly, Camille Mana stated on September 20 that she did finish her ADR (Automatic Dialogue Recording) for Episode 4×01 the week before; meaning they still have been in post-production two months after the Season premiere was filmed. Apparently, they’re not too much in a hurry.

Episode 3×01: Improvise (via Lucas Till)

Lucas Till uploaded a bunch of old photos onto Instagram Stories last week; e.g. of Episodes 3×01 (Improvise) or 3×07 (Scavengers + Hard Drive + Dragonfly). Justin Hires also must have felt nostalgic this week; uploading BtS photos from Episodes 3×03 (Bozer + Booze + Back to School) and 3×05 (Dia de Muertos + Sicarios + Family).

Costumer Sarah Downer and her costume department colleagues introduced the Halloween Dress Up Days schedule and invited the fans to join in on the fun.

Other Cast, Crew and Character News
Tate Donovan (who plays James MacGyver) will be back for Episode 4×07. There will also be a guest appearance by Devon Sawa. Interestingly, George Eads’ old Stunt Double from Seasons 1 and 2 (Reece Fleetwood) is listed on IMDb for stunt work in Episode 4×06.

In the last two weeks, Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Caucasian, Hispanic or Asian Tourists, for a Caucasian Female for a Make-Up Test, for a Passerby, for a Caucasian Female in her late 30s with brown hair for a photoshoot and for TAC Guards (on several occasions). They also had Casting Calls for Female Techs, for Agents, for Asian Guards, for Assistants, for Photo Doubles (e.g. for Henry Ian Cusick or for David E. Collier) and for Stand-Ins (e.g. for Tate Donovan or for Keith David).

Header for the “About” section on CBS All Access

ICYMI: CBS recently changed the header of the show website on CBS All Access to another promo photo made back in the Season 1 photoshoot. So far, no other official promo for Season 4 has been released.

MacGyver in Germany and Austria
In Germany, Episode 3×17 (Seeds + Permafrost + Feather) on September 17 had an audience of 1.63 million live-viewers with a demo of 8.3 in the target audience of 14-49-year-olds. This is the second-highest audience number this season so far; and for the first time this season, the following episode had a lower audience. Episode 3×18 (Murdoc + Helman + Hit) still managed 1.62 million live-viewers with a demo of 8.4.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Sarah Downer)

Episode 3×19 (Friends + Enemies + Border) on September 24 had also 1.62 million live-viewers, but with a demo of 7.7 in the target audience of 14-49-year-olds. An hour later, Episode 3×20 (No-go + High-voltage + Rescue) got 1.55 million live-viewers with a demo of 7.5.

Overall, the ratings are doing better in Germany than the recent ratings for Hawaii Five-0 or Magnum PI (and pretty much all the other CBS shows but NCIS). The last upcoming German Episode Titles for Season 3:

  • 3×21: Hochverrat (literal translation: High Treason; original title: Treason + Heartbreak + Gum)
  • 3×22: Auge um Auge (Eye for an Eye, Mason + Cable + Choices)

The week after, Sat.1 will replace the Reboot with new episodes of NCIS.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

In Austria, every episode of Season 1 had garnered about 82’000 live-viewers back in 2017. The ratings for Season 2 aren’t as good; probably due to both a more difficult timeslot (Saturdays around 4pm) and the long airing hiatus in between. Contrary to Germany, there doesn’t seem to be a predictability to the ratings.

To recap: Episode 2×03 (Roulette Wheel + Wire) got 88’000 live-viewers; probably profiting off the Formula 1 race that had aired before. Episode 2×04 (X-Ray + Penny) dropped down to 40’000 viewers.

On September 14, audience numbers dropped again, down to 24’000 live-viewers for Episode 2×05 (Skull + Electromagnet). Episode 2×06 (Jet Engine + Pickup Truck) had 28’000 live-viewers. A week later, the episodes aired after a Formula 1 race again: Episode 2×07 (Duct Tape + Jack) got 47’000 live-viewers and the second-highest audience number of the season so far. Episode 2×08 (Packing Peanuts + Fire) had 45’000 live-viewers.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via James Murray)

Timeslot prediction for Season 4 (encore)
Back in May and June, I listed the possibilities in what timeslot the Reboot could end up in. Here’s the recap:

  • The Reboot takes over the 1-hour-timeslot of a rookie/crime show that didn’t get a full season order, so probably premiering in January 2020. Potential slots are Mondays 9pm (in place of All Rise), Thursdays 10pm (Evil) or Sundays 10pm (Madam Secretary). This is the most likely option, but CBS has 8 midseason replacement this year; 3 of them being crime-shows. Finding a slot might be difficult if none of the rookies fails.
  • The Reboot takes over the timeslot of a show with a full season order of 22 episodes after the season finale, so probably premiering in April or May 2020. If they can’t find an open slot in Spring, it will be shoved to Summer. Both Spring shows this year were cancelled, so CBS is definitely in need of more material.
  • The Reboot takes over the 1-hour-timeslot of a show that got pulled early. This seems rather unlikely at the moment, but anything can happen in TV-Land and this has happened before (e.g. for Justin Hires’ Rush Hour in 2015).

Now that Fall Season has started, lets revisit the schedule and take a look at the premiere ratings; especially the ratings of the hour-long rookie/crime shows.

Episode 3×07: Scavengers + Hard Drive + Dragonfly (via Lucas Till)

Of course, it’s still too early to make accurate predictions, but it’s still fun to speculate and compare to other prediction sites.

  • All Rise (Monday 9pm): Premiered with a demo of 0.7 and a live-audience of 6.03 million viewers. That’s not as high as Magnum back in 2018 in the same timeslot (1.2/8.12), but people might start tuning in later into the season. On the other hand, it’s rather disappointing for a rookie show – the ratings are already lower than what MacGyver had on average per episode last season. If the show can’t get higher ratings (especially in demo), it’s probably done – and there’s a good chance they will put an established show into the slot instead of another rookie. Both MacGyver and Criminal Minds are good candidates for this slot.
  • Bull (Monday 10pm): The new season started with a demo of 0.7 and a live-audience of 6.42 million viewers. That’s about as high as expected. If the ratings don’t drop too much, it will stay on this slot. They could switch it to 9pm, though instead of having to cancel All Rise.
  • NCIS (Tuesday 8pm): The new season started very well with a demo of 1.3 and a live-audience of 12.57 million viewers.
  • FBI (Tuesday 9pm): The second season premiere had a demo of 0.9 with an audience of 8.83 million live-viewers. Even if the ratings drop, it should be safe since there’s also a spin-off in the works for midseason.
  • NCIS: New Orleans (Tuesday 10pm) did lower than expected; managing a demo of 0.7 and a live-audience of 6.66 million viewers. Its reruns could get replaced with the FBI spin-off in Spring.
  • The Season Premieres of SEAL Team (Wednesday 9pm) and SWAT (Wednesday 10pm) are next week, so there’s no ratings available yet. Both shows had a lower audience than MacGyver last season, and SEAL Team just lost its second Executive Producer while being in the middle of filming Season 3. It will be interesting to see where this goes. It seems they still might want to hold onto it.
  • Evil (Thursday 10pm) has a preliminary demo-rating of 0.7 and 4.62 million live-viewers. That is a lot less then I expected since this show had a lot of buzz and got good promo. If the show doesn’t get higher ratings (especially in demo) within the next few episodes, it’s probably done. Nevertheless, MacGyver isn’t a good candidate for this slot since it should be an 8pm show. (Even with a 9pm slot, it will be difficult to get decent ratings.) It’s more suitable for Criminal Minds or the rookie shows FBI: Most Wanted or Tommy. Since the entire Thursday didn’t as well now that The Big Bang Theory as lead-in is gone, they might even completely change the entire line-up if all the ratings keep dropping.

Other MacGyver Promo
ICYMI: “The Official MacGyver Survival Manual: 155 Ways to Save the Day” was released on September 17. Make sure to get a copy and tell all your friends about it!

MacGyver Survival Manual title page (via Amazon)

Sadly, neither the publisher nor CBS is doing any promo for it, so I guess it’s on us fans again. At least Peter Lenkov posted about it this week; also uploading screenshots of his foreword onto Instagram Stories.

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