MacGyver Reboot Update #105

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, TV shows and movies have stopped production for the season. Sadly, MacGyver was cut short in the middle of filming Episode 4×20.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Meredith Eaton)

(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.)


About Episode 4×05
Episode 4×05 (Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan) aired on March 6. It was written by Cindy Appel and directed by Duane Clark (who also directed Episodes 2×03 and 3×02). For promo, CBS had released 14 Official Stills and 3 Sneak Peeks; later adding 6 more Stills and a few BtS photos.

BtS photo of Episode 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (via CBS)

Episode 4×05 attracted 5.648 million live-viewers and got a 0.6 demo rating in the important demo group (aged 18-49 years). In the Live +7 days ratings, it gained an additional 1.3 million viewers (+23%), reaching 6.95 million viewers with a demo of 0.87 in total when including DVR ratings. Generally, the episode was well-received on social media.

We got some more BtS photos after the episode had aired; e.g. of the costumes of the guest stars by Sarah Downer. On March 10, Tech Consultant Rhett Allain uploaded the blog post about the MacHacks in this episode.

About Episode 4×06
The episode airing a week ago is titled “Right + Wrong + Both + Neither”.  It was written by Andrew Klein and directed by Roderick Davis (who also directed Episode 3×18).

Episode 4×06: Right + Wrong + Both + Neither (via What2Vue)

We got the Press Release and the first Official Still on February 21. In total, CBS uploaded 13 Official Stills; all of MacGyver, Riley, Desi and Russ on the mission to save Russ’ ex. Eight watermarked Stills are available on Getty Images. On March 10, CBS posted an unmarked Still of Desi via Twitter. They released 2 Sneak Peeks by Wednesday, added 4 screenshots as new Stills on Thursday and uploaded some BtS photos on Friday.

Episode 4×06 had 5.835 million live-viewers and a demo rating of 0.7. In the Live +3 days ratings, it gained an additional 1.26 million viewers (+21%), reaching 7.10 million viewers with a demo of 0.9 in total (+36%) when including DVR ratings. Due to the pandemic and people staying home, we can expect the ratings to rise a bit higher than they usually do around Spring time.

Episode 4×06: Right + Wrong + Both + Neither (via CBS)

When compared to all other CBS shows (24 in total) at the moment, the Reboot is at Rank 15 for both average demo and audience numbers. The demo is below the CBS average demo (of 0.683), but it’s still higher than the demo of 4 of the 7 Rookie shows this season.

On March 17, Tech Consultant Rhett Allain uploaded his blog post about the MacGyverisms used in the episode.

What you need to know about Episode 4×07
As every year, MacGyver fans were prepared to endure a short break for March Madness. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the sports event has been cancelled and the schedule for MacGyver has been adjusted. Tonight will be a rerun of Episode 3×18 (Murdoc + Helman + Hit).

Episode 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (via CBS)

Episode 4×07 is titled “Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey” and will air a week earlier than initially scheduled, so on March 27. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Brad Turner (who already directed Episodes 2×13 and 3×13). We got the Press Release with a First Official Still on March 17. Here’s the synopsis:

A double date descends into chaos when Mac and Desi witness a murder in the back of the restaurant, and as they work to find the killer, Riley tries to keep the secret about her and her friends’ “day jobs” from her new boyfriend, Aubrey (Leonardo Nam).

Besides Leonardo Nam, there will be guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver), Devon Sawa (as Donovan) and the comedians Impractical Jokers who have worked with Tristin Mays before.

On March 18, CBS uploaded 13 Official Stills onto their press site; 12 of them featuring the double date of Mac, Desi, Riley and Aubrey in a restaurant plus one BtS photo of Lucas Till with the comedic guest stars. They should release a preview tonight after the rerun of Episode 3×18.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

Writer Stephanie Hicks posted a blurry BtS photo of her with Lucas Till and Sparky in the War Room. We didn’t get many BtS photos for this episode during filming, but in an interview with ET Online back in February, Lucas Till said that this will be a hilarious episode.

What you need to know about Episode 4×08
The episode airing on April 3 is titled “Father + Son + Father + Matriarch”. It was written by Travis Fickett and directed by David Straiton (who has a whopping 84 directing credits and also directed Episodes 3×10 and 4×01).

Episode 4×08: Father + Son + Father + Matriarch (via CBS)

We got the Press Release with a First Official Still on March 1. Here’s the synopsis:

After Oversight is almost killed in a bombing, he recruits Mac to help him find the suspected bomber, Mason (Peter Weller). However, when Mason reveals he didn’t plant the bomb, the three team up to track down Codex, the shadow organization that set them up. Also, Mac meets his aunt Gwendolyn (Jeri Ryan).

CBS hasn’t uploaded any more Stills yet, but we probably won’t have to wait long.

Season 4 Episode Overview
Here’s a short recap about the other upcoming episodes. The infos were either provided by CBS, by people working on the show or taken from IMDb (cast and crew info), from SpoilerTV (episode titles and storyline info) and from The Futon Critic (airdates). Note that episode titles and airdates are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS.

  • 4×09: Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis (April 10)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez. You can find the Press Release with the first Still here.
  • 4×10: Tesla (?) Bell (?) Edison (?) Mac (April 17)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: Psy-Op (?) Cell (?) Merchant (?) Birds (April 24)
  • 4×12: Loyalty (?) Family (?) Rogue (?) Hellfire (May 1)
    Written by Jim Adler
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (May 8)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard
  • 4×14: (title tba)
  • 4×15: Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness (tbd)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Avi Youabian
  • 4×16: Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO (tbd)
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
  • 4×17: (title tba)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×18: (title tba)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen, presumed guest appearances by Jorge Garcia and Robert Patrick
  • 4×19: (title tba)
    Directed by Peter Weller
  • 4×20: Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (tbd)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore

A little recap since my last blog post: For Episode 4×18, they filmed in and around an abandoned hospital to be set in Slovania with guest stars Jorge Garcia and Robert Patrick and a fight scene in the kitchen. For Episode 4×19, they filmed scenes in a parking lot and in the woods for several days with rain pouring down.

Working on Episode 4×19
Generally, we haven’t seen much BtS material of this episode. Maybe director Peter Weller prefers it that way and advised the cast and crew not to reveal too much. Or he simply bribed them with Gelato (as seen on Instagram stories on March 9) to wait with posting until the episode has wrapped.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Corey Jung)

Guest Star Gloria Tsai posted several BtS photos; e.g. with the actors playing her husband and her kid. The kid actor Corey Jung also uploaded photos; e.g. with set mom Gloria Tsai and Peter Weller or with Meredith Eaton.

Working on Episode 4×20
As revealed in an Instagram Story by Evan Marsh, Episode 4×20 is titled “Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt”. It was written by Executive Producer Rob Pearlstein and directed by Christine Moore (who already directed Episode 1×19). On March 10, Justin Hires, Meredith Eaton and Henry Ian Cusick filmed some scenes in the War Room. Justin and Meredith did an Instagram Live Story together, but couldn’t reveal anything about ongoing storylines.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Meredith Eaton)

The next day, they filmed scenes with Lucas Till inside the Phoenix jet and with Stand-Ins Jordan Heir, Amanda Mazonkey and Matthew Albright outside the stage in front of a big green screen. They also shot some scenes in what looks like a hazardous containment area.

On March 12, they moved production to Stone Mountain Park; filming on seemingly abandoned train tracks in the muddy woods and in front of Stone Mountain. There was a burning car, Lucas doing stunts to get away from the bad guys and Tristin Mays and Levy Tran driving a military vehicle.

The next day, filming continued outside. They had real horses and goats on set, but Levy got to ride the “fake” horse as well. Sadly, the production was abruptly halted – and isn’t it ironic that it happened on a Friday, the 13th.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Andres Velasco)

Early Wrap on Season 4
Due to the pandemic, almost all movie and TV productions have already shut down. While it first looked like MacGyver gets to finish at least the episode and wrap up filming on Wednesday this week (according to crew member Dan Emo), production was halted on March 13 after filming for the day had wrapped.

After Episode 4×06 had finished its premiere on TV, Lucas Till posted a video on Instagram, announcing together with Levy Tran that Season 4 has wrapped unexpectedly; thanking all fans and the crew for their support. The next day, more crew members posted farewell messages and saying thanks for having a great season (e.g. Easton Harper, Jessica Sanchez, Jaric Czepiel, Todd Amateau, Christopher Jon Duddy, Stand-Ins Amanda Mazonkey and Katelyn).

Screenshot of the Wrap-Up-Message by Lucas Till and Levy Tran (via Lucas Till)

Cast and crew didn’t get to wrap properly and tell everyone goodbye, but some of the prop people and set decorators have been back to the stage location on Monday to wrap up tools and clean out the trailers, grab personal things, to hand out perishable food brought in by catering and to cover up the sets and closing down. Interestingly, some of the crew were back by Tuesday to film more inserts and the Stand-Ins (e.g. Matthew Albright) on Wednesday, but we don’t know for which episode. They probably try to do post-production for as many episodes as possible.

According to a call sheet by Evan Marsh (posted as Insta Story), production for Episode 4×20 was on Day 5 out of 8 when production (or at least principal filming) was halted. Therefore, it’s possible that this episode can’t be finished in post-production and won’t be aired – at least not any time soon.

Episode 4×09: Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis (via CBS)

So, what’s going to happen now? There are several possibilities.

  • Worst case scenario: The show is cancelled. They air the finished episodes and we might be stuck with a cliffhanger and unresolved storylines.
  • Good case scenario: The show is renewed. They will air the finished episodes. Once the hiatus due to the pandemic is over, they film new episodes for another season. The unproduced episodes of Season 4 will be either dropped or the scripts are re-written and used for the next season. For Season 5, we get the order for 13 episodes with a premiere in midseason.
  • Best case scenario: The show is renewed. They will air the initially 13 episodes with the midseason finale. Meanwhile, they film the rest of the unproduced episodes as soon as possible and start filming for Season 5 with a full season order. They will air the remaining 9 episodes either after a short break on TV (interluded with reruns) or as a Fall show.

At the moment, I’m expecting an outcome between the good and the best case scenario. Right now, the networks are not able to film and sell their rookie shows. Some of them might be pushed to next year or scrapped. CBS has a dozen of shows that won’t have a season finale to air in May as initially planned; being two or three episodes shorter than ordered. The reality shows set for Summer are on hiatus; same as the Summer crime/drama shows (e.g. Blood and Treasure).

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Amanda Mazonkey)

Depending on how disastrous Pilot Season ends and how soon they can continue filming for their “old” shows currently on hold, they don’t have enough new episodes to fill the Fall schedule with, either. Therefore, there’s a good possibility that they air the first 13 episodes (with the midseason finale concluding the season for now) and hold back the rest of the episodes until needed.

Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has been looking for a Hispanic Marine, for Caucasian or Hispanic Mercs and for a Male Agent. They also had a Casting Call for a Photo Double for Marcus DeAnda this week. I’m not sure yet if they’re trying to finish up on Episode 4×20 or if they’re simply filming more inserts to finish post production on earlier episodes.

Wrap-Up-Message by Showrunner Peter Lenkov

Best of TV Awards: Round 2 Results
For several months, the Reboot has been competing in the “Best of TV Awards” held by Canada Graphs. With unlimited voting, it won in all the categories in Round 1. Here’s the results for Round 2 that are available so far:

  • Best Recurring Actor/Actress (George Eads: Rank 14, Tate Donovan: Rank 31, Reign Edwards: Rank 27)
  • Best Guest Actor (David Dastmalchian: Rank 33, Michael Des Barres: Rank 38)
  • Best Director (Brad Turner for 3×13: Rank 34)
  • Best Episode (3×11: Rank 39, 3×13: Rank 41, 3×22: Rank 44)
  • Best Writing (Rank 9)
  • Best Stunts (Rank 7)
  • Favorite Character (Mac: Rank 5, Riley: Rank 15, Jack: Rank 27, Bozer: Rank 29)
  • Favorite TV Program (Rank 22)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky; Rank 2)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna; Rank 5)

Voting for Round 3 started on Sunday. You can find the voting page here. In the final round, you can only vote once for each category; but you sometimes get more than one selection (e.g. 2 selections for “Favorite Character”).

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Michael Minnich)

These are the MacGyver-related categories to keep an eye on in Round 3:

  • Favorite Character (Mac, Riley, Jack, Bozer)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna)

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