MacGyver Reboot Update #107

Many Fall TV shows have already run out of new episodes to air due to production shut down early. Although the production of MacGyver was cut off in the middle of filming Episode 4×20, we still have a few more weeks with premieres ahead of us.

Episode 4×10: Tesla + Bell + Edison + Mac (via SpoilerTV)

(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 4×08
The episode airing on April 3rd is titled “Father + Son + Father + Matriarch”. It was written by Travis Fickett and directed by David Straiton (who also directed Episodes 3×10 and 4×01). We got the Press Release with a First Official Still on March 17. In total, CBS uploaded 16 Official Stills onto their press site. 15 watermarked Stills are up on Getty Images, 11 untagged Stills are available via SpoilerTV.

BtS photo of Episode 4×08: Father + Son + Father + Matriarch (via Lucas Till)

We got some BtS photos before the episode aired; e.g. via Meredith Eaton (with guest star David Keith), via Lucas Till (with Tate Donovan and Peter Weller) or via the official CBS Instagram Account. Lucas posted several photos with fun captions as Instagram Stories. There also was a short interview with Jeri Ryan about her character on TV Insider.

In other news (though not episode-related), Lucas took part in the “LA Students most in Need” fundraiser for LA students and their families who are struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic.

We got more BtS photos and videos during and after the episode; e.g. via writer Andrew Klein, via costumer Sarah Downer or by Courtland Fuller (who had doubled stunt scenes for Peter Weller). We also got a closer look at some of the props; e.g. the magnetic bomb dropping onto the car.

BtS photo of Episode 4×08: Father + Son + Father + Matriarch (via Lucas Till)

Back in February, Lucas Till did several interviews for the premiere of Season 4. It’s interesting to re-read them again now and recognize the snippets he talked about; e.g. the fight scene between Mac and Desi:

Interviewer: What are some of the hardest things you have to do on set physically?
LT: Oh, wait around [laughs], that’s the only thing I hate doing. I never thought I would say that, I used to love waiting around. To answer your question in a real way, I think the most sore I’ve ever been is, me and Desi had an MMA fight, like a sparring match and I’ve never been that sore on set or ever. I mean I was destroyed, it was like my first day of jiu jitsu all over again, I was in a lot of pain. That’s probably the most taxing thing to do, we had to do 6-hour sparring. You’re acting like you’re sparring, but you’re doing it for 6 hours instead of 15 minutes. It tends to hurt.
(via CBS San Francisco, February 5)

There were quite a lot of people live-tweeting while the episode aired. The Hashtag #MacGyver trended for 2 hours US-wide; reaching Rank 32 and generating an estimated 2700 tweets per hour. The episode also made SpoilerTVs “Quotes of the Week“.

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

To recap: Episode 4×07 had generated a live-audience of 6.720 million viewers with a demo of 0.8. In the Live +7 days ratings, it gained an additional 1.34 million viewers (+20%), reaching 8.06 million viewers in total with a demo of 1.11 (+38%) when including DVR ratings.

Episode 4×08 aired just before the Series Finale of Hawaii Five-0 and set a new ratings high; reaching 7.073 million live-viewers with a a demo of 0.8. In the Live +7 days ratings, it gained an additional 1.35 million viewers (+19%), making 8.42 million viewers in total with a demo of 1.05 (+37%) when including DVR ratings.

On April 7, Tech Consultant Rhett Allain uploaded his blog post about the MacGyverisms used in the episode.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Christopher Jon Duddy)

About Episode 4×09
The episode airing last Friday is titled “Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis”. It was written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta and directed by Mike Martinez (who also directed Episodes 2×14 and 3×09). We got the Press Release with the first Still on March 19.

CBS later released 9 additional Official Stills on their press site. 11 watermarked Stills are available on Getty Images. SpoilerTV and What2Vue provided 5 of them; unmarked and in HD quality. On April 9, they released 4 Sneak Peeks.

We got more BtS photos during and after the episode; e.g. of Riley’s “hacker gang” via Holly Deveaux, of Riley’s apartement by Production Designer Keith Neely, by guest star Ramon De Ocampo, via background actor Riley Windham, by guest star Mike Buckholtz or via costumer Sarah Downer.

Episode 4×09: Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis (via What2Vue)

The Hashtag #MacGyver trended US-wide for about an hour; reaching Rank 33 (one rank above #magnumpi) and generating an estimated 715 tweets per hour.

Episode 4×09 had a live-audience of 6.383 million viewers with a demo of 0.7. In the Live +3 days ratings, it gained an additional 1.22 million viewers (+19%), reaching 7.61 million viewers in total with a demo of 0.94 (+34%).

When compared to the other CBS shows (26 in total), the Reboot was at Rank 14 for average demo and at Rank 16 for audience numbers. The current average demo for MacGyver is below the average demo (of 0.704) for scripted CBS shows, but it still has very low losses for demo and audience when compared to last season; turning out to be very stable in ratings (which CBS usually appreciates).

BtS photo of Episode 4×09: Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis (via Holly Deveaux)

On April 14, Tech Consultant Rhett Allain posted his blog entry about the MacHacks used in the episode.

What you need to know about Episode 4×10
The episode airing tonight is titled “Tesla + Bell + Edison + Mac”. It was written by Producer Rob Pearlstein (who also wrote Episodes 3×04, 3×15, 3×20 and 4×03) and directed by Yangzom Brauen (who also directed the upcoming Episode 4×18). We got the Press Release with the first Official Still on April 7, with 8 additional Stills on the press site. Here’s the synopsis:

When Mac is put into a dream state to help him recall key evidence found in Nikola Tesla’s secret lab that could stop Codex’s deadly plot, he encounters Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison… and his mother.

This episode has a pretty big list of guest stars; e.g. Scottie Thompson as Ellen (aka Mama MacGyver). Also, Matt Mercurio will be back as Officer Donnie Sandoz, the bully from MacGyver’s childhood we met in Episode 1×10 (Pliers).

Episode 4×10: Tesla + Bell + Edison + Mac (via SpoilerTV)

In a bit disappointing news for such a special episode, only 4 watermarked Stills were uploaded onto Getty Images while SpoilerTV has 5 Stills in total (unmarked, but a slightly different selection than the one on Getty). But we got 3 Sneak Peeks on Wednesday and an exclusive, additional Sneak Peek via TV Line yesterday, which was a nice surprise.

What you need to know about Episode 4×11
The episode airing next Friday is titled “Psy-Op + Cell + Merchant + Birds”, based on a story by Stephanie Hicks with a teleplay written by Cindy Appel and Andrew Karlsruher. It was directed by Ericson Core (who also directed Episodes 2×02 and 2×22). We got the Press Release with the First Official Stills on April 9. Here’s the synopsis:

Mac is placed inside a fake prison cell with a top Codex operative, The Merchant (guest star James Callis), in order to gain his trust and get intel on their next move.

Contrary to Episode 4×10, the guest cast list is much smaller and the amount of Official Stills a lot higher. In total, CBS uploaded 12 Stills for this episode onto their press site.

Episode 4×11: Psy-Op + Cell + Merchant + Birds (via CBS)

Season 4 Episode and Schedule Overview
Here’s a short recap about the rest of the 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.

  • 4×12: Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire (May 1)
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Geoff Shotz. Guest appearance by Jeri Ryan. We got the Press Release and the first Still on April 16. Interesting News for MacRiley Shippers: According to Matt’s Inside Line, Bozer will notice Riley having romantic feelings for MacGyver.
  • 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

CBS has several “holes” to fill with most of the Fall Show Seasons shortened and the Spring and Summer programming cancelled and/or adjusted. Hopefully, we’ll get to enjoy more reruns in the coming months. They dropped the rerun of Episode 3×16 they had initially planned for April 18 (Saturday), but CBS scheduled a rerun for May 2nd (Saturday), only to reschedule it to May 23rd (Saturday).

BtS photo of Episode 4×09: Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis (via Sarah Downer)

So far, the schedule for Season 4 doesn’t go beyond Episode 4×14. It’s not clear yet when the rest of the episodes will air. It’s still possible that they’ll air the midseason finale aka Episode 4×13 alongside the season finales for Magnum PI and Blue Bloods; concluding the season for now and holding back the rest of the episodes until needed (to fill either the Summer or the Fall schedule).

At the moment, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov is in the process of finalizing the mixing for Episode 4×15. Good news for Bozer fans: Justin Hires assured fans this week that Bozer will have more scenes in the upcoming episodes.

What’s going to happen now?
Due to the pandemic, movie and TV productions have been shut down worldwide. Production for MacGyver was halted on March 13, in the middle of filming Episode 4×20. Networks usually reveal their Fall schedule on the Upfronts in May. The fate of all shows being cancelled or renewed is usually announced beforehand, but at least until the day before the Upfronts. The Upfronts for this year were basically cancelled, but like last year, CBS is still keeping a tight lid on news.

Episode 4×12: Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire (via SpoilerTV)

Even though it’s a safe assumption for MacGyver being renewed, they might not be able to release any news yet. Networks are not able to film pilots for their rookie shows and it’s almost impossible to predict when filming will start, meaning they can’t finalize the Fall Schedule any time soon. Some of the rookies filmed and/or planned for Pilot Season might be pushed to next year or even scrapped; meaning that shows with decent ratings may have a better chance than ever getting renewed, especially when they’re owned by the network (like MacGyver). Sadly, it’s not so clear yet with shows “on the bubble” (due to lower ratings or with high production costs); especially if they’re co-owned by different networks or with production set in New York (the area affected the most by the pandemic).

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Meredith Eaton)

These months are usually when contracts are being renewed, and it’s difficult to make contracts with no start date for filming (since they won’t keep actors and producers in limbo; paying them money while waiting around for the project to finally start production) and/or the danger of having to re-locate the entire production.

The main/regular cast of MacGyver might have already been locked in contract for more seasons if they got a syndication deal. If there’s no contract yet, it’s possible that we won’t see all of the cast members back on set: At the moment, it’s doubtful filming can start in July and they might have already contracts in place for other projects that were supposed to film during hiatus and were postponed to Summer or Fall.

BtS photo of Episode 4×09: Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis (via Ramon De Ocampo)

As far as I know, Lucas Till is not attached to any other projects at the moment, so I’m assuming that as soon as filming gets the green light, production will resume in Atlanta and Georgia area – with the risk of some cast members or recurring guest stars not being available and some changes within the teams of writing, producing and crew.

Best of TV Awards: Voting in Round 3
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 and did quite well in some categories of the 2nd Round.

Voting for the Final Round is almost done. You can find the voting page here. For the last few categories, you can only vote once.

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

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

  • Best Action or Drama Program
  • Best Action or Drama Actor/Actress (Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Meredith Eaton)
  • Best Recurring Actor/Actress (George Eads)
  • Best Writing
  • Best Stunts
  • Favorite Character (Mac, Riley, Jack, Bozer)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna)

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