A collective, happy sigh in the fandom last week – we have a filming date for Season 5!
(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 5 storylines by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided. For daily news and to join the discussion, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)
Premiere Date Speculations (encore)
On October 13 and 21, CBS announced premiere dates for 10 plus 5 of their shows. Sadly, MacGyver was not part of these lists. It seems that CBS wants to set a premiere date for the entire Friday line-up.
Considering that Blue Bloods just started filming around October 5, they probably don’t have any episodes ready to air yet. Also, CBS might have waited to announce their midseason shows in case another production has to be put on a short hiatus and is delayed (or worse, benched for the season). That way, they can quickly readjust the schedule in case one of the other weekday line-ups collapses.
According to a tweet by the Magnum PI Writers, the premiere was planned to happen before the end of the year. All we can do is be patient and wait for news, but it looks more and more likely we won’t get any new episodes before next year and that MacGyver stays a midseason show for now.
All you need to know about Season 5
Most important thing first: We finally have a filming date! On October 31, new crew member Susie Flower revealed in a Facebook comment that the filming date had been pushed because “the “stages” were so disastrously unhealthy” and that they now have a shooting date for Wednesday, November 11.
On October 27, several news outlets like Variety reported that CBS shortened its series orders for the 2020-21 Season. This is not very surprising; and I speculated the same back in Spring. Interestingly, we don’t have any information about the episode count for MacGyver yet. The official episode count for Magnum PI is 16 (instead of 20), the same as for Blue Bloods (instead of 22). There’s a good chance they will do the same episode count for the entire Friday line-up, so they can have their premieres and season finales together.
I have to admit that I’m wondering how Blue Bloods will manage even 16 episodes if they just started filming at the beginning of October. For MacGyver, the fact that they haven’t started filming yet confirms my suspicion that they will take the already filmed episodes into account; meaning they have to film about 10 more episodes.
In recent weeks, we got at least quite a bit of information about upcoming storylines. Here’s a recap of all we know so far:
- According to TV Guide Magazine and their article about the Season 5 Opener, Codex kidnaps Russ Taylor; demanding a prisoner exchange for Murdoc. (Note: This is most likely about the episode written with production number 501 that has yet to be filmed, titled “Telescope + S-218 + Amplifier + Frenemies + Fog”.)
There’s also the prospect of Mac having to navigate a potential love triangle with Desi and Riley.
- In an article published by The Washington Post, we got some more teasers. For one, we will finally meet Bozers family: In an upcoming episode, MacGyver will talk about racial justice, police defunding and the long-standing contradictions of being a Black police officer in America with Bozer’s father. The show may also explore the tensions between the elder Bozer and his wife, active in city politics, over the defund-the-police debate.
While TV Guide Magazine usually does exclusives on the Fall Season Openers, it’s not clear yet if they will indeed air this episode first or not. Considering the long hiatus (with the leftover Season 4 episodes filmed almost a year ago by the time Season 5 will premiere) plus the change in showrunners, it would make more sense to air the “leftover” episodes first and start a new story-arc.
Additionally, the MacGyver Writers gave us 3 spoiler-teasers after reaching 8000 followers on Twitter:
- Mac & Riley become linked in an unexpected way
- We’ll meet the parents of TWO characters
- Russ gets a love interest
Of course, these teaser-spoilers led to a lot of fan chatter and speculations on social media; also staking the fires between Team MacRiley and Team MacDesi. There’s a good chance that we will meet the parents of Desi, though.
There have been whisperings that NCIS cast member Sean Murray will do a guest appearance on an upcoming episode. It’s been added to the Wikipedia page in the crossover section before being deleted again, but so far I haven’t seen any official news about this.
What’s going to happen now?
As mentioned above, filming for about 10 more episodes should start on November 11. I had been wondering if one of the regular cast is a high risk person, but it looks like the main problem had been the stages being in bad shape. It’s unclear if the problem was something like water damage due to the storms or if the stages had just not been made “pandemic-ready” yet. It’s also unclear if it will affect the choice of filming locations.
Also, filming won’t be easier now that we’re entering the colder season and the storylines for outdoor locations are more limited. Like in Vancouver, there’s also the possibility of covid test lab results being delayed, now that the big blockbuster productions have re-started filming in Atlanta Area as well. Most productions have 3-4 tests per person every week, so there’s thousands of additional tests being done.
CBS has scheduled more reruns of MacGyver starting next week. Here’s the upcoming reruns schedule:
- Friday, November 13: Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire (4×12)
- Friday, November 20: Save + The + Dam + World (4×13)
- Friday, December 4: tba
- Friday, December 11: tba
- Friday, December 18: tba
In case you wondered, the rerun on November 27 was dropped due to “Frosty the Snowman” reruns.
What are Cast and Crew up to?
ICYMI: On October 15, CBS celebrated Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth. Alongside the cast of several CBS shows, Levy Tran, Lucas Till and Meredith Eaton took selfies while wearing the purple shirts.
On October 28, Lucas Till encouraged people to vote via Shirts Across America. The connection to this organization might have been coming together because Bob Zellner (author of the book that Lucas’ movie Son of the South is based on) will speak at a workshop on December 5.
We now have more information about the project Tristin Mays worked a few months ago in Colorado. She filmed a movie called “The Christmas Sitters” that will air on the ion TV channel in December. A fan site of Tristin’s co-star Nathan Owens posted a First Look Photo.
On November 3, Henry Ian Cusick revealed in an Instagram Story he’s travelling to Atlanta that day – to get a haircut. After a quick home visit, Justin Hires returned to Atlanta yesterday. Tristin Mays had to get a covid test done on November 4. While the cast is getting ready for filming, we haven’t seen much indication of the crew yet. It might also take a while to find out who’s on the crew this season. For one, the new showrunner will bring in people she already worked with before. Second, some of the crew that worked on previous seasons have already started on other projects.