One week left until the Premiere of 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.)
Season 5 Promo News
There hasn’t been as much promo as back for Season 4, sadly. But better late than never: We finally got the first Season Preview Trailer on November 20. With all the main cast posting about it, the video earned about 80’000 views in 48 hours. They also posted a very short teaser of Russ Taylor announcing that it will be “Wine-O’Clock” in two weeks.
On November 23, they added a character poster of Russ (put together with a shot from Episode 4×01), followed by a character poster of Desi (taken from Episode 4×07). Levy looked great in this episode, but I still don’t understand why they keep recycling old material when they have 6 unaired episodes to choose from. For the Thanksgiving Post, they used a photo from Episode 4×02.
Amazon US has added Season 5 onto their Prime Video page. In the Season description, it seems they’re just listing the plots of the first two episodes since those are the only ones with press releases yet. They’ve also added a bonus content video called “Russ Taylor: Looking Good While Looking Out For MacGyver”, which was put together with material from Season 4 and might show up on the extras of the Season 4 DVD.
GlobalTV (Canada) also put a Season Teaser Trailer out. While they only used scenes from Season 4, they focused on the main character instead.
What you need to know about Episode 5×01
Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) was written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Avi Youabian. We got 16 Official Stills in total via KsiteTV, 5 of them taken by Still Photographer Mark Hill. Keep in mind that this is the “leftover” episode that was initially filmed with production number 415.
Here’s the synopsis:
Mac and the team infiltrate a glamorous hotel used as an international hideout for criminals to find a woman with vital information on Codex. However, their target has a new secret identity, including a completely new face.
Guest Star Jean Brassard posted a new BtS photo with director Avi Youabian, revealing that the director came to have lunch on set on the first day so they could get to know each other better.
What you need to know about Episode 5×02
On November 19, we got the press release for Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice) via SpoilerTV. This is the “leftover” episode that was filmed first when production restarted in January; using production number 414.
Here’s the synopsis:
When Taylor’s former protégé is killed while preventing a bio-weapon from falling into the wrong hands, Mac and the team must find the weapon so Desi can pull off the ultimate heist before it’s sold to a terrorist cell.
CBS released 16 Official Stills on November 24. Most of them feature a night shoot scene that we saw some BtS videos from. On Getty Images, you can find 6 (tagged) Stills taken by Still Photographer Nathan Bolster. The rest seem to be screenshots.
Production during a Pandemic (encore)
As it turns out, they decided to slide the newly-filmed episodes between the old ones. There might be several reasons for that, probably to diffuse the lines between old and new. With alternating old and new episodes, they can…
- implement the vision of the new showrunner and writing team without alienating the long-time-viewers too much.
- hide the fact that the new episodes probably got a budget cut due to covid safety protocols leading to higher expenses (e.g. less stunt scenes).
- have main cast members sit out for an episode without making it too obvious (note that it’s still not clear if Meredith Eaton has been back on set yet).
With new Showrunner Monica Macer bringing in new people she worked with before, the style and look of the show might slightly change. By the time they run out of the leftover episodes, we already got used to it.
Season 5 Overview
Here’s an overview of all the information about the upcoming episodes so far. The infos were either provided by CBS, by the website for the Writers Guild of America West (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), from SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).
- 5×01 (filmed with production number 415):
Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (December 4)
Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Avi Youabian
- 5×02 (414): Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (December 11)
Written by Peter M. Lenkov and Andrew Klein, directed by Duane Clark
- 5×03 (501): Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + MA (December 18)
Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
- 5×04 (416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO (tba for 2021)
Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
- 5×05 (417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
- 5×06 (418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
- 5×07 (419): Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason
Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller
- 5x?? (420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
- 5x?? (502): (tba)
Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn
- 5x?? (503): Telescope + S-218 + Amplifier + Frenemies + Fog
Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks
Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. For now, this order is just an assumption.
Working on Episode 502
(Note: Since we don’t know the order of the episodes yet, I will continue to refer to the to-be-filmed-episodes by their production number.)
To recap: Filming for the episode with production number 501 started on November 11 and finished on November 20. It took them 8 days to film – which is well within pre-covid production time.
Filming for the episode with production number 502 started on November 23. I had assumed that they will start on the episode that was deemed the Season Opener by TV Guide Magazine, but according to a tweet by the MacGyver Writers, Episode 502 was written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher. On Wednesday, they also revealed that it is directed by Andrew Ahn (who has worked on the show Gentefied with Showrunner Monica Macer).
We got our first Instagram Live Story by Lucas Till for this Season; showing us Mac’s room and the photos of “magicians movie stars” on his wall. Costume Designer Sarah Downer also posted a Story of her cute face shield at work.
On Wednesday, Justin Hires showed off his many layers, stating that he didn’t gain any weight. It’s nice to see them getting bundled up when filming in the cold outside. Due to Thanksgiving, I expect the cast and crew to enjoy a long weekend and to resume filming next week.
In an interview with re:imagine/ATL a few weeks ago, Tristin Mays had talked about filming a TV show during the pandemic. She confirmed that due to the long break, most of the former crew members started working on other projects and that there are a lot of new people on the show. All in all, the discrepancy of amount of BtS material is staggering when compared to Season 4. It might be a combination of having a complete new crew and more safety protocols, but there might also be an additional factor we don’t know about.
Cast and Crew News
There have been no Casting Calls at all since November 16. Either they “recycle” the Extras for every episode to reduce the variety of people that turn up on set every day, or they get handpicked and contacted directly via the casting agency. So far, I haven’t heard anything about them switching agencies, but that’s also a possibility.
On Wednesday, the MacGyver Writers revealed that Tari Segal joined as new Director of Photography. She has formerly worked as DP on the CBS shows FBI and FBI: Most Wanted. On the resume sheet on her website, there’s also a new producer for MacGyver listed: Wileen Dragovan, who also worked with Monica Macer on Gentefied.
Season 4 Reruns
To recap: The rerun of Episode 4×12 (Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire) on November 13 brought 2.70 million live-viewers with a demo of 0.3. A week later, the rerun of the Season 4 Finale (Save + The + Dam + World) got 2.923 million live-viewers, also with a demo of 0.3.
As mentioned before, these rerun ratings are better than what SWAT achieved for some of their “normal” episode premieres so far. Compared to last year, SWAT lost about 34% in demo and 33% in audience numbers. It will be interesting to see what size of ratings drops CBS will tolerate this year due to the pandemic. (The longer the pandemic, the better the chances of MacGyver getting renewed for another season since it’s too risky and expensive now to get pilots for potential rookies filmed and being ready for pilot season.)
Tonight airs a special line-up (e.g. with “Frosty the Snowman” at 8pm), but CBS already scheduled more reruns on December 25 and on January 1st.
Other MacGyver News
ICYMI: On November 12, we got a first look at the cover of the upcoming first MacGyver Novel (MacGyver: Meltdown). Both the book and the kindle version have been released today. You can order them here.