No season without some plot twist news. For this year, it’s Showrunner Peter Lenkov being fired by CBS; effective immediately.
(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about Season 5 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.)
A new Showrunner for Season 5
The MacGyverWriters have been back in the (virtual) office since June 12. One person probably hasn’t been attending any meetings since last week: (Former) Showrunner Peter Lenkov was fired by CBS; dismissed despite having a year left on his overall deal with CBS TV Studios.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the news; stating that the dismissal happened after an investigation into multiple claims that Lenkov created a toxic work environment. Sources say that Lenkov had been the subject of at least three complaints alleging that he was manipulative and abusive while working on both Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver.
As you can imagine, the extent of the allegiations plus CBS firing one of their biggest “moneymakers” made quite some noise online. A few former writers have already hinted about their past experiences, and it’s possible that former cast and crew members might come forward soon.
Back in May, I wrote about an Instagram post by the Rain Management Group (that was later edited). They announced that Jim Adler joined Season 5 as Co-Executive Producer while Monica Macer joined as Showrunner. They edited the post before I could take a screenshot; and I assumed they had meant Monica Macer will join as a Co-Showrunner. In a Skype interview with The Morning Show for Global News (Canada) on June 17, Lucas Till mentioned that the show just got Macer as a new showrunner. He explicitly said showrunner, which I again assumed was just a slip of the tongue (and he had meant to say Co-Showrunner).
Apparently, this has been in the works for a while now. During the investigation, CBS already set the wheels in motion to remove Peter Lenkov as quickly as possibly if needed. I always thought it was weird that Co-Showrunner Terry Matalas had so much input for Season 4, despite having a lot less experience and connections in the industry. For his overall deal, Lenkov was hired to develop new shows as well, but his latest project simply disappeared without staying in development. As you can imagine, this also sparked new speculations about the surprising cancellation of Hawaii Five-0.
What’s going to happen now?
Jim Adler already was a Co-Executive Producer on Season 4. He recently indicated in a tweet that he was fired by Lenkov. Since he wrote Episode 4×16 (Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO), it must have happened during the ongoing season. I don’t know if he’s currently on the team or not (e.g. if he was “re-hired” for Season 5). Both H50 and MacGyver had sort of a revolving door for writers; and it seems a lot of them didn’t leave voluntarily. Since there’s never any official announcements, it’s hard to keep track and there might be more personnel changes coming. CBS has committed to bring more diversity to the network, and Monica Macer as new showrunner will sure adhere to that.
Since the “leftover” episodes from Season 4 were still written under Lenkov, the changes probably won’t be immediately noticed – but depending on how many episodes they will be able to film this year, we might get yet another soft reboot of the show; similar to Season 4.
ICYMI: The MacGyver Writers will share a teaser for Season 5 if they reach 8000 followers on Twitter; so you’ll know what to do if you don’t follow them yet.
There are a few CBS primetime shows listed with production dates for August (e.g. Magnum PI) and September (e.g. Clarice), but MacGyver is not part of it. Considering that Covid-19 cases are still rising in Georgia area and with California entering another soft lockdown, CBS might have to decide which shows will go forward and which won’t; maybe relocating some of them or push production to next year.
Tonight, there’s a rerun of Episode 4×02 (Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed). Next Friday, they’re bringing back “The Greatest At-Home Videos” in our favorite timeslot, so there’s no more reruns listed at the moment. There are many more Fridays until “Fall” Season, though – especially if none of the primetime shows can start filming anytime soon.
Season 3 Rerun Ratings
To recap: The rerun of Episode 3×20 (No Go + High Voltage + Rescue) on June 19 (at 9pm for once) got 3.140 million live-viewers; also with a demo of 0.3. The Saturday rerun of Episode 3×21 (Treason + Heartbreak + Gum) garnered 1.824 million live-viewers with a demo of 0.2.
Last week, the Rerun of the Season 3 Finale Episode 3×22 (Mason + Cable + Choices) had 3.480 million live-viewers with a demo of 0.3. Not too bad for a Friday rerun.
What are Cast and Crew up to?
Lucas Till is still on a road trip across the country with his brother Nick, roommate Mike and some friends. We got some Official Stills for his movie “Son of the South” a few weeks ago, but there’s no trailer yet. The release date was set for September 16 and last year, there had been talks about the movie having its premiere in Alabama before taking part in the festival circuits. It’s possible that the release date might be pushed to next year or that they decide for a premiere on a streaming network instead.
Tristin Mays also had a family outing (for the first time in months), posting a few photos of her visiting the Cadillac Ranch.
On July 24, Henry Ian Cusick will take part in an online panel discussion for “Comic Con at Home” (since the San Diego Comic Con had to be cancelled); hosted by Entertainment Weekly under the title “Brave Warriors”. He probably can’t talk much about Season 5 or the Lenkov situation, but maybe he can talk a bit about the unaired episodes they had initially filmed for Season 4.
MacGyver in Germany
The Free-TV-Premiere of Season 4 in Germany was on channel Sat.1 this Tuesday (8.15pm). Episode 4×01 (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix) had 1.43 million live-viewers and a market-share of 5.2%. That’s a bigger audience than for the German Season 3 Premiere and a bigger audience and market share for the demo group (14-49 years). It also did better than a new episode of Hawaii Five-0 that aired two hours later.
Contrary to the other seasons, they only air one episode instead of two; probably to stretch out the weeks with new episodes. The upcoming German Episode Titles:
- 4×02: Projekt Quirk (literal translation: Project Quirk; Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed)
- 4×03: Steuerlos am Himmel (Rudderless in the Sky; Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck)
- 4×04: Wettlauf mit der Zeit (Race against Time; Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin)
- 4×05: Der Kaufmann (The Merchant; Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan)
MacGyver around the World
The Season 3 DVD was released in several countries this week: Australia, New Zealand (July 15) and Germany, Austria, Switzerland (July 16). The international versions contain a Gag Reel and Deleted Scenes. Considering the Gag Reel isn’t even 2 minutes long, it’s even more outreageous they didn’t put it on the US version as well. Also, it’s completely devoid of any snippets with George Eads.
Here are the other upcoming DVD release dates:
- August 26 (France)
- September 2 (Japan, Part 1)
- October 9 (Japan, Part 2)
Season 4 is supposed to air in the UK on July 26 (on Sky One). Let’s see if they keep the release date this time.