MacGyver Reboot Update #99

A filming hiatus over the holidays doesn’t mean that the production is completely on hold. Apparently, some of the cast have already been doing interviews for the upcoming promo.

Screenshot of the CBS Midseason Preview (via CBS)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might 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.)

 

Season 4 Premiere and Promo News
We’re getting closer: Season 4 will premiere next month! As you remember, CBS had released a short midseason/winter preview of their new and returning shows with a few new scenes of the Reboot. The scenes seem to be taken from the Premiere Episode 4×01 (Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed; also listed on some sites with the title Red Cell + Cold + Committed).

At the moment, CBS is mainly promoting the shows returning (like tonight’s crossover between Magnum PI and Hawaii Five-0) or the shows starting soon (like Criminal Minds or rookie show FBI: Most Wanted). I’m assuming they might start promoting rookie Tommy before promoting the Reboot, but with the two shows starting only a day apart, we might get some combined promo spots. A Press Release and a first Offical Still might arrive next week hopefully.

BtS photo of Episode 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (via Drew Whitehouse)

According to Jay Bobbin, he recently did an upcoming interview with Lucas Till. We also should get a Press Release and a First Still soon. They didn’t do any special promo for new regular characters since Meredith Eaton joined back in Season 1, so I’m not sure if we can expect some special promo or interviews with Henry Ian Cusick.

Season 4 Episode Overview
There’s still not enough info listed on IMDb (cast and crew), on TraktTV or similar sites (episode titles) and on The Futon Critic (airdates). Below, there’s the usual overview of the upcoming episodes with the most important infos we have so far. Just remember: Episode titles and airdates are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS.

  • 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (February 7)
    Directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×02: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (February 14)
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (February 21)
    Directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin (February 28)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (March 6)
    Directed by Duane Clark
  • 4×06: (title tba) (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (tbd)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: (title tba)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×09: (title tba)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: (title tba)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearances by Amber Skye Noyes and by Dawson Towery
  • 4×12: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearance by Rob Giumarra
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (tbd)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard

Principal filming for Episode 4×13 wrapped around November 23. The back-order for the additional 9 episodes to make it a full season was rather late. This might be one of the reasons why production wrapped up rather early (last year, they had finished with 15 episodes).

Screenshot of the CBS Midseason Preview (via CBS)

Of course, the main cast enjoying a break doesn’t mean that the production is completely on hold. Stunt and second teams filmed some more stunt scenes and inserts on November 26. During Christmas hiatus, scripts were being written, locations scouted and guest stars and background actors hired. As Set Decorator Nicole LeBlanc stated on December 26, her hiatus was already over. Justin Hires is also back in Atlanta. Judging by the current Casting Calls (see below), filming should resume next week.

Other Cast and Character News
Some information for Henry Ian Cusick and his character Russ Taylor has been added two weeks ago on CBS Press Express. The CBS All Access site hasn’t been updated yet.

ICYMI: A few weeks ago, Central Casting Georgia had the first casting calls for Extras in 2020. They’ve been looking for ballet kids age 9 or 10 and are still searching for background actors during an Auction Scene.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via Peter Lenkov; posted back in July)

Season 4 Storyline Predictions
The show being pushed to midseason, the personnel changes in the team of producers and writers plus the late back-order for more episodes might have several consequences. Here’s my thoughts about these circumstances and how they might influence the season:

  • Two Main Storylines: Since the story-arc was initially written for 13 episodes, I expect the season to be cut into two main storylines; similar to Season 1.

Unlike Season 1 tough, there probably won’t be a severe cliffhanger since the writers and producers had to consider the possibility of the show not coming back and/or not getting any additional episodes.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via Levy Tran; posted back in July)

If there’s now the intention to have a plot twist in the middle of the season, they could maybe switch the episode order before March Madness to ensure the viewers coming back after the short hiatus.

  • No Holiday-Related Episodes: Production started before having a premiere date and a time-slot. So contrary to the other seasons, there probably won’t be any holiday-related episodes.

Being pushed to midseason, any premiere date between January and April was a possibility. The Reboot could have even ended up as a Summer show, so they probably avoided having to air a Halloween- or Christmas-related episode in Spring or Summer. That most likely also means no mention of Valentine’s Day (despite Episode 4×02 airing on February 14) and no references to the current storylines of the other Lenkov-shows (at least for the first half of the season).

Screenshot compilation of a BtS video of Episode 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (via Tristin Mays)

Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that they will air some of the “wintery” episodes in Spring or early Summer. We might even see some snowfall (like in Episode 2×15), but they might explain it with the mission being set outside the US.

  • Changes in recurring guest-stars: Some recurring guest-stars we expected to see might not show up while other guest-stars will.

It’s possible that some of the recurring guest stars aren’t available for the production of the rest of the episodes; occupied with another project they took on while thinking filming for Season 4 will be finished by November – or worse, their characters having been written out with the intention of finishing at least one of the minor storylines in case the show gets cancelled. This could be the case for Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) or Peter Weller (as Mason) who have only been sighted once on set so far.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via Justin Hires; posted back in July)

On the other hand, they have now more time and opportunity to get some new/old guest stars; maybe also recurring ones we haven’t seen on set yet (e.g. Reign Edwards as Leanna, Michael Des Barres as Helman or anyone of the Colton family).

There’s also the possibility of bringing back a guest star despite the storyline for this character being “finished” in the first half of the season or in a previous season. Considering they got note in November to push out 9 more episodes with filming resuming in January, they might have been a bit short on elaborated ideas for new characters; hence reaching out to guest-stars with already established characters instead.

  • Fluctuation in Quality: The second half of the season might be of “lower quality”.

As mentioned above, the back-order for the additional 9 episodes to make it a full season was rather late. They might have had to re-negotiate some contracts. Also, the majority of the writers in the current script-writing team are rather young and in-experienced. I assume that even established writers might have some difficulties coughing up 9 more scripts as quickly as possible.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via L. Marie Richardson; posted back in July)

They might not just bring back already fleshed-out characters, but they also might have ordered scripts from new or former writers or even taken up old script ideas that didn’t get made in earlier seasons. I could be wrong (and I hope I am), but I expect the second half of the season to be of a bit lower quality with a rushed feel to it and unnecessary plot twists to fit in a second story-arc.

The current CBS Friday Ratings
There was a Christmas hiatus for all CBS crime and drama shows. The Friday hiatus ends today with the Crossover between Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum PI. At the moment, the average Friday ratings per episode look like this:

  • Hawaii Five-0 (8pm): 0.69 in demo (-10.74% compared to last season), 6.89 million live-viewers (-4.40%)
  • Magnum PI (9pm): 0.61 demo (-31.56%), 6.32 million live-viewers (+5.45%)
  • Blue Bloods (10pm): 0.62 demo (-21.56%), 7.47 million live-viewers (-11.41%)

As mentioned before, the Friday ratings have been good this season – so good, that Friday is currently the second-best rated weekday on CBS after Tuesday. The average demo-loss of the CBS crime-shows this season so far is about 16%. As you can see, H50 has been doing exceptionally well this season (despite the new timeslot), while Magnum lost almost twice as much in demo ratings (which might be one of the reason it’s going to be benched to make room for MacGyver).

Advertizing for Season 1 reruns on German TV.

Good thing to know: A timeslot around midseason on a Friday means that the expectations aren’t as high as for shows with a Fall premiere date. Ideally, MacGyver should make the same numbers as the other Friday shows, meaning a demo above 0.6 and a live-audience of at least 6.3 million viewers. The better the ratings compared to the other CBS crime-shows, the better the chances for a syndication deal (which is necessary for the show to get renewed).

Best of TV Awards: Round 1 Voting still open
It’s not any prestigious contest, but the Reboot is competing in the “Best of TV Awards” held by Canada Graphs.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

Reminder: In Round 1, you can vote as many times as you want. If the show is not available to choose from the list, you can add a new entry nominee into the “other” box at the bottom of the category. Your choice will be added as soon as several votes have come in. These are the categories to keep an eye on in Round 1:

  • Best Director (Brad Turner for Episode 3×13)
  • Best Episode (Episodes 3×11, 3×13, 3×22)
  • Favorite Character (Mac, Jack, Riley, Bozer)
  • Best Writing (closed)
  • Best Stunts (closed)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky; closed)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna; closed)

Season 3 DVD and other merchandise
The Season 3 DVD will be released on January 14. It’s been finally added to Amazon US for pre-ordering and is currently on sale (50% off). There’s a cover preview, but still no information if there will be any Extras available. The low price at the moment has me worried a bit that they didn’t include any Extras for the US version.

Season 3 DVD Cover Preview (via Nothing But Geek)

The official CBS store for the show still hasn’t been back up yet. They had been late for the Fall shows as well (not opening them before October or November), so we can only hope someone finds the time to update it soon.

MacGyver Reboot Update #98

The main cast enjoying a break doesn’t mean that the production is completely on hold. During Christmas hiatus, scripts are still being written, locations scouted and background actors hired.

Screenshot of the CBS Midseason Preview (via CBS)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might 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.)

 

Season 4 Premiere and Promo News
As you all know by now, Season 4 will premiere in less than 50 days (on Friday, February 7 at 8pm).

There’s still no additional promo yet. CBS had released a short midseason/winter preview of their new and returning shows with a few new scenes of the Reboot. At the moment, they’re promoting the shows returning or premiereing in January like Criminal Minds or rookie show FBI: Most Wanted. There’s not much promo yet for the rookie show Tommy that will premiere in February.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

Therefore, I don’t expect a Press Release and a First Still before January. Sadly, neither showrunner Peter Lenkov nor the producers are very forthcoming with new material. At least Justin Hires keeps posting old BtS photos, even though we’ve already seen most of them.

Season 4 Episode Overview
There’s still not too much info listed on IMDb, but there are some preliminary airdates up on The Futon Critic. Let’s revisit the upcoming episodes with the most important infos we have so far:

  • 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (February 7)
    Directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×02: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (February 14)
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×03: (title tba) (February 21)
    Directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: (title tba) (February 28)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (March 6)
    Directed by Duane Clark
  • 4×06: (title tba) (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (tbd)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: (title tba)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×09: (title tba)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: (title tba)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearances by Amber Skye Noyes and by Dawson Towery
  • 4×12: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearance by Rob Giumarra
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (tbd)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard

The production “wrapped” on the same day as they would have if they had been done with the season after the initially ordered 13 episodes. Some of the crew and stunt team continued filming stunts and inserts for a few more days.

Lucas Till with a fan at LAX (via David Bautista)

Now, the cast and most of the crew is on a 6-week-hiatus; not coming back to set before January. Of course, the writers are still busy finishing up the additional 9 scripts, which means there’s locations to be scouted and guest stars and extras to be cast. According to SpoilerTV, filming will continue until April.

Besides Justin Hires, none of the main cast are very active on social media. While most of them enjoyed some free time with friends and family, some have started on new projects already: Henry Ian Cusick started working on another movie. Justin dropped another song and a music video a few weeks ago and is penned to write a script for a comedy. Lucas Till was sighted at LAX, but we don’t know if his prolonged stay in LA was work-related or not.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01 (via Guy D’Alema)

Other Cast and Character News
Henry Ian Cusick’s bio has been added to the cast bio page on CBS Press Express. Underneath the first character photo, they revealed what might be the title for Episode 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed. They deleted the section about Jack Dalton and exchanged it with some info about Ian’s character in the “About” section:

(…) and Russ Taylor, the quick-witted, Oxford-educated, ex-military skilled in propaganda and lie detection, who shakes things up by challenging the way MacGyver and the team are used to doing things.

Last week, Central Casting Georgia put out the first casting calls for Extras next year. They’ve been looking for ballet kids age 9 or 10 and for background actors during an Auction scene.

Promo Photo for Episode 4×01: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed

Unfortunately, the IMDb episode list still doesn’t go farther than seven episodes in total; with the cast lists still mostly incomplete.

Season 4 Ratings Predictions
MacGyver got a full season order and a premiere date for February 7 in their old timeslot of Fridays 8pm. So what ratings can we expect this season? What ratings are necessary for the show to get renewed?

I know, I’ve been talking about ratings a lot in my last blog posts and if you’re not interested in numbers, that’s not fun for you. Of course, you can skip this section, but fact is: TV shows need good ratings to get renewed – or a good syndication deal. For years, CBS shows that made it to Season 4 rarely got cancelled before a serious drop in ratings. The cancellation of Scorpion surprised everyone and might be a sign that times have changed in the wake of streaming services and dropping live-viewer numbers every year.

Screenshot of the CBS Midseason Preview (via CBS)

We’ve already reached Christmas hiatus for most CBS shows. At the moment, the average Friday ratings per episode look like this:

  • Hawaii Five-0 (8pm): 0.68 in demo (-11.22% compared to last season), 6.89 million live-viewers (-4.40%)
  • Magnum PI (9pm): 0.61 demo (-31.56%), 6.32 million live-viewers (+5.45%)
  • Blue Bloods (10pm): 0.62 demo (-21.56%), 7.47 million live-viewers (-11.41%)

Interestingly, the Friday ratings have been so good lately that Friday is the second-best rated weekday on CBS after Tuesday. Not bad, considering Fridays used to be where networks pushed their failing shows to slowly fade out before cancelling them.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

While MacGyver wasn’t cancelled and in the end got a back-order for a full season, it was still demoted to midseason with only a half-season order initially. Regardless of premiere date and episode count, it still has to “compete” against the other CBS crime shows to survive or at least being able to keep up to enhance its chances for a syndication deal. Good thing: A timeslot around midseason on a Friday means that the expectations aren’t as high as they would have been for a Fall premiere. Ideally, it should make the same numbers as the other Friday shows, meaning a demo above 0.6 and a live-audience of at least 6.3 million viewers.

Problem is that there are too many potential Friday shows. But with H50 and Blue Bloods being so stable in the line-up, it’s not very likely for them to being put somewhere else on the schedule or being cancelled. In the end, it might actually come down to MacGyver vs. Magnum with the chance of only one of these two shows (that have been replacing each other) surviving.

Advertizing for Season 1 reruns on German TV.

About the H50xMagnum Crossover
The crossover of Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum PI will air on January 3. Sadly, MacGyver won’t be part of it.

Overall, it seems like a mixture of bad luck and bad planning. Yes, the logistics were always a bit problematic, but it would have worked out. Sure, it would have been easier with MacGyver staying a Fall show. But the show has been on hiatus for several weeks now while H50 and Magnum are still filming. And even if they had been done after filming the initially odered 13 episodes, they could have sent only one or two of the main cast for appearances on both other shows. Now, they finally got a back-order for a full season, and the crossover has already been filmed. What a pity since they might not get the chance ever again.

Interestingly, Henry Ian Cusick asked on an Instagram post by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov when the crossover of H50 and Magnum with MacGyver is coming, and Lenkov added “soon” plus an emoji of crossed fingers. For now, there’s no indication though that there will be anything more than another Easter Egg in the crossover.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Peter Lenkov; posted back in July)

Best of TV Awards: Voting has started
It’s not any prestigious contest, but the Reboot is eligible for the yearly “Best of TV Awards” held by Canada Graphs. For now, you can vote as many times as you want. If the show is not available to choose from the list, you can add a new entry nominee into the “other” box at the bottom of the category. Your choice will be added at the bottom of the list as soon as several votes have come in – don’t fret, it usually takes a day or two. So add your favorites in there and vote as many times as you want as long as the categories stay open. If it’s like last year, there will be several rounds with new categories added over time.

At the moment, you can vote for the categories “Best Couple” and “Best Non-Human Character or Prop”. For the couple category, the rule states that characters must be either married, dating or shared intimate romantic exchange sometime in 2019, so only “real” couples in an episode with a 2019 airdate are eligible. For the reboot, that means Episode 3×11 and later (e.g. Bozer and Leanna). For the Prop category, you can vote for Sparky.

Season 3 DVD Cover Preview (via Nothing But Geek)

The Season 3 DVD and other merchandize
According to several websites, the Season 3 DVD will be released on January 14. There’s alredy a cover preview, but no information yet if there will be any Extras available.

Sadly, the official CBS store for the show still hasn’t been back up yet.