MacGyver Reboot Update #116

After the bombshell news of Peter Lenkov being fired and Lucas Till speaking up about a work environment of abuse, everything quieted down again. Cast and Crew are waiting for the green light to start filming for Season 5.

Roadtrip Day 23 (via Mike Milligan)

(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 (encore)
The MacGyverWriters have been back in the (virtual) office since June 12. They are a lot more active on Twitter than in recent years – maybe also to gloss over the upsetting reports surrounding the show in recent weeks.

ICYMI: (Former) Showrunner Peter Lenkov was fired by CBS; dismissed despite having a year left on his overall deal. 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. On July 20, an article by Vanity Fair revealed how toxic this work environement really was and how appalling and abusive Lenkov’s behavior towards cast and crew.

Roadtrip Day 18 (via Mike Milligan)

According to Vanity Fair, Lucas Till had already complained about Lenkov’s behavior to HR in 2017 with no results. After another complaint in May this year, CBS finally decided to look into it. Sources told writer Maureen Ryan that Lucas paved the way to finally put an end to Lenkov’s tyranny. It’s rare for people to speak up on record and even more rare for the lead of an ongoing show to do so. Lucas put his career on the line to stand up for what is right, and it’s probably due to his name attached that this article has been making waves for several days on social media and news sites.

What’s going to happen now?
During the investigation, CBS had already set the wheels in motion to remove Peter Lenkov as quickly as possibly if needed. The timing is interesting, since several former writers of Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver hinted at a revealing article being in the works just after the news broke that Lenkov had been fired. It’s very likely that this article and Lucas speaking up (instead of being an anonymous source) triggered the cascade of Lenkov being fired instead of being reprimanded.

New/Old Season 1 Costume Design Illustration (via Daniel Wheeler)

It’s not clear what incident led Lucas to reach out to HR again in May. But more people and companies have reached out to the author of the article willing to talk, so there might be some follow-up articles and reveals coming. And there might be more personnel changes for Season 5. According to Vanity Fair, Co-Executive Producer Jeffrey Downer is no longer with the show. Several crew members who had ties to Lenkov or spoke up about him; dismissing the claims as lies on social media, have been let go. It’s possible there might be “collateral damage” and an overhaul of entire crew departements (e.g. Jeff Downer’s daughter Sarah who has been working as a costumer on the show since 2017).

So far, every new Co-EP and Co-Showrunner brought in new people they’ve already worked with in the past. New Showrunner Monica Macer will probably also bring in new directors, producers and crew. Additionally, CBS has committed to bring more diversity to the network.

Official Still for “Son of the South” (via Clear Horizon Entertainment)

Both SWAT and Magnum PI are listed with production dates for August. On July 24, Henry Ian Cusick attended an online panel for “Comic Con at Home” (since San Diego Comic Con had to be cancelled); hosted by Entertainment Weekly under the title “Brave Warriors”. He mentioned that filming for MacGyver is planned to resume in August as well, but at the moment, it doesn’t seem very likely.

While MacGyver has the advantage of having a few finished “leftover” episodes from Season 4, they might have to retool the show again to adapt to the pandemic safety guidelines. The focus might be more on character development than on stunts or relationships. Therefore, the “break” between the already filmed Season 4 episodes and Season 5 might be still noticeable; especially with an additional showrunner change.

Pre-Roadtrip excursion in May (via Nick Till)

It will be interesting to see how they’ll manage the gap. They might just re-write the previously intended Season 4 finale and make the actors carry the same hairstyle to ease the shift between the seasons (which means both Lucas and Tristin would have to go back to their Season 4 looks). The easiest way would probably be another time-jump (which is not what I wish for). With Lenkov gone, they could try to reverse some of the storylines and bring old characters back, but that’s maybe too much of a hassle. Let’s wait and see, I guess.

Some fans are still worried that CBS might drop the leftover episodes, but if CBS intends to hold onto any kind of a limited Fall schedule, they don’t have much of a choice. Even with Lenkov’s name attached and Lenkov probably preparing for a lawsuit, the material already belongs to CBS.

Season 4 Rerun Ratings
To recap: 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. The rerun of Episode 4×02 (Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed) on July 17 brought 3.437 million live-viewers, also with a demo of 0.3.

BtS photo of Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via Lucas Till)

There’s no reruns listed until August 21. There might be some more schedule changes, but at the moment, it will be a rerun of Episode 4×05 (Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan).

What are Cast and Crew up to?
A few weeks ago, Levy Tran was looking at new apartments in Atlanta, so I guess she’s preparing to move back to the area as soon as they get notice on a filming start date. Lucas Till is still on his road trip across the country with brother Nick, roommate Mike, manager Tom and some friends they pick up along the way. Justin Hires has been working on some more music and just announced he’s starting a podcast.

MacGyver in Germany
To Recap: The Free-TV-Premiere of Season 4 in Germany (4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix) had 1.43 million live-viewers and a market-share of 5.2%. A week later, Episode 4×02 (Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed) managed 1.30 million live-viewers with a market-share of 4.9%.

Episode 4×03 (Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck) did very well with 1.53 million live-viewers and a market-share of 5.8%. It did better than Reef Break and even Hawaii Five-0 (which almost tanked with a new episode at 10pm, which is very unusual). The channel might tweak the schedule a bit, but MacGyver should be safe.

Episode 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (via SpoilerTV)

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:

  • 4×04: Wettlauf mit der Zeit (literal translation: Race against Time; Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin)
  • 4×05: Der Kaufmann (The Merchant; Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan)
  • 4×06: Deal mit dem Teufel (Deal with the Devil; Right + Wrong + Both + Neither)
  • 4×07: Mörderisches Date (Murderous Date, Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey)
  • 4×08: tba (Father + Son + Father + Matriarch)

There’s also reruns of Seasons 2 and 3 on both Swiss and Austrian TV channels, so the reboot is apparently doing well enough to keep it on the evening and night schedule.

Levy Tran looking for a new place to stay (via Jeannie Morgan)

MacGyver around the World
The Season 3 DVD was released in several countries outside the US recently. The international versions contain a Gag Reel and Deleted Scenes. Season 4 had its premiere in the UK on July 26 (on Sky One).

Looking Back at Season 4 (I) – The Official Stills (Part 1)

Promo-wise, Season 4 was very good to MacGyver fans. Besides interviews and featurettes for the premiere, we got all the episode titles in advance and a new photoshoot in the middle of the season. Also, there were more Official Stills than for previous seasons and a preview plus several Sneak Peeks for every episode.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via SpoilerTV)

As with the previous seasons, I’m looking back at the Official Stills for each episode of Season 4; picking my favorites and writing down some of my thoughts. (Because I just can’t keep quiet, as you all know by now.)

 

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (Still Photographer: Mark Hill)
For the Premiere of Season 4, we got 26 Official Stills on the press site. A lot of them were actually screenshots. Getty Images has 8 (but watermarked) Stills taken by Still Photographer Mark Hill while What2Vue released 20.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (Mark Hill/CBS via Getty Images)

MY FAVORITE: The one with Mac and Desi. There’s an urgency in Mac handling the shovel, while Desi seems unsure but wanting to help.

BONUS STILL: The one with Mac and Russ on top of the post was the first Official Still we got for Season 4. Part of our introduction into the new season we waited so long for.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: A few more Stills instead of screenshots for the Season Premiere would have been nice, but we got like 6 Stills for the Season 3 Premiere back then, so no reason to keep complaining.

 

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (Guy D’Alema/Mark Hill)
It’s rather unusual to have 2 Still Photographers on set, but this was the first episode they filmed for Season 4, so they probably wanted to catch the excitement during the first days of filming.

For Episode 4×02, we got 15 Stills on the press site. 14 are available via Getty Images while 11 are on What2Vue. Interestingly, they later added 3 screenshots of Meredith Eaton as Matty.

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via CBS)

MY FAVORITE: It’s art, no? Also, the only Still not available on Getty Images, probably because it was used for a First Look preview in the TV Guide magazine.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Pretty looking people in various locations. Nothing to complain here.

 

Episode 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (Mark Hill)
The third episode only delivered 9 Official Stills (which is still more than we got on average for previous seasons). SpoilerTV granted us 8 unmarked Stills. Surprisingly, none of them are available on Getty Images.

Episode 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Mac in a plane. We all know how he feels about heights, right?

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: The young guest star has a pivotal role on the episode. He would have deserved to be in one of the Stills without having his face half-hidden behind Desi.

 

Episode 4×04: Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin (Mark Hill)
We got 12 Stills for this episode. Most of them feature Mac and/or Riley on the mission in Germany, with Desi joining them in 2 of the Stills. Getty Images has 7 Stills up, while What2Vue has 6 of them. Interestingly, KsiteTV has 19 since they added the photos and screenshots posted on the official social media accounts the day the episode aired.

Episode 4×04: Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin (via What2Vue)

MY FAVORITE: MacGyverisms are hard work.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: So much MacRiley. Not disappointing at all.

 

(More coming soon.)

MacGyver Reboot Update #103

While we finally get to enjoy our weekly episodes, cast and crew are nearing the ending of filming. Only about 4 episodes left to shoot – and there’s casting info for a new, recurring character!

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via CBS)

(Spoiler Alert: You WILL get heavily 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 the Season 4 Premiere Promo
Season 4 premiered two weeks ago. Contrary to Season 3, we got a lot of exciting promo material beforehand. To recap:

  • Interviews: We got a few not-so-new interviews; done with Lucas Till at the Corus Upfront in Toronto back in June 2019. We got a lot of new interviews with Lucas (e.g. with Parade Magazine) and with Henry Ian Cusick (e.g. on the Emmy website).
  • Photos: We got new portraits and group photos taken by Still Photographer Mark Hill.
  • Episode Titles: CBS released all the title ingredients for the initially ordered 13 episodes.
  • Previews and Sneak Peeks: We got an extended preview, a Sneak Peek of rebooted Team Phoenix’ first mission plus the Opening Scene, including the introduction of Russ Taylor.
  • New Opening Title Sequence: CBS presented us the Opening Title Sequence for Season 4 a day before the episode aired.
  • Spoiler Alert and BtS Previews: CBS released a spoiler-filled video with the cast and a BtS Preview Video.

Interestingly, CBS kept handing us more promo afterward; e.g. the Agent Profile for Russ Taylor. We also got a new interview with Tristin Mays for Starry Constellation Magazine last Friday. She talked about her character; revealing that we will get to see a flashback episode and getting to know more about Riley’s past.

Agent Profile for Russ Taylor (via CBS)

About Episode 4×01
Season 4 picks up 18 months after the Phoenix Foundation was disbanded and the team members were stripped of their high-level clearances; having to take on non-government jobs. The season premiere episode airing on February 7 is titled “Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix”. It was written by (former) Co-Showrunner Terry Matalas and directed by David Straiton – and Lucas Till is now listed as a producer, too!

CBS had uploaded 26 Official Stills onto their press site. Sadly, not all of them are available in HD quality, but most of them are up on SpoilerTV. We also got several Sneak Peeks for the episode plus a few new BtS photos. Because of the push to midseason and this episode being filmed as the second one (instead of the first), a few co-stars had missed their appearance on Llive-TV. Some of the co-stars and the crew members uploaded BtS photos and videos afterwards; e.g. Toshiji Takeshima or Matthew Albright.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via CBS)

Episode 4×01 attracted 5.935 million live-viewers and got a 0.7 rating in the important demo group of 18-49 year olds. While the ratings didn’t win the night, they were better than both the Season 3 Premiere and the Season 3 Finale. In the Live +3 days ratings, it gained an additional 1.4 million viewers, reaching 7.4 million viewers. When looking at the Live +7 days ratings, it gained 1.55 million viewers (+26%), making 7.49 million viewers with a demo of 0.94 in total when including DVR ratings.

The twitter-trend-competition was high that night (due to a politics-related event on TV), but the fans live-tweeted enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to reach Rank 30 US-wide. The episode also made it into SpoilerTVs “Quote of the Week“.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via SpoilerTV)

On February 9, Tech Consultant Rhett Allain continued with his blog posts about the MacGyverisms used in the show and uploaded a post about the MacHacks in this episode.

About Episode 4×02
The episode airing last week is titled “Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed”. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Alexandra La Roche (who had also directed Episode 3×17).

CBS had uploaded 15 Official Stills onto their press site. 14 of them are available on Getty Images; 11 of them are smaller, but untagged up on What 2 Vue. Lucas Till added some funny captions and uploaded them as Instagram Stories last week. We also got 4 Sneak Peeks.

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via Parade Magazine)

Episode 4×02 had 5.772 million live-viewers and a demo rating of 0.7. The ratings are almost the same as the ones for Episode 3×02 back in September 2018. When compared to all other CBS shows (24 in total), the Reboot is currently at Rank 15 for demo and at Rank 14 for audience numbers.

That might not sound like stellar ratings, but it’s still slightly above the CBS average demo (of 0.686) and doing better than 5 of the 7 Rookie shows this year. Also, it only lost 4% in demo compared to last season, which is the lowest demo loss of all current CBS shows.

Again, the episode made it into SpoilerTV‘s “Quote of the Week” compilation. On February 17, Tech Consultant Rhett Allain uploaded his blog post about the MacGyverisms used in this episode.

Episode 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (via SpoilerTV)

What you need to know about Episode 4×03
The episode airing tonight is titled “Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck”. It was written by Producer Rob Pearlstein and directed by Lily Mariye (who already directed Episode 3×08). Here’s the synopsis:

MacGyver and the team board a plane that’s mid-flight when the pilot has a heart attack, and discover the medical emergency was intentional.

Among the guest cast, Sawyer D. Jones is listed as “Little Boy Mac”, so we should get another flashback sequence – maybe one that has to do with Mac’s fear of heights?

CBS had uploaded 9 Official Stills beforehand and 2 Sneak Peeks yesterday with an additional Sneak Peek (focusing on Mac and Desi) today. You can find all the promo material here.

Episode 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (via SpoilerTV)

What you need to know about Episode 4×04
The episode airing next Friday is titled “Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin”. It was written by Andrew Karlsruher and directed by Eagle Egilsson (who already directed Episodes 1×14, 2×16, 3×05 and 3×20).

The storyline is set in Germany. We got the Press Release with a First Official Still on February 13. Here’s the synopsis:

As MacGyver works quickly to rescue survivors from a collapsed building in Germany, he discovers a new safety threat – a 1,000-pound undetonated bomb from World War II hidden beneath the rubble.

This sounds very much like an OG episode and I’m pretty excited. Also, Lucas Till had revealed in an interview for the premiere episode that he will speak a few lines of German this season. Among the guest cast, there’s also a German actor listed (Hauke Bahr).

Episode 4×04: Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin (via SpoilerTV)

In total, CBS uploaded 12 Official Stills; mostly of Mac and Riley working on securing the bomb.

Season 4 Episode Overview
Here’s a short recap about 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 or similar sites (episode titles and storyline info) and from The Futon Critic (airdates). On May 22, there’s an episode of reality show “Love Island” listed, so there might be a short break after the midseason finale on May 15.

Just remember: Episode titles and airdates are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. And even then, changes are still a possibility.

  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (March 6)
    Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Duane Clark. You can find the Press Release with the first Official Still here.
  • 4×06: Right + Wrong + Both + Neither (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (April 3)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: Father (?) Son (?) Father (?) Matriarch (April 10)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×09: Code (?) Artemis (?) Nuclear (?) Nemesis (April 17)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: Tesla (?) Bell (?) Edison (?) Mac (April 24)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: Psy-Op (?) Cell (?) Merchant (?) Birds (May 1)
    (tba)
  • 4×12: Loyalty (?) Family (?) Rogue (?) Hellfire (May 8)
    (tba)
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (May 15)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard
  • 4×14: (title tba)
    (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 appearance by Jorge Garcia

A little recap since my last blog post: Filming for Episode 4×16 (Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO) started around January 24. The episode was written by Jim Adler and directed by Ericson Core. The cast set up at Fulton County Airport, at East Point Wagon Works, at the Arcade and in Downtown Atlanta.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Lavonda Till)

The most interesting part was Lucas’ dad filming his guest appearance. Apparently, he’s part of the scene with MacGyver waiting in uniform to attend the arrival of a casket in an airport hangar (as seen on photos uploaded by Lucas’ stepmom Lavonda Till). Although it’s all pretend, Papa Till sure looks proud of Lucas in uniform.

Working on Episode 4×17
Despite Season Premiere Day, cast and crew worked until late that evening. The second/stunt team worked on stunts on Saturday despite rather heavy snowfall, although the scene was supposed to be set in San Diego.

On February 12, they filmed both inside and outside, but we didn’t get to see much BtS material. Aly Michalka (Frankie) uploaded a photo of herself in a lab coat as an Instagram Short Story. Considering there’s another BtS Insta Story of the same day of a bloody handprint on a glass door and casting calls for a CSI Forensics Team, we can only hope Frankie didn’t have to fake her death again.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Cornell Willis)

They next day, they had more snakes on set; this time in a laboratory setting instead of a pet store a few weeks ago. Cornell Willis took the chance to face his fears by getting up and close with a snake. They also had some fake snakes there; so it’s possible that some of the animals will “escape” on screen.

Working on Episode 4×18 and beyond
Production for Episode 4×18 started around February 13. Work continued outside on Valentine’s Day; at least with nice and sunny weather for once. The cast continued to upload photos and stories to remind us of the premiere for Episode 4×02. Meredith Eaton uploaded a nice photo with Henry Ian Cusick while Lucas Till showed us how difficult it is to concentrate on set when the stunt team makes so much noise during their fight scenes. He also revealed that he finally got to ride the “ride in the belly of the airport beast”. Could this be a nod to another OG episode?

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Meredith Eaton)

Cast and crew got to enjoy a long weekend due to a public holiday. Filming continued on Tuesday, February 18 with a familiar face in the War Room: Jorge Garcia (from Hawaii Five-0) will resume his role as Jerry Ortega; guest-starring in an upcoming episode (either 4×18 or 4×19; depending if they’re still filming in order).

The next day, production moved to the Georgian Terrace Hotel. Justin Hires and the rest of the cast got to dress up again. We didn’t get to see much BtS material in the last few days, but they sure wear a lot of sharp suits this season!

Jeri Ryan in Season 4 (via TV Insider)

Cast and Character News
Yesterday, we got some big casting news: There’s another recurring character showing up this season! As revealed by TV Insider, Jery Ryan has been cast as Gwendolyn Hayes – who is related to MacGyver!

Gwendolyn Hayes is Mac’s aunt, his beloved mother’s sister, and an ex-DXS agent who was presumed dead. Mac never knew she existed but Gwen was always keeping track of her nephew’s life in the shadows. She is now the presumed head of Codex, the organization that the Phoenix has been hunting this season.

(Peter Lenkov for TV Insider)

Talk about creepy stalkers *ahem*. The article says that the character will first appear in the March 27 episode. There’s no episode listed for March 27, though (due to March Madness). But she will probably appear in Episode 4×08; at the moment set for April 10.

In other news, Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Photographers and a Forensic Team, for Men in Suits, for Background Actors with Cars, for two Armed Cauciasian Men, for Upscale Restaurant Patrons, for a Hostess and a Server, for a male Chef, for Pregnant Caucasian Women who appear 6 months or more pregnant and for Doctors, Nurses and Orderlies.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Jorge Garcia)

They’ve also been looking for more Nurses , even more Nurses, Orderlies and Patients and for a Stand-In for Danny Le Boyer. As mentioned above, Jorge Garcia will have a guest appearance (presumably in Episode 4×18).

Best of TV Awards: Round 1 Results
The Reboot is still competing in the “Best of TV Awards” held by Canada Graphs – and already won in ALL the categories in Round 1! Well done, fans! Here are the results:

  • Best Action or Drama Program (Rank 1)
  • Best Action or Drama Actor/Actress: Lucas Till/Tristin Mays (Rank 1), Justin Hires/Meredith Eaton (Rank 2)
  • Best Recurring Actor/Actress: Tate Donovan/Reign Edwards (Rank 1), George Eads (Rank 2)
  • Best Guest Actor/Actress: David Dastmalchian (Rank 1), Michael Des Barres (Rank 2)
  • Favorite TV Program (Rank 1)
  • Best Director: Brad Turner for Episode 3×13 (Rank 1)
  • Best Episode: 3×13 (Rank 1), 3×22 (Rank 2), 3×11 (Rank 4)
  • Favorite Character: Mac (Rank 1), Jack (Rank 2), Riley (Rank 3), Bozer (Rank 4)
  • Best Writing (Rank 1)
  • Best Stunts (Rank 1)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky; Rank 1)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna; Rank 1)

Voting for Round 2 has already started a few weeks ago. You can find the voting page here. Remember: This time, you can only vote once for a category, but sometimes you have multiple selections to choose from.

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via What 2 Vue)

These are the MacGyver-related categories to keep an eye on in Round 2:

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

MacGyver Reboot Update #102

We finally reached the most important Friday this year so far – the Season 4 Premiere is tonight! While filming continues, we’re spoiled with new promo material every day now.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, via Tristin Mays)

(Big Spoiler Alert: You WILL get heavily 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 Storylines and Promo News
Season 4 premieres tonight! We got some more exciting promo material since my last blog post:

  • New/Old Interviews: We got a few not-so-new, but still interesting interviews to read and watch; done with Lucas Till at the Corus Upfront in Toronto back in June 2019. On January 31, Rudy Blair uploaded his interview. ET Canada posted their video interview on Wednesday. Yesterday, Global News posted the video of Lucas appearing on The Morning Show.

Since the Corus Upfronts Interviews were recorded about half a year ago and before filming for Season 4 had even started, Lucas couldn’t reveal much about the storyline this season. He probably hadn’t even gotten a script of the new episodes to read yet.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via Meredith Eaton)

He did talk a bit about the stunt work and about filming his movie “Son of the South” during the Morning Show interview.

  • New Interviews: We got a lot more of new interviews than I ever expected and hoped for; considering the show got pushed to midseason. Fun times! On February 4, Matt Carter posted a new interview with Lucas taken just a few days ago. A day later, TV Line posted their interview with Henry Ian Cusick. Additionally, ET Online posted a new interview with Lucas, alongside an exclusive clip of the opening scene. The local CBS stations also had an interview up with Lucas on the same day. Ian had also done an interview with Melissa Byers that was posted on the Emmys website. Today, Parade Magazine released their interview with Lucas who spilled quite a bit about the first episode (more on that further down).

Being already in the middle of filming the season, Lucas talked with Matt Carter about working with Henry Ian Cusick and the character of Russ Taylor, about the different energy in the new season and about the possibility of him directing an episode.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

As Lucas told ET Online, the new season is a bit different and slightly darker, and looks and feels more mature. Also, he revealed to CBS that Executive Producer Peter Lenkov had initially been a bit concerned about making too many changes; fearing it could alienate the audience.

You see Mac grow up in his way of thinking. ‘You can’t save everybody,’ is what part of the season turns into and it’s not just black and white. There’s not just good and bad, and that’s what the season becomes in the first 13.

(Lucas Till for ET Online)

Despite the darker tone, Lucas said in the interview for CBS that there’a still a lot of fun in the episodes. Ian told TV Line he’s never had more fun in a TV role before; being able to be “bigger”, joking around and even improvising his lines every now and then. But he also revealed to Melissa Byers the had been very nervous coming on set; being the “new guy” after the others had already worked with each other for months and even years.

  • Portraits and Group Photos: Last Friday, the new potraits and group photos shot by Still Photographer Mark Hill popped up online.

They had never done new photos after the promo material for the pilot episode with Lucas Till and George Eads. Heck, there isn’t even an official promo team photo for the first three seasons. As you can imagine, the fans were over the moon; re-posting and -tweeting the new photos on social media like crazy. The portraits are being used on the bio page for CBS Press Express and are available on Getty Images; along with one of the team photos.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS)

On February 3, Justin Hires uploaded a short video (taken by Tristin Mays) of him posing for his portraits. Interestingly, he has one additional portrait while the others only got two single portraits each.

  • Episode Titles Galore: On February 3, CBS released the titles for the initially ordered 13 episodes.

Well, the majority of the titles since the equations weren’t fully revealed. We can assume that most titles will have plus signs only – but for now, I’ll put in question marks as placeholders.

  • Extended Trailer and Sneak Peeks: On February 4, we got a new, extended preview. Just a day later, ET Online presented an exclusive video clip of the Opening Scene, alongside a short interview with Lucas.

Like the first preview, the extended preview features scenes from the first four episodes. We get to see more scenes of MacGyver teaching and Riley in her non-Phoenix workplace.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (Mark Hill/CBS via Getty Images)

In the Opening Scene, we see MacGyver wave his way through traffic at speed, running along campus – only to finally arrive in his own classroom and the chemistry lesson he was apparently late to.

The music is still the same length, though they dropped the beginning that was reminiscent to the Original Show. Also, the new logo is red with a different font. The cast order is Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires, Meredith Eaton, Levy Tran and Henry Ian Cusick.

  • Spoiler Alert and BtS Previews: On February 6, CBS released a short, spoiler-filled video with the cast. Later, CBS uploaded a BtS Preview Video. Last Week, Astrid Martinez from TV News Channel CBS46 had visited the cast on set. Yesterday, they aired the short segment on TV. Today, CBS uploaded another video from set, this time with the cast talking about their best life hacks.

Of course, the spoilers are all censored (aka bleeped out). Though from what I was able to understand, someone gets married and a lot of people will die. Sadly, all the clips on the official YouTube-account are restricted to US-viewers only. If perusing the MacGyverCBS-account from Europe, the videos are not listed. Also, the set visit was really short. I hope we get to see more photos and interview segments; maybe shortly before the episode airs.

Screenshot of the Season 4 Opening Title Sequence

What you need to know about Episode 4×01
The episode airing tonight is titled “Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix”. It was written by (former) Co-Showrunner Terry Matalas and directed by David Straiton.

In case you missed the synopsis:

Ex-MI6 agent Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick) recruits former Phoenix Foundation members Mac, Riley, Bozer, Matty and Desi to hunt down a bioweapon that’s planned to be used by a mysterious organization for a devastating attack on a major U.S. city.

On January 7, CBS had released a red logo with black writing. We can assume it’s for the not-so-mysterious-anymore organization named “The Codex” that will test our heroes and their abilities to save the world.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

According to TV Line, Season 4 will pick up 18 months after the Phoenix Foundation was disbanded and the team members were stripped of their high-level clearances. We already knew MacGyver works as a college professor and we’ve seen BtS photos of Bozer promoting his own movie, but Lucas revealed to Parade Magazine what the other members of Team Phoenix have been doing: Riley works in Silicon Valley, Desi works as a bouncer and Matty is doing TED talks. Also, not only did Mac and Desi broke up, but Bozer’s love life is also on the skids – and someone is in a secret relationship!

In an interview with TV Guide Magazine, Lucas Till revealed that Russ Taylor will buy up the Phoenix, so we can assume some tension between Russ and former boss Matty. Also, he told Astrid Martinez when visiting the set for Channel CBS46 that his dad will have a guest appearance. Maybe as a fellow professor?

CBS had uploaded 26 Official Stills onto their press site. Sadly, not all of them are available in HD quality, but most of them are finally up on SpoilerTV. We also got several Sneak Peeks for the episode. In case you missed them: The First Look Video via TV Insider shows is the first meeting between MacGyver and Russ Taylor. In another Sneak Peek, we get to see the “rebooted” Team Phoenix on their first mission.

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (Guy D’Alema/CBS via Getty Images)

What you need to know about Episode 4×02
The episode airing next Friday is titled “Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed”. It’s written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Alexandra La Roche.

Here’s the synopsis:

Department of Defense General John Acosta (Xander Berkeley) recruits MacGyver to steal a highly classified project from a military lab in order to find flaws in its security. But when it’s discovered that the general is planning an attack using the weapon, Phoenix must stop Acosta before the weapon is uploaded.

CBS uploaded 15 Stills in total onto their press site. At the moment, 14 of them are available on Getty Images (watermarked). Weirdly, the cast list for 4×02 is the exact same as for 4×01, so there might have been a mix-up with the episode order being different from the production order.

Season 4 Episode Overview
Here’s a short recap about the episodes we can look forward to. The infos were either provided by CBS, by people working on the show or taken from IMDb (cast and crew info), from SpoilerTV or similar sites (episode titles and storyline info) and from The Futon Critic (airdates).

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

As you can see, there will be a 3-week-break for March Madness like every year. Episode titles and airdates are not definite, though – until an official Press Release by CBS. And even then, changes are still a possibility.

  • 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (February 7)
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (February 14)
    (Presumably) Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (February 21)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, 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: Right (?) Wrong (?) Both (?) Neither (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (April 3)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: Father (?) Son (?) Father (?) Matriarch (April 10)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×09: Code (?) Artemis (?) Nuclear (?) Nemesis (April 17)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: Tesla (?) Bell (?) Edison (?) Mac (April 24)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: Psy-Op (?) Cell (?) Merchant (?) Birds (May 1)
    (tba)
  • 4×12: Loyalty (?) Family (?) Rogue (?) Hellfire (May 8)
    Presumed guest appearance by Rob Giumarra
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (May 15)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard
  • 4×14: (title tba)
    (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)
    (tba)

A little recap: Filming for Episode 4×15 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness) started around January 16 and is directed by Avi Youabian. The cast filmed scenes in the War Room, in an elevator, inside the Equitable Building and at the Candler Hotel. There was a bullet-riddled Maserati, a wheelchair and a bleeding Riley, a sandy beach in Hawaii and several night shoots.

Working on Episode 4×16 and beyond
Episode 4×16 is titled “Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO” and was written by Jim Adler. Filming for the episode directed by Ericson Core started around January 24. The cast set up at Fulton County Airport, at East Point Wagon Works and at the Arcade. They also destroyed quite a few bottles of red wine for the camera. Additionally, we got a photo of Lucas Till in MacGyver’s military dress uniform; filming what looks like army personnel waiting on a casket to arrive in the hangar.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Grecia)

On February 3, filming continued in warehouse-like locations we’ve seen before. Mike Milligan was back for stunt work and geo-tagged his posts with “Croatia”. Lucas Till uploaded a video of Mike “losing it” on the stunt floor.

On February 4, they filmed on different locations around Downtown Atlanta. People nearby were able to get some photos and videos; e.g. of Lucas Till and Henry Ian Cusick filming or of Lucas during lunch break. According to Matthew Albright, they filmed at Interpol HQ as well.

On Wednesday, they filmed more scenes with – presumably Jack’s – GTO. Tristin Mays was happy to find another tiny door right on set. Both her and Lucas took photos and videos with it.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

Yesterday, there was heavy rain in Atlanta; making it difficult to get to set unscathed and to film outside (they were scheduled to shoot in Grant Park). It looks like they had to reschedule for filming outside. Considering it’s snowing now, they might have to do some changes to today’s schedule as well. For now, they do film some scenes outside what looks like the old DXS building.

All in all, cast and crew are exciting for tonight’s premiere; posting a lot on social media. Even Lucas Till has been uploading some Instagram Stories as I type this post. Sadly, Twitter doesn’t seem to be working properly right now, so let’s hope it’s fixed before the premiere so we can get the show’s hashtag trending!

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via SpoilerTV)

Crew, Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Caucasian or Hispanic Background Actors, for Business People, for Airport Background Actors with or without cars, for Police, Hazmat and Detectives, for a Caucasian Featured Man, for a Taxi Driver, for Park Background Actors and for an Airport Patron. They’ve also been looking for Stand-Ins for Tristin Mays and for Marvin Ross.

It looks like Aly Michalka (who played Frankie Mallory in Episode 1×19) might be back on set for Episode 4×17. Also, it looks like some more of Lucas’ relatives and friends might have background spots in upcoming episodes.

About that Time Jump (encore)
As mentioned before, Time Jumps are not a rarity in TV-Show-Land – but it’s rare to have such a long one. And while the writers and producers practically get a “blank slate” to change and shape the show into whatever they wanted from the beginning, it’s not easy to not getting the long-term fans all worked up and angry or anxious about what’s coming and what’s been undone.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via TV Insider)

It’s nice we got so much promo this year. But there are a few things I’m not too happy about from what I’ve seen in the Sneak Peeks and read in the interviews.

  • MacGyver being reckless: In the Opening Sequence, we see Mac weaving in and out of traffic. What looks like a chase for a mission, turns out to be MacGyver just being late for his class.

While Mac certainly is not hesitant to be reckless and put his own life in danger to save other people’s lives, he would never endanger anyone else just because he overslept.

  • The Team falling out of touch: Apparently, Team Phoenix hasn’t talked to each other during the “hiatus”.

Maybe they wouldn’t see each other as often; especially with Jack still away and the team grieving over Charlie (and Mac feeling awfully guilty). I can see Desi falling out of touch with the others; for once because she joined last and second because if she actually dated MacGyver and the relationship fell apart (more on that further down), the others may have “sided” with Mac.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

I can accept everyone struggling with losing a job/position they loved – but I just can’t believe they would have fallen out of touch for a year or more. Even if Bozer moved out of Mac’s house (and he must have, otherwise it makes no sense at all). While Mac has a tendency to withdraw himself from others, Bozer sure doesn’t. This is rather out of character and was just done to have a reason to Russ Taylor swooping in to “save” them. I’m sure, there would have been a better idea how to bring Russ into the team. Personally, I’d preferred maybe Mac saving his life, then deciding they need each other to save Phoenix and get rid of the new bad guy collective.

  • MacGyver’s love life all happening off-screen: The last few episodes of Season 3 hinted at a beginning romance between Mac and Desi; ending with Mac and Desi planning to go on a “date”.

There were several hints at Mac and Desi having been dating and breaking it up again off-screen. Them having been a couple was just confirmed by Lucas with the Parade Magazine interview. Why didn’t we get to see that? While it can be interesting to see an ex-couple reconciling and to learn a story through flashbacks, I fear it’s only implemented to add tension throughout the entire season until they find back together. Both Lucas Till and Levy Tran have good chemistry together, I don’t see why they didn’t let the viewers come to the same conclusion and see the relationship progress naturally over time. (Though to be honest, I’d rather see MacGyver and Riley ending up together; spending a lot of time talking about Jack and struggling with his absence, and later spending a lot of time without talking about Jack.)

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (Mark Hill/CBS via Getty Images)

Best of TV Awards: Round 1 Results
The Reboot is still competing in the “Best of TV Awards” held by Canada Graphs – and already won in several categories in Round 1! Here are the results that are available so far:

  • Favorite TV Program (Rank 1)
  • Best Director: Brad Turner for Episode 3×13 (Rank 1)
  • Best Episode: 3×13 (Rank 1), 3×22 (Rank 2), 3×11 (Rank 4)
  • Favorite Character: Mac (Rank 1), Jack (Rank 2), Riley (Rank 3), Bozer (Rank 4)
  • Best Writing (Rank 1)
  • Best Stunts (Rank 1)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky; Rank 1)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna; Rank 1)

Voting for Round 2 has already started! You can find the voting page here. Remember: This time, you can only vote once for a category, but sometimes you have multiple selections to choose from.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

These are the MacGyver-related categories currently open for voting and to keep an eye on in Round 2:

  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna)

ICYMI: Last Summer, the Reboot had won a surfboard at the Teen Choice Awards (in the category “Choice Action TV Show”). It finally arrived at the Paramount Studio Lot.