MacGyver Reboot Update #129

There’s only one new episode tonight before the Reboot (and my blog posts) go into Christmas Hiatus. It’s the first episode filmed under the new showrunner, so everyone is really curious.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (Tom Griscom/CBS via Seat42F)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 5 storylines and characters 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.)

 

About the Season 5 Premiere Promo
Season 5 premiered two weeks ago. Most of the promo material was released and aired before the Premiere, but some stuff was kept to air before last week’s Episode 5×02. The biggest surprise was a video via ET Online about the Mays Family Road Trip: Back in July, Tristin Mays and her family plus the two family pets (Bird Pine and Dog Sergeant) travelled from LA to Atlanta.

Mays Family Road Trip (Screenshot via ET Online)

Because filming for Season 5 was delayed for another 2 months after arriving, Tristin had enough time to film a holiday TV movie (The Christmas Sitters) in Colorado. The movie premiered last Sunday on ionTV.

There hasn’t been any new interviews so far with Showrunner Monica Macer, despite the first episode filmed under her supervision airing tonight.

ICYMI: Tech Consultant Rhett Allain switched blogs. You can find his blog post about the MacGyverisms (aka MacHacks) used in Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) here and the ones used in Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice) here.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Meredith Eaton)

About Episode 5×02 (MAC414)
Last week was the premiere of Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice); initially filmed with production number 414. It was written by Peter Lenkov and Andrew Klein and directed by Duane Clark. They released 16 Official Stills and 3 Sneak Peeks beforehand.

We got new and old BtS photos and Instagram stories just before and during the episode aired; e.g. by Guest Stars Eden Harper or Mei Ritchart (Young Desi). Lucas Till also had some time to post on social media; using the Stills to tell a story.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Eden Harper)

A day later, Sarah Downer posted a compilation of guest star Sebastian Roche in costume plus one of Lucas and Levy in their auction costumes.

Episode 5×02 attracted 4.785 million live-viewers and got a 0.5 rating in the important demo group of 18-49 year olds. Compared to the other CBS scripted shows (21 so far), it places Rank 13 in both average demo and audience numbers per episode.

Several of the writers joined the live-tweeting again. With about 745 estimated tweets per hour on average, it wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend. In comparison, #BlueBloods trended on Rank 11 US-wide with about 2900 tweets per hour, while #MagnumPI reached 269 tweets per hour. Overall, the episode was well-received on social media.

ADR for Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Carmen Alexis)

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

  • MacGyver (8pm): 0.50 in demo (-25.37% compared to last season), 4.842 million live-viewers (-20.38%)
  • Magnum PI (9pm): 0.50 demo (-23.08%), 5.591 million live-viewers (-16.13%)
  • Blue Bloods (10pm): 0.50 demo (-23.08%), 6.410 million live-viewers (-16.59%)

What you need to know about Episode 5×03 (MAC501)
Tonight is the premiere of Episode 5×03 (Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma). This is the first episode that was filmed for Season 5.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (Tom Griscom/CBS via Seat42F)

We got the Press Release on December 10. Here’s the synopsis:

When Russ is kidnapped, Mac and the team must break out a previously murderous psychopath, now pacifist, from prison to help find him. Also, while on the run, Mac and Desi are forced to confront their relationship issues.

As mentioned last week, the storyline deviates from the exclusive Fall Preview for TV Guide Magazine – because they had announced that David Dastmalchian would return as Murdoc. As it is, the storyline has been re-written by using the character of Eric Andrews (played by Joe Pantoliano). This episode also sees the return of Guest Stars Tobin Bell (Leland) and Zach McGowan (Roman). For a refresher on Leland, you can find his character bio page here.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via TV Line)

On December 14, we got an exclusive First Look provided by TV Line with 3 Official Stills featuring Riley and MacGyver on what looks like a picnic date. Of course, the MacRiley fans were full of joy; reposting the photos on social media like crazy, but also speculating if this might be a dream sequence, a flashback or an undercover mission. 5 Official Stills were later uploaded on SpoilerTV. You can find 13 Stills (in smaller quality) on Seat42F. Two days later, we got 3 Sneak Peeks.

We got a few new and old BtS photos and Instagram stories in the last few days; e.g. by Christopher Jon Duddy. Guest Star Carmen Alexa (who plays an FBI Agent) uploaded an ADR Session video and several BtS photos of herself in the ADR studio. Even Justin Hires found the time to post new BtS photos today.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Christopher Jon Duddy)

Season 5 Overview
In his recent interview with Parade, Lucas Till talked about Season 5 being a “Frankenstein Season”, and he wasn’t exaggerating: The next premiere after the holidays will be the episode that has been filmed with production number MAC419. Considering that these episodes were filmed almost a year ago, I keep wondering how the cast keeps track of the storyline. Judging by the episode title, we should see the return of Mason (played by Peter Weller). However: Unlike the other Friday shows, it didn’t get a Press Release yet.

As mentioned last week, animal wrangler Jamie stated on Instagram that her episode (MAC417) would be scrapped. For now, there’s no official statement if there are episodes being dropped or not. Let’s hope we get to watch them all (if not on TV, then at least on DVD).

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via MacGyverCBS)

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 or by an anonymous source (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).

  • 5×03 (MAC501): Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + MA (December 18)
    Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
  • 5×04 (MAC419): Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (January 8)
    Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller

Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS.

Episode 5×04: Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (via Peter Lenkov)

For now, I sorted the other upcoming episodes by production number:

  • (MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
  • (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
    Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
  • (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
    Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
  • (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance
    Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn
  • (MAC503): tba
    Presumed guest appearance by David Dastmalchian
  • (MAC504): tba
    Presumably written by Teresa Huang

During Christmas Break, we’ll get reruns of the Season 4 Premiere (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix) and of Episode 4×07 (Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey).

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

Working on Episode MAC503 and beyond
(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.)

Filming for the episode with production number MAC503 started on December 7. To Recap: David Dastmalchian arrived in Atlanta on December 8, but there has been no confirmation so far that he will be part of the episode. Last Friday, we got an Insta Story of Henry Ian Cusick with Lucas Till (who’s dressed in medieval knight armour).

BtS photo of Season 5 (via E Rickelle)

On Saturday, filming continued for 2nd Unit. They filmed in Downtown Atlanta and in Marietta Square dressed as Mexico; also with a stuntman on a motorbike (that said “policia”). Otherwise, it’s still rather quiet regarding BtS material. Monica Macer tweeted a photo in front of a mannequin wearing MacGyvered scuba gear.

Two days ago, David Dastmalchian posted a selfie; revealing that his blue hair is gone and stating that he’s an alien. Interestingly, Hussein Agamiri posted a Story the same day from set; showing a construction that looks a bit like an UFO.

Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
There have been no new (public) Casting Calls since November 12. It’s still difficult to find out who’s on the crew at the moment and they don’t post much from set anymore. Levy Tran’s Instagram account is back up, but she’s not posting anything, either at the moment.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Lucas Till)

If you missed the premiere of Tristin Mays’ movie The Christmas Sitter on ionTV, you can catch the reruns on December 20 and 25. MacGyver Creator Lee David Zlotoff did an interview with SciFi4Me; talking about TV and his first novel (MacGyver: Meltdown). If you still need an idea for a (belated) Christmas Gift, it can be ordered here.

MacGyver Reboot Update #128

While we finally get to enjoy our weekly episodes, cast and crew are busy filming – so busy, that they don’t have much time to post on social media.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via CBS/SpoilerTV)

(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.)

 

About the Season 5 Premiere Promo
Season 5 premiered last Friday. Here’s a recap of the promo material:

  • Previews and Teaser Trailers: We got a Season Preview Trailer and a shortened TV spot version. GlobalTV (Canada) also put a Season Teaser Trailer out, using scenes from Season 4. Today, CBS released a new combo trailer (with Magnum PI) that got the “Grindhouse” treatment.
  • Character Teasers and Posters: There were several teaser videos announcing countdowns: Russ (2 Weeks left), Desi (1 Week), Matty (5 Days), Bozer (3 Days), Riley (2 Days) and MacGyver (Tomorrow). While they posted the videos on Instagram, they posted a screenshot photo on Facebook. They also added character posters (by using old Stills from Season 4).
  • Sneak Peeks: We got 3 Sneak Peeks and the Opening Scene as an exlusive clip by ET Online.

But what I always like best about promo days, are the interviews.

Lucas Till in a Zoom Call Interview for The Talk

And while the Morning Shows interviews where as short as ever, we did get some news about the upcoming season.

  • Live-Interviews: Last week, Lucas Till did several live-interviews via Zoom; e.g. for Good Day Sacramento, for local stations CBS 58 (Milwaukee), for CBS LA and for CBS 8 (San Diego). Yesterday, we got another short one by CBS 46 (Atlanta).
  • Interviews: Lucas also did an interview with Matt Weiss for CBS 62 (Detroit) and a longer interview with Parade. Last Friday, he did an appearance on The Talk; alongside Magnum PI lead actor Jay Hernandez.

According to the Parade interview, new Showrunner Monica Macer managed to go back through the previous seasons and find story points that were left without a resolution.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Anabelle Acosta)

Also, there will be a lot of standalone storylines that deal with individual characters and their backstories or their current stories – something that fans have waited for quite some time now.

About Episode 5×01 (MAC415)
Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) was initially filmed with production number 415. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Avi Youabian. They released 16 Official Stills and 4 Sneak Peeks beforehand.

We got several new and old BtS photos and Instagram stories just before and during the episode aired; e.g. by Guest Stars Jean Brassard, Anabelle Acosta, Jessie T Usher or Eugenie Bondurant and a lot more by the director. Afterwards, we got a closer look at the props (e.g. the ventilator and the air bottles).

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

Episode 5×01 attracted 4.898 million live-viewers and got a 0.5 rating in the important demo group of 18-49 year olds. While this doesn’t seem like much, the loss compared to last season is about the same as for the other Friday shows. Compared to all other CBS scripted shows airing episodes so far, it places Rank 13 in average demo and Rank 12 for average audience numbers per episode, so about the same as last season. Programming Insider doesn’t report the DVR-Ratings anymore, so I don’t know how much they gained in the Live +3 and +7 days ratings.

Some of the CBS Fall Shows that premiered in November are already on Christmas hiatus. We’ll see if that is a hindrance for the Friday Ratings (due to people not tuning in; thinking it’s going to be reruns as well).

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (Mark Hill/CBS via KsiteTV)

The fans live-tweeted a lot, but with about 660 estimated tweets per hour on average, it wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend. (In comparison, #BlueBloods trended on Rank 4 US-wide with about 4900 tweets per hour, while #MagnumPI reached 266 tweets per hour.) Overall, the episode was well-received on social media.

What you need to know about Episode 5×02 (MAC414)
Tonight is the release of Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice). This is the “leftover” episode that was filmed first when production restarted in January; using production number 414. It was written by Peter Lenkov and Andrew Klein and directed by Duane Clark. In case you need a refresher, 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.

The Preview can be found here. CBS released 16 Official Stills. On Getty Images, you can find 6 (tagged) Stills while SpoilerTV has 6 untagged Stills (but a different variety). The untagged versions of all Stills were just uploaded here a few hours ago.

On Set of Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Justin Hires)

On Wednesday, we got 3 Sneak Peeks. As suspected, this episode will reveal more about Desi’s backstory and probably hint at the relationship status between her and MacGyver.

What you need to know about Episode 5×03 (MAC501)
Next week is the premiere of Episode 5×03 (Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma). We just got the Press Release yesterday, but no First Look Stills yet. It’s possible there will be some exclusive promo since this is the first episode shot with a new showrunner at the helm. Here’s the synopsis:

When Russ is kidnapped, Mac and the team must break out a previously murderous psychopath, now pacifist, from prison to help find him. Also, while on the run, Mac and Desi are forced to confront their relationship issues.

We’ll get a few familiar faces back as guest stars; e.g. Tobin Bell as Leland or Zach McGowan as Roman (both last seen in the Season 4 Finale). If you need a refresher on Leland, you can find his character bio page here. There’s a nice BtS photo by guest star Joe Pantoliano with Lucas Till and Levy Tran inside a car; posted back in November.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Joe Pantoliano)

Today, Joe went live on Instagram; praising the covid safety protocols on set. I hope we will get some more BtS material soon since there isn’t much from when they were actually filming.

It’s interesting to note that back in October, Monica Macer talked to TV Guide for their Fall Preview; stating that Codex is still a threat. Yet, the storyline was quite different:

In the MacGyver Season 5 opener, Codex kidnaps Phoenix owner Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick) for one main reason: a prisoner exchange. So it’s assassin Murdoc (David Dastmalchian), held by Phoenix, for Taylor.

(TV Guide Fall Preview, via TV Insider)

I’ve been wondering why we never got to see David Dastmalchian on set and had assumed that they filmed out of order. (It later turned out that David had been up in Vancouver to film on another TV show.)

TV Guide Magazine Fall Preview (via PattiAnn Prinzivalli)

Instead of going the obvious route, they chose to take on the effort to rewrite the episode (initially titled “Telescope + S-218 + Amplifier + Frenemies + Fog; as seen on the script title page photo by Justin Hires). It would be nice to get some more information or even an interview about this, since filming out of order isn’t unusual and shouldn’t be more difficult despite filming during a pandemic.

Production during a Pandemic: The Time Jump (encore)
According to Episode 5×01, Season 5 picks up 10 months and a pandemic after the Season 4 Finale events. While they did have to deal with the pandemic sooner or later this season and I’m actually glad that they chose to do a post-pandemic world (like NCIS LA or Magnum), I do have some issues with putting the pandemic in as an afterthought into the “leftover” episodes.

Meredith Eaton on set of Season 5 (via Alessia Costantini)

Are we really to believe they shut down a secret agency due to a pandemic? Even though they’re not a government agency anymore since Season 4, I doubt they just closed down shop. Still using the cover of a think tank, they’d still be on the front lines (and MacGyver probably busy working on some new, extra-safe facemask prototype). Also, some minor storylines don’t make as much sense with such a long break (e.g. Russ and Desi still having trust issues 10 months later, but only now adressing it).

I think they should have aired the 6 finished Season 4 episodes first and scrap or re-shoot the unfinished one; then adding a time jump there if needed. Maybe new showrunner Monica Macer didn’t have the patience to make good of what Peter Lenkov left her to work with in the last few episodes? Maybe they deemed some non-Codex-storylines too problematic?

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Christopher Foster)

Maybe this was the “safer” way; considering they don’t know how many episodes they will manage to shoot this season? (With cases rising again world-wide, it’s more and more likely there will be the immediate threat of another shutdown looming after the holidays.)

It’s also worth noting that animal wrangler Jamie stated last week on Instagram that her episode (MAC417) would be scrapped. To be honest, I still can’t imagine that CBS would be willing to scrap the rest of the episodes in these unsure times with potential shutdowns. It could maybe happen for one of the episodes – but judging by the BtS material, I can’t really think of a reason why it should be exactly this episode; especially since this would have featured the return of Frankie (first seen on Episode 1×19: Compass).

BtS photo of MAC417: Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage (via Jamie)

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 or by an anonymous source (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).

  • 5×02 (MAC414): Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (December 11)
    Written by Peter M. Lenkov and Andrew Klein, directed by Duane Clark
  • 5×03 (MAC501): Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + MA (December 18)
    Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
  • 5×04 (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance (tba for 2021)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn

Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. It’s difficult to predict where the new episodes will be filed in between.

Lucas Till in a Zoom Call Interview for CBS San Diego

For now, the order of the other upcoming episodes is just an assumption; so I sorted them by production number:

  • (filmed with production number MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
  • (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
    Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
  • (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
    Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • (MAC419): Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason
    Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller
  • (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
  • (MAC503): tba

We still don’t know yet how many episodes we’ll get. According to SpoilerTV, production dates are November to March.

Script title page for Episode 501 (via Justin Hires)

During Christmas Break, we’ll get reruns of Episodes 4×01 (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix) and 4×07 (Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey).

Working on Episode MAC502
(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.)

Filming for the episode with production number MAC502 started on November 23. According to the writers, the episode was written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher and is directed by Andrew Ahn. After Thanksgiving Break, we got a BtS photo of Meredith Eaton with Alessia Costantini (presumably back in LA). Thursday and Friday, they filmed a stunt scene with a garbage truck out in the rain; in front of a big green screen. Henry Ian Cusick posted an Insta story from set while sitting in a car; joined by Levy, Tristin and Lucas.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Steven Serna)

Apparently, we also got the first official “set accident”: In an Instagram Story, Tristin stated that she broke her toe the other day. According to a tweet by Monica Macer, the episode was wrapped shortly before the premiere of Season 5, so that the main cast was able to live-tweet and watch with the fans. The next day, we got a BtS photo of Lucas Till with a guest star.

Working on Episode MAC503
Filming for the episode with production number MAC503 presumably started on Monday. David Dastmalchian posted an Insta Story of him on Tuesday; revealing that he just arrived in Atlanta. It would be nice if he gets to film another episode after his storyline for MAC501 fell through, but there has been no confirmation so far.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Henry Ian Cusick)

Yesterday, Monica Macer tweeted a photo taken inside of a church while scouting locations. Today, we got an Insta Story of Henry Ian Cusick; posing with Lucas Till who’s dressed like a medieval knight (sword and all). I’m already looking forward to what this is all about.

Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
There have been no new (public) Casting Calls. At this point, it might be possible that they switched casting agencies.

ICYMI: If you still need an idea for a Christmas Gift, the first MacGyver Novel (MacGyver: Meltdown) was released on November 27. Both the book and the kindle version can be ordered here. Last week, we finally got a first Trailer for Lucas Till’s upcoming movie Son of the South by the Australian distributor.

Don’t forget that Tristin Mays’ movie The Christmas Sitter premieres on Sunday on ionTV. You can check out the trailer here.

MacGyver Reboot Update #127

We finally reached another important Friday this year – the Premiere of Season 5!

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Jessie T Usher)

(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.)

 

About the Season 5 Premiere Promo
There hasn’t been as much promo as for Season 4 – until today. Here’s an overview of what we got as promo for Season 5:

While they had used material from the first four episodes for the Season 4 Preview, they mostly used material from Episode 5×02 this time. Also, many fans weren’t too happy that the promo focused a lot on Desi, but not on the long-time-regulars like Bozer and Matty. Not to mention that it was too short anyway.

Season 5 Promo (via MacGyverCBS)

GlobalTV (Canada) also put a Season Teaser Trailer out on November 26. It only used scenes from Season 4, but focused on MacGyver instead which in my opinion worked better.

  • Character Teasers: Later, there were several teaser videos of the characters announcing countdowns. We got a teaser of Russ Taylor (2 Weeks left), a teaser of Desi (1 Week), one of Matty (5 Days), one of Bozer (3 Days), one of Riley (2 Days) and one of MacGyver (Tomorrow).

It was nice to get a few additional teasers with material from the “real” Season 5. Besides Russ, they all looked way too serious though.

Season 5 Promo (via MacGyverCBS)

While they posted the videos on Instagram, they often posted a screenshot photo on Facebook.

  • Character Posters: We got a character poster of Russ (put together with a shot from Episode 4×01), of Desi (Episode 4×07), of Matty, (taken from the portrait photoshoot they did during Season 4), of Bozer, of Riley and… none of MacGyver (at least not when writing up this post).

To me, these character posters weren’t all that interesting since they were put together with material used more than half a year ago.

  • Sneak Peeks: On Wednesday, we got 3 Sneak Peeks and the Opening Scene as an exlusive clip by ET Online. They chose a variety of clips featuring all the regular characters.

Back when I still thought they would air the “leftover” episodes of Season 4 first, I speculated in several blog posts that they might add another time jump for easier transition.

Lucas Till in a Zoom Call Interview for Good Day Sacramento

As ET Online reveals with the Opening Scene, we will indeed get another time jump – just not how I expected it. More about that further down.

  • On-Set-Interviews: Yesterday, Lucas Till did a short Zoom Call Interview on Good Day Sacramento. He was also part in the CBS Friday-Line-Up Preview; revealing that we will see even more depth of character this season. Today, local station CBS58 (Milwaukee) aired another interview; with Lucas stating that MacGyver fans are the best. There was also a short segment for CBS LA where he talked about the covid safety protocols a bit.

For the interview with CBS58, Lucas revealed that brother Nick is still his assistant; driving him to set every day and taking a daily covid test like the rest of the cast and crew.

Lucas Till in a Zoom Call Interview for The Talk

Of course, the live-video quality over Zoom Calls is not the same that we’re used to, but it’s nice that they still get a promo cycle on so many local TV stations.

  • Off-Set-Interviews: Lucas Till had an interview with Matt Weiss for CBS62 (Detroit); stating that Season 5 is the best season he ever had. He also did a longer interview with Parade that was released today. A few hours ago, Lucas did an appearance on The Talk; alongside Magnum PI lead actor Jay Hernandez.

They touched again upon a potential crossover between the two shows; with Lucas repeating that he’d really like to drive that Ferrari.

All you need to know about Episode 5×01 (MAC415)
Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) airing tonight is the “leftover” episode that was initially filmed with production number 415. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Avi Youabian. We got 16 Official Stills in total and 4 Sneak Peeks.

Season 5 Promo (via MacGyverCBS)

If you need a refresher, here’s the synopsis for the Season Premiere:

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.

Lucas Till talked about the episode in his promo interviews; mentioning that it is a nod to John Wick and that he had a lot of fun filming it.

Guest Star Jean Brassard posted several new BtS photos; e.g. one photo with director Avi Youabian and one with co-star Jessie T Usher. He added some old BtS photos as well, but added statements about the actors he worked with. Jessie also posted old and new BtS photos; e.g. a group photo with Tristin Mays, Lucas Till and Henry Ian Cusick.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

Director Avi Youabian posted a BtS photo of Levy Tran waiting all suited up, one of Lucas on screen, and a new/old one with Lucas, Meredith, Justin and Ian in the War Room.

Today, he added more BtS photos of Tristin with Jessie plus a few great ones of Levy in front of the bullet-riddled car; alongside a bunch of new/old Instagram Story photos.

Guest Star Eugenie Bondurant also added a few BtS photos via Instagram. Meanwhile, CBS mostly re-posted material seen before. Hopefully, we’ll see some additional BtS stuff while the episode airs. It’s nice to see everyone getting excited about watching an episode filmed almost a year ago.

Season 5 Promo (via MacGyverCBS)

What you need to know about Episode 5×02 (MAC414)
Next week, we’ll get Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice). This is the “leftover” episode that was filmed first when production restarted in January; using production number 414. It was written by Peter Lenkov and Andrew Klein and directed by Duane Clark. 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 Getty Images, you can find 6 (tagged) Stills since the untagged Stills apparently still haven’t been released yet.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via CBS/Getty Images)

Production during a Pandemic: The LA Unit
The producers decided to slide the newly-filmed episodes between the old ones. As mentioned in my latest blog post, one reason could be that some of the main or recurring cast members can sit out for an episode without making it too obvious. I also mentioned to note that even after two weeks of production, we still didn’t know if Meredith Eaton has been back on set.

On December 1, CBS posted a BtS photo of Meredith holding the slate for the episode with production number 501; dated for November 30. Interestingly, the slate says “LA Unit”; confirming that Meredith stayed back in LA. Considering that filming for Episode 501 in Atlanta finished on November 20, I’m assuming that director David Straiton finished up in Atlanta first before travelling back to LA to direct Meredith’s scenes.

Meredith Eaton on set of Episode 501 (via MacGyverCBS)

We will see if they cut the scenes together (by re-building a duplicate of the War Room and some clever editing) or if they have Matty call in via screen. It’s worth noting that they could have gone the easy way and written Matty temporarily out if they had aired the “leftover” episodes first. They could have let her film a few scenes now to explain her absence for the rest of the season (e.g. prolonged mission-absence or beaurocracy stuff in Washington) or simply explain her absence as narration.

Production during a Pandemic: The Time Jump
According to the Opening Scene clip by ET Online, 10 months and a pandemic have passed since the Season 4 Finale events. As I wrote in my Update Posts No. 101 and No. 102 back in January and February, time jumps are not a rarity in TV-Show-Land. With a time jump, the writers and producers usually get a “blank slate” to change and shape the show into whatever they wanted from the beginning.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Justin Hires)

It’s possible that with the depart of co-showrunner Terry Matalas, now-ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov put in a short time jump of one or two months to get things “back on track” the way he wanted. But I doubt he had planned for such a big one.

The switch of showrunners in the middle of a season is difficult enough, but adding a season cut short, 6 months in between filming plus the pandemic is not easy to handle. Granted, since Episode 5×01 is set in Zurich anyway, the climate back then isn’t as different as it is now. And with the leftover episodes in between, they couldn’t do such an extensive time jump as for Season 4. But they might use the time jump to set up upcoming storylines in advance that haven’t been thought about when writing the “leftover” scripts a year ago.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

For example, they might use the new episodes to pretend that the pandemic is almost over. Therefore, they don’t have to explain when people aren’t wearing masks in the old episodes. (Depending on where the mission is set, the pandemic might already be over in the country of the week.) Otherwise, they are again able to tweak the history of the characters and the relationships between them to get where new showrunner Monica Macer wants. They can just tell us it happened off-screen with a few flashbacks and we have to accept it.

For now, I expect some adjustements to the relationship between MacGyver and Desi and to the living situation in Mac’s house. I guess we’ll know soon if Riley moved out or not. (With so much promo material out today, I can’t cover it all, but will probably adress it in next week’s post.)

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

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 or by an anonymous source (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).

  • 5×01 (filmed with production number MAC415):
    Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (December 4)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Avi Youabian
  • 5×02 (MAC414): Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (December 11)
    Written by Peter M. Lenkov and Andrew Klein, directed by Duane Clark
  • 5×03 (MAC501): Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + MA (December 18)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
  • 5×04 (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance (tba for 2021)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn

Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. It’s difficult to predict where the new episodes will be filed in between.

Lucas Till in a Zoom Call Interview for CBS LA

For now, the order of the other upcoming episodes is just an assumption; so I sorted them by production number:

  • (filmed with production number MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
  • (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
    Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
  • (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
    Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • (MAC419): Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason
    Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller
  • (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
  • (MAC503): Telescope + S-218 + Amplifier + Frenemies + Fog
    Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks

We still don’t know yet how many episodes we’ll get. According to SpoilerTV, production dates are November to March.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

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.)

Filming for the episode with production number 502 started on November 23. According to the MacGyver Writers, the episode was written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher and is directed by Andrew Ahn. Due to Thanksgiving, cast and crew got to enjoy a long weekend in the middle of production.

On December 1, we got a BtS photo of Meredith Eaton with Alessia Costantini (presumably back in LA). With Atlanta getting snowfall, Meredith sure has the better weather conditions for filming at the moment. There was no new BtS material from set until today, when Tristin posted a few Instagram stories. As Lucas told CBS LA, they filmed a stunt scene with a garbage truck. Ian also just posted a story from set while sitting in a car; joined by Levy, Tristin and Lucas.

Lucas Till in an Interview for CBS Baltimore

Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
There have been no new (public) Casting Calls.

The first MacGyver Novel (MacGyver: Meltdown) was released on November 27. Both the book and the kindle version can be ordered here.

On Tuesday, we finally got a first Trailer for Lucas Till’s upcoming movie Son of the South. It’s by the Australian distributor Heritage Films, so I hope that the US distributor also will release a trailer soon. There’s a release date for March 21 in France, but depending on the pandemic, the movie might not be released in theatres.

MacGyver Reboot Update #126

One week left until the Premiere of Season 5!

Season 5 Teaser Trailer Screenshot (via TV Promos)

(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.

Season 5 Promo (via MacGyverCBS)

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.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (Mark Hill/CBS via KsiteTV)

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.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Jean Brassard)

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.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via MacGyverCBS)

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.

BtS photo of Episode 502 (via MacGyver Writers)

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.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Justin Hires)

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).

BtS Instagram Story Screenshot Compilation while on set of Season 5 (via Lucas Till)

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.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via CBS/Getty Images)

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.

Footage from filming Episode 501 (via Christopher Jon Duddy)

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.)

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Jean Brassard)

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.

MacGyver Reboot Update #125

Less than two weeks left until the Premiere of Season 5!

Team Phoenix back on set (via MacGyverCBS)

(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
By now, you all should have heard the news: Season 5 will premiere on Friday, December 4! All the MacGyverCBS social media accounts got a new header and profile photo for the occasion.

Downside of being back as a “Fall” show: There’s a lot more competition within your network. While MacGyver got sort of “punished” when being pushed to midseason for Season 4, they still got a lot more promo for both the Premiere and the Season Finale than back for Seasons 2 and 3. After all, there were only two midseason shows having a premiere in February this year.

The Countdown has started (via MacGyverCBS)

On November 17, the official MacGyverCBS account started tweeting short videos; e.g. Justin Hires talking about what makes Bozer tick and that he’s excited to meet Bozer’s parents this season. On Friday, they posted a very short teaser of Russ announcing that the show will premiere in two weeks.

Tristin Mays did a 40-minute-interview with re:imagine/ATL, talking about what’s different when filming a TV show during a pandemic, about her dog Sergeant and about her work experiences as an actress. She confirmed my suspicions that due to the long break, most of the former crew members started looking for work elsewhere and that there are a lot of new people on the show – which might be another explanation for the lack of BtS material.

Current MacGyverCBS Facebook Profile Photo (via CBS)

Otherwise, there’s not much promo yet. Even the order of the episodes is a bit difficult to predict at the moment (more about that further down). But we finally got the first Season Preview Trailer on Friday; which contains mostly scenes from the first two “leftover” episodes. While many fans lamented the lack of Bozer or Matty, the video excited the fans no less; earning more than 46’000 views (and counting) in less than 24 hours. Since it hasn’t been uploaded on an official CBS channel yet, the cast members have reposted the video by TV Promos (who were the first to upload it).

What you need to know about Episode 5×01
On November 9, we got the synopsis and the First Official Still for Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) via SpoilerTV. Keep in mind that this is the “leftover” episode that was initially filmed with production number 415 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness) back in January.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (Mark Hill/CBS via KsiteTV)

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.

We got 16 Official Stills in total via KsiteTV. There are only 5 of them on Getty Images; confirming that most of the other photos are screenshots and were not taken by Still Photographer Mark Hill.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Lucas Till)

What you need to know about Episode 5×02
On November 19, we got the synopsis and two Stills for Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice) via SpoilerTV. Keep in mind that this is the “leftover” episode that was filmed first when production restarted in January; using production number 414 (Thief + Painting + Viro-486 + Justice). I hope we get a bunch of Official Stills soon.

Production during a Pandemic
I speculated in my latest blogpost that they might slide the newly-filmed episodes between the old ones. This turned out to be true; confirming that this is why they kept the hairstyles so similar to Season 4.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

I’ve always been curious about the transition between the seasons since they don’t have a clean break. Maybe they couldn’t or didn’t want to build directly upon Ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov’s storylines before being able to go into the direction they wanted. Or they didn’t want to add an “artificial” cut (e.g. in the form of another time-jump). Maybe they’re trying to “defuse” the previous storyline a bit before venturing into new territory.

While this might make the showrunner transition a bit easier for the viewers, it creates a new problem with episodes switching in between non-covid and covid-related storylines and environments. There might be masked background actors in one episode and none in the next – but after all, stranger things have happened on TV and we might have to cut them some slack. It’s difficult (and sort of crazy) enough to keep filming during a pandemic while case numbers are still rising.

BtS Instagram Story Screenshot Compilation while filming Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

There might also be another reason for mixing old and new episodes: The higher costs when producing a TV show during a pandemic. Back in Spring, I speculated about the episode orders being potentially shorter due to safety protocols leading to higher expenses. We already know that CBS has ordered shorter seasons this year; e.g. 16 episodes each for Magnum PI and Blue Bloods. It’s worth noting that according to an article by Deadline, implementing COVID safety protocols adds up to half a million dollars to the budget per episode for a drama/crime show.

Maybe sliding in new episodes in between old ones is also a way to cover up for the new episodes being produced with lower budgets spent on stunts, for example. It’s possible that the new episodes have less action scenes (which are the main reason for high costs when producing action and crime shows) and will focus more on character development. That way, it’s less obvious with a better balance.

Justin Hires and Lucas Till joking around on set of Season 5 (via Justin Hires)

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)
    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): 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.

BtS Instagram Story Screenshot Compilation while filming Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Hussein Agamiri)

Working on Episode 501
(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. It might be a bit confusing, but this seems to be the best option for now.)

Filming for the episode with production number 501 started on November 11. It’s directed by David Straiton, who has already directed several episodes for the show. During the first few days, we got several BtS photos with Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires, Levy Tran and Henry Ian Cusick on set. They had a Porsche and several planes as their “co-stars”.

On Friday, November 13, we got a quick message by Justin and Tristin plus a group photo via CBS. In the afternoon, filming continued outside. Tristin uploaded a video (filmed by Lucas) that looks like Riley is having a picnic event in a park.

BtS photo of Episode 501 (via Tristin Mays)

On November 17, Tristin posted a photo of her in front of a jet. The next day, she was very happy to find another tiny door (that are hidden in and around Atlanta). We didn’t get much more BtS stuff material. Justin was nice enough to deliver us a short BtS video of him with Lucas; talking about Justin’s assistant that recently reached internet fame.

On November 20, new Showrunner Monica Macer tweeted that Episode 501 is “in the can”. It took them 8 days to film the episode – which is well within pre-covid production time.

Working on Episode 502 and beyond
On November 16, Monica Macer tweeted a photo to show us what socially distanced location scouting looks like. We can assume that production on Episode 502 will start on Monday. There have been no casting calls at all since my last blog post, but they will probably film the episode that was deemed the Season Opener by TV Guide Magazine.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Monica Macer)

According to a recent Instagram post, David Dastmalchian has been visiting Vancouver. Let’s hope he finds his way to Atlanta soon to resume the role of our favorite villain.

As mentioned last week, posts on social media confirmed that some former crew members won’t work on Season 5 (e.g. Haley Porch or Levy’s stand-in Amanda Mazonkey), and Lucas’ usual Stand-In Matthew Albright also stated in an Instagram post that he’s currently not working on the show.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Henry Ian Cusick)

Season 4 Reruns
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, which is about the same as other CBS reruns. This Friday, the rerun of the Season 4 Finale (Save + The + Dam + World) got 2.803 million live-viewers in the preliminary ratings; also with a demo of 0.3.

It’s worth noting that these rerun ratings are better than what SWAT achieved for their “normal” episode premieres in the last two weeks. Compared to last year, SWAT lost about 36% in demo and 38% in audience numbers. CBS might decide to pull the show off schedule or drop it somewhere else, but I think the Friday Line-Up will be safe from any big schedule shake-ups.

On November 27, CBS has a special line-up (e.g. with “Frosty the Snowman” at 8pm), but we should get more reruns on December 25 and on January 1st.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Hussein Agamiri)

Other MacGyver News
ICYMI: On November 12, we got a first look at the cover of the upcoming first MacGyver Novel (MacGyver: Meltdown) that should be released end of November. You can find more information here.

So far, there’s no information about a release date of the Season 4 DVD. Sadly, it doesn’t look like it will come out before the Season 5 Premiere.