After two weeks of reruns, we’ll finally get new episodes starting next week! Meanwhile, Film and TV productions in LA are going into a prolonged Holiday Hiatus.
(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 on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)
About Episode 5×03 (MAC501)
Two weeks ago was the premiere of Episode 5×03 (Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma); the first episode filmed for Season 5. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and Jim Adler and directed by David Straiton. They released 18 Official Stills and 3 Sneak Peeks beforehand.
As expected, Matty appeared on screen only since Meredith Eaton is filming on the LA Unit. With so many Riley-fans and MacRiley-fans being disappointed, the Writers appeased them by tweeting that there will be more MacRiley content coming and that Riley’s hacker-persona Artemis37 will make a return in an upcoming episode.
Episode 5×03 had 4.724 million live-viewers and 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 12 in average demo and Rank 13 in average audience numbers per episode.
At the moment, the average CBS Friday ratings per episode look like this:
- MacGyver (8pm): 0.51 in demo (-23.43% compared to last season), 4.802 million live-viewers (-21.03%)
- Magnum PI (9pm): 0.51 demo (-20.87%), 5.552 million live-viewers (-16.71%)
- Blue Bloods (10pm): 0.50 demo (-22.92%), 6.401 million live-viewers (-16.71%)
Several of the writers joined the live-tweeting, but interestingly none of the main cast besides Henry Ian Cusick. With about 845 estimated tweets per hour, it wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend. But it did better than #BlueBloods with about 757 tweets per hour and #MagnumPI with about 389 tweets per hour.
Overall, the episode was not as well-received on social media as the former Season 5 episodes. But it got people talking a lot (with some discussions still ongoing). About a week later, Carmen Alexis also posted a video-log and more BtS photos on Instagram; revealing that she initially had more scenes (that apparently got cut).
What you need to know about Episode 5×04 (MAC419)
Next week is the premiere of Episode 5×04 (Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason). It was written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez and directed by Peter Weller, who already directed Episodes 2×20 and 4×03. This episode was filmed with production number MAC419 (Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason) back in March.
We got the Press Release and a first Official Still on December 21. Here’s the synopsis:
Mac’s meeting with Desi’s parents goes sideways when her brother finds himself in trouble and desperately needs their help. Also, Russ and Matty must ask an old nemesis for assistance when their new recruitment candidate is kidnapped.
This episode sees the return of Guest Star Peter Weller as Elliot Mason. For a refresher on Mason, you can find his character bio page here. Both Guest Stars Corey Jung and Dollar Tan praised Peter Weller’s work ethic as actor and as director.
In generally, there wasn’t much BtS material available when the episode was being filmed and so far, we didn’t get any new BtS material since then. I remember them filming scenes at a science fair and what looks like a car accident. There was no BtS material at all of meeting Desi’s parents. In fact, I remember Levy posting an Insta Story on March 5; stating that she had a week off filming.
The preview will hopefully be released tonight. Additionally, it’s the only CBS crime show besides NCIS LA that didn’t get any more Official Stills released yet. It’s a pity they treat the show as an afterthought; considering this episode was filmed about 10 months ago already.
Season 5 Overview
In his interview with Parade, Lucas Till talked about Season 5 being a “Frankenstein Season”, and he wasn’t exaggerating. Considering that some of these episodes were filmed almost a year ago, I keep wondering how the cast keeps track of the storyline.
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).
- 5×04 (MAC419): Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (January 8)
Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller
- 5×05 (MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + Safe Cracker + MgKNO3 + GTO
Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
Remember that episode titles and episode order are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS.
For now, I sorted the other upcoming episodes by production number:
- (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 appearances by David Dastmalchian and Joe Pantoliano
- (MAC504): tba
Presumably written by Teresa Huang
There’s still no official word on the episode number. With the 2-month-delay to start filming, it’s very likely that Season 5 will also have only 13 episodes. Most of the LA productions have agreed to extend their Holiday Hiatus. It’s not clear yet if the LA Unit for MacGyver (where Meredith Eaton films) will be affected. While Magnum PI is more or less safe, there might be a prolonged hiatus for Blue Bloods (that films in NY). They already scheduled a rerun in two weeks while there will be new episodes for the other Friday shows.
On Tuesday, TV Line posted some scoop about an upcoming episode (presumably the one with production number 502):
What can you tease about MacGyver‘s quarantine episode that’s coming up this season? –Amel
If you loved seeing Henry Ian Cusick’s Desmond romance Penny on Lost, just wait until you see him “stuck” in quarantine with Sofia Walker (played by Camilla Arfwedson). I mean, there’s sword play, fierce drumming, rocking out…. All told, Russ’ romantic fling takes on a longer, and more complicated, turn when they then quarantine together. Meanwhile, Mac, Bozer and Riley witness from their own bubble — and then try to stop — a crime in progress at their neighbor’s house.
(via TV Line, December 29)
Season 4 Reruns
Last week, we got a rerun of the Season 4 Premiere (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix). It brought 3.108 million live-viewers and got a 0.3 demo rating, which is better than the average Season 4 ratings so far.
Tonight, there’s a rerun of Episode 4×07 (Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey).
Working on Episode MAC503 and beyond
Filming for the episode with production number MAC503 started on December 7. To Recap: They filmed in Downtown Atlanta and in Marietta Square dressed as Mexico. Otherwise, it was rather quiet regarding BtS material.
On December 18, Steven Serna posted that they just wrapped for 2020. Yet Alessia Costantini still seemed to be scouting locations on December 21. A day later, Joe Pantoliano posted a photo of himself on set with Tristin Mays and David Dastmalchian, so it looks like his character Eric Andrews (aka General Ma from Episode 5×03) will be back for another guest appearence.
Writer Teresa Huang posted on December 11 that she’s remotely prepping her episode that will be filming in January (presumably MAC504). So far, there’s no information about on what day filming will resume.
Other MacGyver-related News
December usually means lots of Best-Of-Lists. On SpoilerTV, the MacGyver Reboot was on Rank 15 for the list of most popular shows of 2020. The Popularity Score is based on a calculation of Page Views, Video Plays, Poll Votes, Comments, Facebook and Tweet Likes. Also, the poll about Episode 5×03 made Rank 4 on the list of most popular “What Did You Think Of” polls.