Great news: Filming has finally started – and we have a premiere date for Season 5!
(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 Premiere News and Promo
On November 9, we finally got news about the premiere date for Season 5: The first episode will air on Friday, December 4! The official MacGyverCBS Twitter Account changed their profile photo and header with new key art. The header is a photoshopped version of a photo taken while filming Episode 4×08; inserting a paperclip into MacGyver’s mouth.
Just minutes later, they also revealed the Synopsis and the First Still for Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) via SpoilerTV. Interestingly, this is the episode that was initially filmed with production number 415 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness). As predicted, they changed the title; adding one ingredient to match it for Season 5. We got 16 Official Stills in total via KsiteTV, which were later reposted by SpoilerTV and What2Vue.
It’s interesting to note that the episode with production number 414 has been written by ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov. Actually, the Magnum PI Season 3 premiere episode was co-written by Lenkov, too. Maybe they felt that two episodes written by Lenkov was too much for one night…
Gearing up for Production
After waiting for months, we finally got proof of pre-production being in progress. On November 6, Heather Kritzer posted a photo of several crew members (e.g. Steven Serna) doing some location scouting. The next day, Sarah Downer uploaded a photo of her officially being back in the office for Season 5. Two days later, she showed us her new work attire: Corona Chic. (And if you look really closely, you can see a photo of our favorite villain Murdoc aka David Dastmalchian in the background.)
Like on other productions, the crew members are wearing masks and face-shields – plus being dressed in “suits” and gloves in some departments. I guess we won’t see too many smiles on BtS photos with the crew this season. Sarah also posted another photo that day, revealing that Lucas Till was back for his costume fitting.
On November 10, Justin Hires uploaded a photo of Lucas, Henry Ian Cusick and himself; masked up and presumably waiting to get a haircut. Many fans commented on the matching mullets of Lucas and Ian, hoping that they get to keep their longer quarantine locks. As Ian later revealed via an Instagram Story, they cut and dyed his Hawaiian sun-bleached hair a bit; matching the style with the one he had in Season 4.
Working on Episode 501
(Note: Since we don’t know the order of the episodes yet, I will continue to refer to the episodes by their production number. It might be a bit confusing, but this seems to be the best option for now.)
On November 11, Justin uploaded the first photo while being on set for the episode with production number 501. He didn’t look as excited as he said to be, but maybe simply because he was overwhelmed standing in front of yet another Porsche. According to a photo by Christopher Duddy, Tristin was on the set too that day. The slate revealed that the episode is directed by David Straiton, who has directed several episodes before.
In the Instagram Story by Hussein Agamiri, it looked like they re-created parts of the Phoenix Lab on a bigger, open soundstage so that the crew is able to film from a bigger distance. While Justin and Tristin kept a bigger distance as well, it’s not clear yet if they will put them closer together in post-production. Sarah Downer revealed in her Insta Story that instead of living and breathing Fit Models, they are using mannequins.
On November 12, production moved to an airport. We didn’t get to see much material, though. Later, Henry Ian Cusick posted two photos in his Insta Story. We didn’t get a good look at MacGyver’s new haircut, but it seems that despite being kidnapped, Russ Taylor will get out mostly unscathed (besides a small butterfly bandage on his forehead).
Season 5 Overview
As mentioned above, filming for about 10 more episodes started on November 11. For now, I’m assuming that CBS has planned for Season 5 to have 16 episodes (if they manage to continue filming without a bigger hiatus).
Since filming per episode takes about 8-10 days during the pandemic, they might finish about 4 episodes before Christmas break if all goes well – but with covid cases rising in all states, it’s possible that filming protocols will be tightened or that filming has to shut down again.
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 + Viro-486 + Justice (tba)
Written by Peter M. Lenkov and Andrew Klein
- 5×03 (416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO (tba)
Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
- 5×04 (417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
- 5×05 (418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
- 5×06 (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?? (501): Telescope + S-218 + Amplifier + Frenemies + Fog
Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS.
Considering that the hairstyles of the main cast seems to match with Season 4, they could mix up the order; sliding newly-filmed stand-alone episodes in between of older ones to draw out the Codex story-arc. With only 10 more episodes to film, they probably won’t bother with setting up a second, bigger story arc with another main villain.
Other Cast, Crew and Character News
This week, Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Science Types (for today), for Homeless Types (for Monday) and for Background Actors with Cars. The amount of Casting Calls has been toned down for most productions; especially for background actors. Covid tests two days in advance are mandatory, so there won’t be any Rush Calls anymore.
Since the IMDb entries for the leftover episodes had been wiped, we don’t have much information for upcoming cast and crew yet. Due to the new protocols, crossovers are very unlikely this season, but we already know from BtS photos in Winter and Spring that we will have Jorge Garcia (Lost, Hawaii Five-0) and Peter Weller in guest-appearances. For more information about the producers and directors assistants, we might have to wait a bit longer. 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).
On Sunday, Henry Ian Cusick will attend virtual panels at the Dream It Convention. During hiatus, Tristin Mays filmed a movie called “The Christmas Sitters” that will air on the ion TV channel on December 13, 20 and 25. For the exact dates and more promo photos, you can check here.
Season 4 Rerun and Season 5 Schedule
Tonight, there’s a rerun of Episode 4×12 (Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire (4×12). Next Friday, we get a rerun of the Season 4 Finale (Save + The + Dam + World). The rerun on November 27 was dropped due to “Frosty the Snowman”, but it’s possible that they will add more reruns during Christmas break. In fact, it seems some networks are planning on bigger Christmas breaks than usual, so it’s not clear yet when the Friday shows will be back next year.
For now, we can safely assume that we will get to watch at least three new episodes in December. Ratings-wise, the other CBS Fall shows haven’t been doing well so far (especially SWAT), but I think the Friday Line-Up will be safe from any big schedule shake-ups.
Other MacGyver News
Yesterday, we got a first look at the cover of the upcoming first MacGyver Novel (MacGyver: Meltdown), written by Eric Kelly and MacGyver-Creator Lee David Zlotoff. The book was to come out in October, but has been postponed to end of November. You can find more information here.