MacGyver Reboot Update #30

As predicted, Season 2 of the MacGyver Reboot will continue to air on Fridays this Fall. The competition for the Friday ratings has changed, though.

LA Wrap Party (via Justin Hires)

CBS Upfronts
On May 17, CBS presented their 2017-2018 TV schedule. As predicted, their Fridays Line-Up hasn’t changed and the “Holy Trinity” (MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods) stays intact. The competition has changed, though; e.g. because Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing has been cancelled. MacGyver will share its airtime with Once Upon A Time (ABC), Blindspot (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen (FOX) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW).

Blindspot used to air on Wednesdays. The show earned on average 4.89 million live viewers (with a 18-49 Demo of 1.03) per episode which is less than MacGyver (7.73 live viewers, Demo 1.08). But like the Reboot, Blindspot also serves a lot of action scenes.

Once Upon A Time used to air on Sundays. In its 6th Season, the show managed on average 3.15 million live viewers (with a 18-49 Demo of 0.93) per episode. The show will undergo a complete overhaul for next season with the consequence of losing six series regulars; looking for a “younger” and “fresher” audience. The show was renewed due to its fierce and loyal fanbase, but we’ll see if the fans will stay without their main heroes that made the audience fall in love with the show in the first place. Also, considering they’re targeting a younger audience by using younger actors, moving the show to Friday might not help to get bigger ratings.

Friday Schedule 2017-2018 (via TV-Recaps-Reviews)

Reruns
There is a rerun of Episode 13 (Large Blade) today. The other scheduled reruns so far are Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) on June 2, Episode 15 (Magnifying Glass) on June 9 and Episode 16 (Hook) on June 16.

What are cast and crew up to?
This Monday, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov has been back on the Paramount Studios lot. With roughly a month left until production moves to Atlanta to get ready for filming, it’s save to say that there are scripts to finish, locations to scout, sets to design and build and casting calls to send out soon.

Lucas Till was also seen at the Paramount Studios lot on May 24, possibly for the LA Screenings that had prepared a pool and palm trees for a screening of the new Baywatch movie.

Lucas Till posing for a selfie (via Felipe Duque)

Justin Hires is already excited for next season. He posted several pictures of MacGyver Episodes and also a new picture with Lucas Till at the LA Wrap Party. George Eads was seen at a restaurant and posed for a picture. Interestingly, we can’t clearly see what’s going on with his hair, but it looks like he has shaved off Jack Dalton’s “Fauxhawk” for hiatus.

MacGyver around the world
The Reboot is or has been airing in several countries by now. The premiere for Italy is set for June 13 (Rai2). For the premiere in Japan, there will be a premiere event on June 6 which the dubbing actors for MacGyver (Mamoru Miyano) and Jack (Hiroshi Tsuchida) will attend.

While the English episode titles are named after tools on an SAK, other countries don’t even try to literally translate them. In Germany, the pilot episode (The Rising) is titled “Die Wiedergeburt” (Rebirth), episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) is called “Alias” (which doesn’t make much sense to me).

In France, the episode titles are either funny or outrageous. Episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) is called “Sauvez la femme” (literally translated: “Rescue the woman”). Episode 1×11 (Scissors) is titled “Joyeux Noël” (Merry Christmas) while Episode 1×14 (Fish Scaler) reveales the plot since it’s titled “Agent double” (Double Agent).

Episode 1×13: Large Blade (via SpoilerTV)

The Vault: New/Old interview with George Eads
There were times when the promo load was so intense that I couldn’t catch all of it. I recently stumbled over an old interview with George Eads that was published in September 2016, a day before the premiere of the pilot episode.

Again, I’m amazed how often he gets away with revealing stuff in interviews; e.g. the entire plot for Episode 1×05 (Toothpick), that “pretty hefty bottles of wine” are consumed while rehearsing with Lucas Till and that they both get “a vitamin bag IV, amino shots and B12 shots” on the weekends. He also talked about the differences between filming scenes for MacGyver and CSI, about the bond with Lucas and about some of the issues with the Unaired Pilot.

Here’s an interesting excerpt regarding the original actors:

When they see the pilot and see we’ve hit the mark, we’ll have a lot more of them come around. I think that’s when we can ask Richard Dean Anderson. We’ll have to wait and see how the kid does before he does anything. It will be cool to have MacGyver play MacGyver. It would be almost like ‘Back to the Future.” We brush by the real Jack Dalton and MacGyver in a case. That might be interesting.

(George Eads, via RadioTVTalk, September 2016)

(via Lauren Leigh)

He revealed that they reshot some scenes for Episode 1×03 (Awl). Comparing Jack Dalton with his CSI-character Nick Stokes, Eads said:

It’s completely different. There is still that bravery issue, that no fear issue that Nick had. But this character has severe PTSD. He’s a death dealer. He’s ex Special Forces, been in all kinds of secret ops. He kills without a conscience. He’s kind of the epitome of courage but when you have those screws loose, he’s the type of guy Mac has to turn around and say, ‘Stop! Calm down! We’re not just running in there like that!’  […]  So [Mac’s] teaching Jack how to get his temper and emotions in check because there’s nothing Jack likes better than to fight and kill someone who deserves it. He’s just a loose cannon, a damn wild man.

(George Eads, via RadioTVTalk, September 2016)

It’s funny how I absolutely can’t see rebooted Jack Dalton in this, considering they were already filming Episode 5 when this interview took place. It feels like he’s talking about his Unaired-Pilot-character Lincoln. Also, I always felt that Jack does all the emotional work for MacGyver, not the other way around.

MacGyver Reboot Update #9

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 26, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Less than a month until the Premiere! Filming continues while the promo turned from ordinary posters into huge wall paintings. Also, we got new preview trailers!

via Peter Lenkov

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pictures, but you will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

Working on Episodes 3 and 4
On August 22, cast and crew were caught filming a fight scene at Taylor Brawner Park and George Eads was seen getting director’s advice. Two days later, someone took a picture of “Jack Dalton” crossing the street. The scene involved people shooting and hiding on top of a yellow van. Many bypassers or people working in the nearby buildings posted pictures on Facebook.

Someone spotted the same vintage car (Chevrolet Bel Air) that has been used in Episode 1×02. I’m still guessing if the car belongs to New MacGyver or Jack Dalton. 

Location Scout Gonzo Rey shared new locations – one involving an airplane, the other one probably a lot of expensive cars.

via Peter Lenkov

Executive Producer Peter Lenkov shared several pictures of the editing process; e.g. of the team working with Sandrine Holt, of the “family” and of George Eads. Others also shared pictures of themselves with Sandrine; e.g. Raul Colon (Stunts) or Chris Payne Gilbert.

Lucas Till revealed what MacGyver likes to eat and confessed that he had always wanted his own atom bomb. Bianca “Penny” Malinowski had her first day on set on August 26 and shared what she had found in the drawer of her trailer. Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni showed how Tristin Mays likes to chill on set.

Let the Promo continue: Preview Trailers

We got several new teaser trailers last week. Sadly, not all of them seem to be official and therefore the quality of the videos is not always the best. Three of these videos can be seen on the YouTube-Channel of TV Promo 360. Another one was posted by WAFBPromoPlanet.

via canyoncitysigns

On August 24, Global TV posted a short preview which mainly consists of material already seen in the official trailer, but with a new tagline (he saves the world with what’s in his pocket).

Hot Bench released a first preview titled “Mac is Back” on August 24 (you know his name – you know his methods). The second one is titled “Another Kind of Hero” (no cape – no powers – no weapons) and was uploaded two days later. Both of these previews show new scenes.

Let the Promo continue: Wall Painting
Peter Lenkov continued to proudly share pictures of the billboard ads and the promo-clad busses in front of them. On August 25, he shared a picture of a different kind of poster – a GIANT one in three parts. It took me a while (and another picture) to realize these weren’t actual posters but wall paintings. Now that’s some pretty cool promo!

via Peter Lenkov

Mando shared a picture of day 2 and Peter Lenkov another one showing how much progress was being made after day 3. I really hope we will get to see some sort of time lapse video of this. Stephen K Peeples shared a picture of the painting in its final stages.

Let the Promo continue: Screenings
Several people have been lucky to see the pilot episode at Television City in Las Vegas. Alek D described it as “awesome”. Deidre Matthews loved George Eads in it while Elke Baumgartner revealed that she loved the pilot overall and that the SAK was used very often.

via Stephen K Peeples

Cast and Crew News
On August 22, James Grabowski revealed that Joe Dante (Gremlins) is directing Episode 1×04 (Wire Cutter). Interestingly, director Bobby Roth (Prison Break) had tweeted on the same day that he was on the way to Atlanta to direct an episode with an incredibly challenging script. I guess he’s in for (the still untitled) Episode 1×05?

On August 25, Peter Lenkov shared a picture of Joe Dante directing. I guess we’ll also see more of Bobby Roth on set soon.

MacGyver Reboot Update #7

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 14, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Filming continues while the cast does the interview and photoshoot cycle at the TCA Press Tour in LA. Also, we got a brand new trailer, new stills and huge billboard ads!

via Getty Images

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pictures, but you will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Work, work, work
Cast and Crew were still filming for Episodes 1×02 and 1×03 last week; shooting on the Historic Oakland Cemetery, in Midtown Atlanta and Downtown near Hardy Ivy Park. Several bypassers caught them filming while walking through the park or were able to watch the set from above. The reboot also got some impressive new lighting installations for the interior sets. For the rest of the week, production seemed to move onto higher grounds. A sky scraper setting for New MacGyver’s work place, maybe?

We finally got some more information about the Ninja shooting, gun-wielding bikini babes on the tank. Turns out they’re actually The MacGyverettes! Of course, we still don’t know what this is all about – Opening Gambit? Mac working undercover on a movie set? Who knows. Seems we’re up for a big surprise (hopefully a good one).

While cast and crew are working long days and weekends, they still find the time to pose for fan pictures or joke around a little bit. Two lucky kids even got to meet the cast on set.

Let the Promo begin: Interviews, Stills and Billboard Ads
On August 9, IndieWire posted an interview with Executive Producer Peter Lenkov about rebooting beloved shows. Lenkov revealed his rules of remakes: 1) Honor the original property. 2) Dive even deeper into the characters that fans love. He said: “The secret sauce is what MacGyver does, and I’m hoping that becomes a thing where people the next day are talking about, ‘Can you believe he did that?’ I think the characters are different, and the original show was very plot-driven. Nowadays, we have to really look at why people are tuning in. They’re tuning in for the characters.”

On August 10, SpoilerTV released more promotional pictures for the Pilot Episode and the main cast.

via SpoilerTV

On August 11, someone spotted a new billboard ad from afar – which didn’t look very promising to me. The up-close-version of a new poster provided by Peter Lenkov on the same day revealed the new tag line: “No man has done more with less“. It looks slightly better up close, but this poster wouldn’t spark my curiosity enough to watch the pilot if I didn’t already have a clue what the show was all about. It also reminds me of the first poster for the Unaired Pilot that shall not be named.

via Peter Lenkov

On the other hand, it’s not so different from other posters for movies or TV shows. Some people might think it’s a little cheesy, but that only fit’s into some of the cheesier episodes of the original show. My problem is mainly that it doesn’t seem to bring across what Original MacGyver made him our favorite TV hero in the first place.

It seems they did invest quite some money for the upcoming promo, though. Besides another version of a huge billboard ad, there are Sightseeing Busses driving through Hollywood announcing the “New Fridays” on CBS. I’m already curious what else is coming.

Let the Promo begin: MacGyver at TCA
On August 11, the cast travelled to LA with Peter Lenkov and Pilot Episode Director James Wan to do the promo rounds at the Television Critics Association (TCA). The visit included a short interview panel, photoshoots, live video interviews (streamed on the official MacGyver on CBS Facebook page), press interviews and posing for pictures with the interviewers.

via Twitter

The panel wasn’t aired, but we got almost everything live on Twitter and shortly afterwards via Online Articles. Peter Lenkov started with a MacGyverism consisting of trying to power up his smartphone through a lemon. Apparently, he should have brought more lemons to make it work. (Or maybe a cactus from the Ugly Duckling episode? Maybe I should try this with my old-school cell phone since it’s not smart and only needs to be charged once a week anyway.)

We had already heard a lot of what was said at the San Diego ComicCon panel last month: It’s “Team MacGyver” now; MacGyver get’s a family and a “bromance”. Also, there definitely will be guns (although it won’t be MacGyver using them.) 

Thankfully, they also shared some new information: Since MacGyver’s first name is not a secret anymore, it will be used frequently in the reboot. They will incorporate the original theme, with a new theme in the main title sequence. They already have a role in mind for Richard Dean Anderson and (still) hope he says yes. Lucas Till admitted he cut his hair because of the negative reactions after shooting the Unaired Pilot (we probably won’t ever know if he wanted it cut or if the bosses made him do it). There’s a nod to Hawaii Five-0 in the pilot and Lenkov hopes they get to do a crossover eventually. The cast still does its homework and watches the MacGyver reruns in their trailers between takes.

via Getty Images

After they made everyone sing “Happy Birthday” to Lucas Till, the cast hit the TCA After Party before travelling back to Atlanta to pick up filming.

Let the Promo begin: The Trailer
On August 12, CBS unexpectedly dropped a new trailer. While it’s again restricted on YouTube for an US-only-audience, CBS TV Studios was nice enough to put it up on their Twitter Account and on Facebook so everyone can see it.

I’ve watched it several times now, but I’m still not sure what to think of it. For the reboot itself, I’m still hovering between excitement, annoyance and bracing myself for disappointment. As for the trailer, there’s a lot of action and we get to see every crew member of “Team MacGyver” – The Brains (MacGyver), The Muscle (Jack Dalton), The Boss (Patricia Thornton), The Best Friend (Wilt Bozer) and The Hacker (Riley Davis). Sadly, the introduction of the whole team in such a short time is why we don’t see very much of New MacGyver himself and what makes him tick. The trailer does peak my curiosity, but it doesn’t “feel” like MacGyver yet.

Cast and Crew News
TVLine provided more information about Amy Acker’s role; revealing her character’s name (Sarah Adler). They also confirmed our suspicions that she’s no damsel in distress that needs rescuing. According to Lenkov, she’s a “female version of George Eads’ Jack Dalton, and she’s pretty badass!”. 

via Proper Sightseeing

Sarah Mays shared a picture on Instagram that revealed her being part of the Make-Up-Departement. Several extras shared their excitement online; e.g. Aina Dumlao (as a character named Andie Lee), Steven Stokes (Background Actor) or Tyler Ellstein (StandIn). Also, the IMDb page is slowly filling up with more names for the first three episodes.

Filming, writing, cutting
Still many more episodes to shoot until December, and the premiere is only six weeks away. SpoilerTV has revealed that Episode 1×04 will be called “Wire Cutter”.

While the writers spend the nights on the studio lot working, Peter Lenkov apparently has had a long weekend of cutting to do. It’s good to see that everyone is so dedicated to this project; their energy sure adds to the curiosity and excitement for the fans of the old show.

MacGyver Reboot Update #6

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 8, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Cast and crew are busy working on the second episode – too busy to post on social media?

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)


(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post pics that are too revealing, but you will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Working on Episode 1×02
Since production started on Episode 2, the posting of set-pictures by cast and crew has significantly lessened; especially by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. Several people hinted that there are strict rules about posting information. Nonetheless, we still got some interesting pictures.

Tristin Mays shared a picture of Lucas Till hunting Pokémon on his cell phone. He’s lying on a gurney – his surroundings implying a hospital scene. She posted another picture from set together with George Eads and Lucas; probably trying to fix a car.

Peter Lenkov showed us a new possible Easter Egg on August 4 – a pizza box from “Zlotoff’s Pizzeria”. Also, MacGyver and Jack get caught by the bad guys, yet still find a reason to fistbump on this episode’s mission. According to StandIn Mikey Leo, this scene plays on the North/South Korean border and involves gunfire and explosions.

Location Scout Gonzo Rey shared a picture of a nice looking vintage car (Chevrolet Bel Air?) on a set in the woods – we’ll see if MacGyver needs to bulletproof this one, too. Hopefully, it won’t get destroyed – as Brandon Aquino revealed, the car looks also very nice from behind.

On August 5, Peter Lenkov revealed how Jack Dalton always manages to sneak past the bad guys. Is growing a beard what it takes to save a CIA agent? Or will Jack also make use of his gun? Judging by the picture she tweeted a day later, Amy Acker’s character certainly looks pretty capable of saving herself without any outside help.

Impressive Equipment
On the 3rd of August, SkyDroneCinema showed us their “weapon of choice”: an impressive camera that is most likely handled expertly by Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni.

via SkyDroneCinema

The Crew built quite the construction for filming in the Metropolitan Art and Business District on August 4. 

On August 5, FlyWorx shared pictures of a drone on set. I don’t know much about drones, but this one looks pretty… big. And expensive. 

In an Instagram post from July 26 (that was later deleted), Steven showed how he had MacGyvered a steadycam camera stabilizer to wear on his back so he could run in front of Lucas Till while filming an action scene (probably for the pilot episode). MacGyvering equipment together is done all the time on sets, but it’s nice to see that the crew on the reboot is as creative as MacGyver himself. Can Steven also keep up when New MacGyver is driving his motorcycle?

Cast and Crew News
It seems that Writer John Turman (Hulk, Rise of the Silver Surfer) has joined the team; probably the writer’s crew.

Several Extras shared their involvement in the second episode; e.g. Joslyn Sky (Venezuelan Super Market Scene), Carlos Guerrero (as a character named Alfredo Barrios), John J Shim or G-Rod, who showed a short sequence of his stunt prep work on Instagram. Jonathan Fritschi revealed he had a great time on set while working with Tristin Mays.

Central Casting Georgia has again made several casting calls; e.g. for Extras portraying villagers in a Malaysian town, for young professionals and for golfers. It’s safe to say that New MacGyver covers a lot of Asian ground in the first few episodes.

While Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson has no interest in taking part in the reboot, other actors that participated in the original show certainly wouldn’t mind; e.g. Jason Priestley (from the episode “Blood Brothers“).

via FlyWorx

Fall TV Previews
If you’re living near New York or LA and don’t want to wait until the TV premiere, you might get to see MacGyver two weeks early: There’s a Fall TV Preview Screening at PaleyFest.

Working on a Sunday
As there are still at least 11 episodes to shoot, the crew also works on the weekends – as shown by StandIn Mikey Leo or by Location Scout Gonzo Rey. Set Days still start early. At least they get some help by decorative butterflies, by eating vitamins of fruity beasts from the catering crew and by drinking some MacGyver-themed red wine after wrapping.

MacGyver Reboot Update #3

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on July 17, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Shooting for the Pilot Episode 2.0 has officially started. Contrary to the unaired pilot episode that shall not be named, we’re getting TONS of goodies; even official ones! The days of lurking the internet for a tiny glimpse of the set or the cast (or even a prop or location) are finally over.

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pics, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get spoilered by reading my posts or clicking on the links provided!)

via Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni

Getting Ready
On July 9, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov shared pictures on Instagram of some bonding time with Lucas and Justin. The next day, he gave the fans more reasons to speculate and discuss by posting pictures of a call sheet, a sign with the words “cover blown” and one of a leather jacket. THE brown leather jacket of our favorite hero. How great is that?

Big Shanty Antiques posted on their Facebook page on July 10 that their parking lot was used as the crew base camp. On the same day, Lucas “showed off” by posting a picture of his “ostentatious” character name plate on his trailer door. Good to know that MacGyver 2.0 also likes to keep it simple.

Aaaaaaand Action!
Lenkov kept posting appetizers for the whole week. He shared several pictures of the main cast on Instagram; mainly pictures of Lucas and George, but also from their stunt doubles and other cast members, e.g. Tristin Mays.

He let us know about night shoots in a forest, on a boat, at the Swan House and about what the crew does while waiting for the rain to stop so shooting can resume. He also posted several short videos; e.g. of Lucas in character running towards the camera or of his stunt double jumping on a blue-screen-truck (masquerading as a plane). The crew even worked on the weekends on scenes involving helicopters, military trucks and trains.

One picture shows Lucas already shooting some ADR scenes, which might hint at the reboot keeping the MacGyver voice overs from the original show.

via Lucas Till

 

Other crew members like Set Lighting Technician Mike Collins also posted very nice set pics (although they are much harder to find); e.g. by “Mike J Neal” from the boat scene in Stone Mountain State Park or by Location Scout Gonzo Rey from a night shoot in the forest.

Grounding a Plane
Eric Heaf had already shared a picture of the crew shooting at McCollum Airport. On July 12, CBS posted a first Behind-the-Scenes-Video from this set; including Lucas and George giving short statements and Lucas acting a scene by hanging off an airplane while trying to ground it with his SAK.

In general, fans were very happy about MacGyver’s improved look with the new haircut and the brown leather jacket. Also, George and Lucas seem to get along very well, hinting at an established “bromance” between Jack and MacGyver.

So many Cars
Filming at the Swan House included a scene of an estate party with expensive cars and rich party attendees. Peter Lenkov posted a short video of MacGyver getting out of a beautiful vintage car while wearing a tux. Oh, we all remember MacGyver’s love for wearing a tuxedo (ahem), so fans are already curious what our hero is doing at this party (presumably taking place in Italy since all the cars have Italian license plates).

Understandably, crew members and extras couldn’t get enough of posting pictures of the set; especially the cars (or themselves in front of the cars). Several crew members referred to James Bond for this scene; e.g. Gonzo Rey (James Bond? Or MacGyver? Who knows…) or Meghan Lyvers (#macgyvermeetsbond).

Interestingly, Lucas Till’s father and his stepmom have a cameo in this scene. Lavonda Till tweeted a lovely BtS pic of the three in costume.

Cast and Crew News
Peter Lenkov had already shared a picture of possible new cast members on July 12. Besides Tristin Mays, also Vinnie Jones and Tracy Spiridakos were on set (we still don’t know what characters they will play).

Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe (who recently got an Emmy nomination for his work on the CBS series Rush Hour) tweeted his involvement in the Reboot on July 10.

While several more casting calls were made (e.g. for hotel patrons and pool ladies), the IMDb page slowly filled up with some minor roles of guards and pilots, with extras and crew members. It seems like Keith Power (Hawaii 5-0) will be the composer (at least for the pilot episode). Since the music played an important part in the original show, expectations are very high and fans are still hoping for the original theme and musical cues to make an appearance.

via CBS

On July 15, Variety announced Sandrine Holt (House of Cards) being cast as series regular. A lot of fans are not happy about this – not because of the choice of the actress or the decision to turn a former male into a female character, but because Holt was cast in the role of MacGyver’s boss, an ex-field agent turned director of operations named Patricia Thornton. It seems that Pete Thornton is being replaced and won’t show up at all in the reboot. We all know that Pete wasn’t just some series regular and that his relationship with MacGyver was an important part of the show, so we’ll see how this change will hold up and how different the dynamic will turn out. It probably also depends on how they’ll construct New MacGyver’s background story (e.g. losing his father at a very young age and the age gap of more than 20 years made the father-son-type-relationship with Pete in the original show very plausible and played into many story plots).

Sightings
Peter Lenkov doesn’t get much rest between set days and night shoots. He shared a picture of his laptop screen, showing a page of the script for Episode 1×03. But a hard working crew needs a break every now and then. Between night shoots, they got to enjoy a ball game together before filming again on Sunday morning (July 17).

via Peter Lenkov

They probably have to shoot some scenes in advance as Lucas, George, Lenkov and pilot episode director James Wan will attend the MacGyver panel at ComicCon SanDiego on July 21, where the fans get to enjoy an exclusive sneak peek.

About that MacGyver Reboot

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project  on July 1, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Special Thanks to Nicholas Sweedo for inviting me to write a guest post about the MacGyver Reboot. I’m very honored because while I’ve been blogging for years, this is my first guest post ever! English is not my native language, so let’s start real quick before I get anxious…

cixaiiwwuaa7aaz-wp

Why rebooting MacGyver?

The answer is pretty simple: MacGyver was a successful show, has an interesting and pretty unusual main hero and the potential to tell many more stories.

Also: MacGyver is a known “brand” with the potential for a modern franchise. Even people who have never seen a single episode know who MacGyver is and what he can do. The term finally made it into the OxfordDictionary last year and is used all the time on social media.

What has happened so far?

The idea of rebooting MacGyver has been around for a while now. There was a pilot for a spinoff series called “Young MacGyver” (starring Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki), but the show never went into production.

In October 2015, the Hollywood Reporter announced that MacGyver would be brought back as a tv show for CBS with R. Scott Gemmill (NCIS: Los Angeles) writing the script and James Wan (who had been attached for a MacGyver movie in 2012) directing the pilot.

In February 2016, Deadline reported CBS ordering a pilot. Apparently not happy with the script they already had, the pilot episode would be written by Paul Downs Colaizzo instead. Only a few days later, Lionsgate announced that they had made a development deal with CBS for a MacGyver movie.

Many fans were displeased by the idea of a reboot in the first place. Additionally, the leaked character descriptions by SpoilerTV sparked heated discussions – the article confirmed that the reboot would be a prequel, but MacGyver’s background story didn’t quite fit with the original show.

Further details were announced in March by the Hollywood Reporter: George Eads (CSI) would co-star in the show as a character named Lincoln; with David Von Ancken (Code Black) directing the pilot and James Wan (Saw) remaining as executive producer. The pilot was set to start filming by the end of the month in Portland. Finally, Deadline reported Lucas Till (X-Men) being cast as the new MacGyver with Brett Mahoney co-writing the script and Joshua Boone playing MacGyver’s best friend. A week later, Deadline revealed Addison Timlin (Californication) and Michelle Krusiec (Hawaii Five-0) as additional cast; the former playing a computer nerd with the latter portraying a secret agent.

In April, a few pictures, tweets and short videos from the set finally emerged on social media – only to be deleted soon after fans had shared and discussed the “treasure” online. It seemed that CBS tried very hard to keep the production under wraps. Many fans were frustrated; others were left wondering and anxious: What would become of the old show that so many people still loved and cherished? We soon realized that the pilot was being shot in LA instead of Portland, but not a single picture of Lucas Till in character ever surfaced.

Of course, this didn’t stop us fans from combing the internet on a quest for more. The less information, the more time we had to speculate in between the findings. A first glimpse of a new MacGyver logo and a picture of the pilot script title page kept the discussions going on for days. A few set pics made within the abandoned Hawthorne Mall and from an outside night shoot  promised some interesting action sequences. The pilot script review by Season Zero on the other hand didn’t read very promising.

On the 5th of May, David Von Ancken’s assistant tweeted about the pilot being finished.

Rebooting the Reboot

On the 13th of May, an instagram post by Peter Lenkov (Hawaii Five-0) confused the fandom quite a bit. Did this mean that we actually had the chance of getting a new MacGyver show after all these years? Thankfully, only a few hours later Variety reported that the reboot had indeed been picked up with Lenkov being added as an executive producer. James Wan soon welcomed Lenkov on Twitter. The Hollywood Reporter hinted that the script might be tossed out and the secondary cast members were “unlikely to return”, while Deadline stated that Lenkov would write a new script with the general premise of the series remaining the same. Deadline also confirmed that the entire supporting cast was not coming back. Understandably, former cast members were not happy and media outlets and fans similarly confused: Why ordering a pilot without a script in the first place? Why pick up a show if you don’t like the pilot; especially if you don’t know what you will get in the end if you toss out all supporting cast including the script and its script writer? What had they actually liked about the pilot? Did they care for MacGyver at all or only for the promise of some money of a well-known brand? On the other hand, Lucas Till staying as MacGyver could only mean that his take on the character must have made CBS very happy.

On May 16, we got the first still of Lucas in character. Cue the discussions online: The hair! (Oh no!) The set! (Mac and chemistry, yay!) The hair! (Oh no!).

The trailer of the unaired pilot episode that shall not be named

The CBS Upfronts on May 18 had many fans almost jumping up and down from excitement: Would CBS dare to show a trailer if the pilot was maybe/probably/eventually going to be redone? Only hours before, CBS had created official social media accounts with a new logo and a header that hinted at some action-packed adventures. New stills had also been posted on the official CBS page  (the pictures were later removed).

The trailer soon hit social media accounts all around the world. Let’s just say it wasn’t well received (or the positive reviews got buried under the amount of negative comments and down-votes). Comparisons were drawn to the Ghostbuster reboot (which had also suffered from severe backlash).

While some backlash is always to be expected with a reboot, this much hate probably surprised everyone involved. There was hate for Lucas Till (why not a female MacGyver instead?), his appearance (the hair! too young! he looks like one of the Hanson brothers!), his attitude (too cocky! that smirk!), the action scenes (MacGyver would never do that!), the MacGyverisms (not cool enough!), the trailer music (Inception BAAAAM! what the hell are those lyrics?) and so on… even media outlets joked that MacGyver himself couldn’t fix this “generic-looking pilot with a kid catching bad guys by tripping them with a garden hose”.

According to Deadline, a 20-minute-cut-down of the pilot episode had sparked much interest among international buyers. Nonetheless, CBS declared the trailer soon to “promo non grata” and erased all their former tweets, posts and stills concerning promo for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts.

Pre-production for the pilot episode 2.0

Several articles hinted what further changes might be made – for one, MacGyver would get a haircut and a “love interest that spans the season”. Peter Lenkov talked about his vision for the reboot in a video interview stating that they would rely on the original and the fans wouldn’t be disappointed. He also talked about his idea for the big bad for the first season. Entertainment Weekly revealed the CBS fall 2016 schedule: MacGyver would air on Fridays at 20pm. CBS set up a MacGyver Writers Twitter account with Lenkov promising live tweeting during the show. In June, Deadline announced Justin Hires (Rush Hour) as the first new cast member in the role of Wilt Bozer. Secretly, CBS updated the synopsis of the show: George Eads would now play the character of Jack Dalton.

Variety confirmed a fan’s suspicion (due to an instagram picture by Lenkov that was later deleted) that James Wan would direct the pilot episode. Lenkov also posted a few pictures of the first location scouting in Atlanta and a look at the production office. The premiere date was set for September 23 and finally, there was the first official promo video with Lucas Till as the new MacGyver.

Casting calls for crew members confirmed soon that the production was moving from LA to Atlanta .

What’s going on right now?

As for now, this is the synopsis on the CBS website:

A reimagining of the classic series, [MacGyver] is an action-adventure drama about 20-something Angus “Mac” MacGyver (Lucas Till) who creates a clandestine organization within the U.S. government where he uses his extraordinary talent for unconventional problem solving and vast scientific knowledge to save lives. Joining his team on high-risk missions around the globe is maverick former CIA agent Jack Dalton (George Eads). Under the aegis of the Department of External Services, MacGyver takes on the responsibility of saving the world, armed to the teeth with resourcefulness and little more than bubble gum and a paper Clip.

The pilot episode is called “The Rising” which is vague enough so Peter Lenkov can tease us further and fans can discuss about who or what will be rising (or not). Colossal Trailer Music recently announced that they would lend their music for the upcoming campaign.

At the moment, they’re still casting for extras; for example a young MacGyver, sexy bikini women, FBI agents and luxury cars. Shooting should start on July 10th in Atlanta. George Eads updated his Twitter account and Lucas Till set up an account on instagram. Interestingly, in one of the pictures Lucas is wearing a hat with the old logo of the unaired pilot that shall not be named. In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Lucas talked about why being the son of a chemist and an Army lieutenant colonel gives him a bit of an advantage taking on the character of MacGyver: “In the pilot, we have to say a lot of chemistry terms. [Producers] were like, ‘You sound like you really know what you’re talking about,'” Till said. “It’s because my mom does not stop talking about it.”


What is my opinion on this?

In general, I’m not a fan of reboots or remakes and I don’t like many of the modern tv shows and movies. In my opinion, they rely too much on CGI. As a girl of the 80s, MacGyver was my favorite tv show. Before I started my first rewatch of the original version (instead of the German dubbed version I had watched as a kid) I thought I had gotten over it after all these years, but boy was I wrong! It’s still one of my favorites, so when the reboot was announced, I was not happy. When I realized the reboot would be a prequel and RDA wouldn’t be a part of it, I got downright sour.

I didn’t really understand the concept of a prequel of an 80s show being set in modern times. But I’ll have to admit it: Over time, I grew curious. By April, I had turned into one of those “annoying” fans perusing the internet for every little bit of information. I posted whatever I found on the MacGyver Online Forums; which probably resulted in some people being advised (or “made”) to delete what they had revealed. Sorry about that, folks… well no, not really. (If you didn’t want us to find it, you shouldn’t have uploaded it to public accounts in the first place, ahem. It’s not like I’m some internet expert – all I did was using the search bar on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.)

On the first viewing, I kinda liked the trailer shown at the CBS Upfronts. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to dislike it. To me, the trailer looks like every other modern fast-paced action show and I wasn’t very happy with the character background stories to begin with. On the other hand, it’s not very easy to judge a pilot of 42 minutes by watching a trailer that’s not even 2 minutes long. I feel that Lucas is a nice guy and could pull it off. I liked George Eads as Nick Stokes in CSI, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to turn him into Jack Dalton – especially into a Jack Dalton being a former CIA Agent who’s 20 years older than MacGyver. Alas, I’ve never seen him outside of the show that made him famous. I’ve also never seen any movie or show with Lucas Till or Justin Hires in it, but I’m not convinced MacGyver really needs an ambitious roommate named Wilt Bozer. For now, Justin seems to fill the usual role for some comedic relief when needed.

At the moment, I can’t deny that I’m actually getting excited for this reboot. While I don’t think it will be better than the original, it might succeed in creating a new generation of MacGyver fans who will one day check out the original version. The MacGyver Hashtag is getting quite a buzz on social media lately, and who am I to complain if the reboot converts people all around the world into MacGyver fans and talking about it online? And let’s face it: If I was still in my twenties, I probably wouldn’t mind the casting of a young-looking actor like Lucas Till… I sure didn’t mind staring dreamily at RDA when I was a teenager (to be honest, I still don’t).

I do think a sequel would have been a better option, though. In the finale episode, MacGyver’s son of about 20 years is revealed. Because the series ended almost 25 years ago, he would be around 45 years today. Why not make S.A.M. having a son or even better: a daughter? This would have quenched the public thirst for a female MacGyver and also would have opened the doors for several cast members of the original show coming back for cameos as their original character. And who doesn’t want to see RDA aka MacGyver as a grandparent, teaching his grandkid some great MacGyverisms to get out of trouble?

For now, I’ll wait until the pilot episode before I continue criticizing too much. It would be nice to see opening gambits, but there were legible reasons why they stopped doing them in the original show. I’m still hoping for a character named Pete Thornton, Penny Parker or Murdoc, and also for a nod to the old opening credits and the theme song.

RDA stated several times that he’s not convinced about a modern version; joking about MacGyver just using his smartphone to get out of trouble by googling how-to-videos online. But I’m still hoping RDA pops up in a guest role. Even if he’s just playing a grumpy old guy selling fishing gear in a shop the next door.