MacGyver Reboot Update #97

MacGyver fans, rejoice again! We have a premiere date for Season 4 AND a DVD release date for Season 3!

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Alison)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about characters and storylines in Season 4 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided! For daily news and to join the discussion and/or speculate away, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

 

Season 4 Premiere and Promo News
ICYMI: Season 4 will premiere on February 7 next year – in the “old” timeslot of Fridays, 8pm. Lucas Till made the announcement together with Executive Producer Henry Winkler who had visited the set that day.

All the MacGyverCBS social media accounts got a new header for the occasion. Otherwise, there’s not much promo yet. CBS had released a short midseason/winter preview of their new and returning shows with a few new scenes of the Reboot as well; featuring Mac, Desi and Russ.

Screenshot of the CBS Midseason Preview (via CBS)

I expect a Press Release and a First Still in January the latest. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait as long for a trailer as for Season 3 (which didn’t drop until a week before the Fall premiere). Sadly, neither showrunner Peter Lenkov nor the producers are very forthcoming with new material.

Season 4 Episode Overview
Only 60 plus a few days left until the Premiere of Season 4. There’s still not too much info listed on IMDb, but there are already some preliminary airdates up on The Futon Critic. Let’s revisit the upcoming episodes with the most important infos so far:

  • 4×01: (title tba) (February 7)
    Directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×02: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (February 14)
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×03: (title tba) (February 21)
    Directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: (title tba) (February 28)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (March 6)
    Directed by Duane Clark
  • 4×06: (title tba) (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (tbd)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: (title tba)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×09: (title tba)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: (title tba)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearances by Amber Skye Noyes and by Dawson Towery
  • 4×12: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearance by Rob Giumarra
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (tbd)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard

To recap my last blog post: For Episode 4×12, they filmed scenes in the War Room, at Foxhall Resort, in a set dressed as a court room in Stockbridge City Hall and driving scenes both on stage and on location; involving a fake baby. For Episode 4×13 (Save + The + Dam + World), they set up at a dam near Eatonton, next to Lake Oconee.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via City of Stockbridge Government)

If you have some TV experience, you know there is a possibililty that the court room scenes actually belong to the midseason finale episode with Mac being held accounted for the things he had to do to actually save the world. It’s possible they did some rewrites to the episode once they got the back-up order for 9 more episodes, so the episode might actually end in a cliffhanger.

It’s a wrap – sort of
Surprisingly, the production “wrapped” on the same day as they would have if they had been done after 13 episodes. There was even a hiatus cake in the office of the costume departement. Beforehand, they had an early Christmas hiatus lunch with the cast and crew getting their wrap gift (of a set chair) as an early Christmas gift.

BtS photo of Episode 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (via Carlos Bernard)

Some of the crew and stunt team continued filming stunts and inserts for a few more days; e.g. a car chase scene. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew members flew back home to visit their family. Right now, the cast and most of the crew is on a 6-week-hiatus; not coming back to set before January. According to SpoilerTV, filming will continue until April.

Besides Justin, none of the main cast seems to be very active on social media; enjoying their days off or working on new projects. Lucas spent Thanksgiving at his mom’s place with his brother Nick. Since then, he’s only been sighted twice; the last time yesterday in LA. Henry Ian Cusick is working on another movie project at the moment. Apparently, Levy Tran’s dog Carl is staying with a few dog buddies for a couple months. It’s possible that Levy is travelling out of country; for either work or for holidays. So far, she hasn’t resurfaced on social media at all.

Other Cast and Character News
ICYMI: There was a huge spoiler about Scottie Thompson’s character name on the call sheet for Episode 4×13 – probably the reason why TV Line had refused to reveal it in their spoiler article last month. (And also the reason why I haven’t posted it on Twitter yet.)

Screenshot of a BtS video of Episode 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (via Taylor Gardner)

So far, Central Casting Georgia hasn’t put out any casting calls for Extras since the production hiatus started. Additionally, the IMDb episode list still doesn’t go farther than Episode 4×06; with most of the cast lists barely filled.

MacGyver in Germany
In Austria, every Season 2 episode had about 37’000 live viewers (which is less than half the average for Season 1). There’s no information yet if they’ll also air Season 3.

On November 23, German Free-TV channel Kabel 1 started airing two reruns of Season 1 every Saturday; replacing reruns of Hawaii Five-0.

BtS photo of Episode 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (via Steven Serna)

Season 4 predictions
MacGyver got a full season order and a premiere date for February 7 in their old timeslot of Fridays 8pm. So what can we expect this season? Let’s take another look at the predictions; getting more defined the more information we get.

  • Friday Schedule: The press release had announced that MacGyver will finish in Spring. That’s a bit difficult with a full season of 22 episodes, especially if they have a 3-week-hiatus again for March Madness and are in production until April 2020. After MacGyver concludes, Magnum PI should resume on Fridays.

Prediction: According to The Futon Critic, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods will air their Season Finales on March 13 and March 20 (the day MacGyver will air Episodes 4×06 and 4×07). That doesn’t seem very likely, though. If they get another order of 25 episodes and the same amount of breaks in between like in recent years, H50 won’t be done until mid-May anyway.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via City of Stockbridge Government)

Instead of putting in all those little breaks and airing reruns of H50 at 9pm, they could air two episodes of MacGyver a week or bring back Magnum PI at 9pm instead of 8pm. The upcoming Friday schedule in Spring and Summer might depend on how good Magnum does ratings-wise before they take it off schedule and what the ratings of MacGyver will look like.

  • Ratings: Most Fall start up in ratings on the same level they ended in Spring; reaching their peak around midseason. The same holds true for the current shows of the Friday line-up.

Prediction: The Season 3 Finale Episode had a demo of 0.65 and a live-audience of 5.472 million viewers. Season 4 starts at midseason, so it will probably start lower than it would have in Fall (around a 0.6 demo and an audience of 5 million live-viewers if we’re lucky), not peaking as high and dropping faster; especially after both Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods are done with their seasons.

Screenshot of the CBS Midseason Preview (via CBS)

That doesn’t sound very positive, but a timeslot around midseason on a Friday also means that the expectations aren’t as high as they would have been for a Fall premiere. Nonetheless, the Friday ratings are so good lately that Friday is the second-best rated weekday on CBS after Tuesday. Not bad, considering Fridays used to be where shows were pushed to slowly fade out before they get cancelled.

Both H50 and BB are remarkable stable in ratings and their reruns have usually higher audiences than some other shows airing a new episode (about 4-5 million live-viewers), so they sure won’t hurt the ratings for MacGyver.

  • Crossover Potential: They already finished filming the crossover between Magnum and H50 that will air on January 3.

For now, it doesn’t seem very likely that the Reboot will get a crossover at all this season. The best chance would be with another midseason crime show, but none of the midseason rookies (FBI: Most Wanted or Tommy) are being filmed in Atlanta and Criminal Minds has already wrapped months ago.

  • Story-Arc: If you remember: The back-order for the additional 9 episodes was rather late. Some of the crew had already stated on social media a few months ago that they will move on to other jobs in December or January (e.g. Stunt Coordinator Daniel Hargrave).

Prediction: Since the story-arc was initially written for 13 episodes, I expect the season to be cut into two main storylines; similar to Season 1. It’s possible that some of the crew and the recurring guest stars aren’t available anymore for the production of the rest of the episodes.

Lucas Till at the Upscale Sports Lounge 3rd Base Grand Opening (via Getty Images)

On the other hand, they have now more time and opportunity to get some new/old guest stars; maybe also recurring ones we haven’t seen on set yet (e.g. Reign Edwards as Leanna, Michael Des Barres as Helman, Lance Gross as Billy Colton or Billy Baldwin as Elwood).

  • Season 3 DVD and other merchandize: According to several websites, the Season 3 DVD will be released on January 14. There’s no information yet if there will be any Extras available.

The official CBS store for the show still hasn’t been back up yet. Considering they’ve been offering reduced prices for several times since Fall TV season started and Christmas is nearing soon, it’s still a bit questionable to me why they haven’t “opened” it again yet.

MacGyver Reboot Update #96

MacGyver fans, rejoice! We have a premiere date – and a very familiar timeslot!

BtS photo of Episode 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (via Tristin Mays)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about characters and storylines in Season 4 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided! For daily news and to join the discussion and/or speculate away, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

 

Season 4 Premiere News and Promo
Good news again for MacGyver fans: We finally have a Premiere Date! On November 5, Henry Ian Cusick had tweeted that the show got a full-season-order with CBS ordering 9 more episodes. On November 11, CBS finally released the midseason schedule: Season 4 will premiere on February 7 next year – on Fridays, 8pm.

By taking over its old slot, Hawaii Five-0 will move to 9pm again. Magnum PI, on the other hand, is getting benched until after the MacGyver Season Finale. (Kinda ironic if you remember that MacGyver had been pushed to midseason to make room for Magnum in the first place.)

Screenshot of a BtS video of Season 4 (via Peter Lenkov)

After tweeting the announcement, the MacGyverCBS Twitter Account got itself a new header for the occasion. The MacGyverWriters account kept their header, but tweeted an older Season 4 BtS photo with the premiere date. Lucas Till made the announcement together with Executive Producer Henry Winkler who visited the set that day.

CBS released a short midseason/winter preview of their new and returning shows with a few new scenes of the Reboot as well; featuring Mac, Desi and Russ. It’s difficult to say when we’ll get more promo material, but if they handle it like last year, we should get a Press Release and a First Still in January the latest. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait as long for a trailer as for Season 3 (which didn’t drop until a week before the Fall premiere).

Season 4 Announcement (via Peter Lenkov)

Season 4 Overview
Before we revisit the filming days, let’s check upon the overview of upcoming episodes so far (with the latest news about writers, directors and guest stars). There’s still not too much info listed on IMDb, but there are already some airdates up on The Futon Critic. These dates can still change, of course (depending if there will be a hiatus for March Madness basketball or not).

  • 4×01: (title tba) (February 7)
    Directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×02: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (February 14)
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×03: (title tba) (February 21)
    Directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: (title tba) (February 28)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (March 6)
    Directed by Duane Clark
  • 4×06: (title tba) (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (tbd)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: (title tba)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
    Guest appearances by Amanda Schull (as Emilia West) and by Keith David
  • 4×09: (title tba)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: (title tba)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearances by Amber Skye Noyes and by Dawson Towery
  • 4×12: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearance by Rob Giumarra
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (tbd)

To recap my last blog post: Filming for Episode 4×11 had started around October 25 with scenes in the War Room and in a parking garage. They also filmed in Mac’s house, car-driving scenes in front of green screens and nearby the Historic Academy of Medicine. They also had a set visit by Murdoc (David Dastmalchian).

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Lucas Till)

Working on Episode 4×12
Filming for Episode 4×12 started around November 8. We didn’t get many BtS photos, but Lucas Till uploaded a new photo of him using roadside flares to read his sides.

On November 11, we didn’t just get the news about the Season 4 premiere date, but also some new material. Justin Hires for example posted a photo of Bozer with Matty and Russ in front of a computer screen.

The next day, they filmed at Foxhall Resort. Apparently, temperatures had dropped quite a bit, and cast and crew sat outside in the sunshine to warm up whenever possible. As Justin revealed, they were filming two episodes at the same time, with him and Meredith Eaton doing more War Rom scenes with the Stand-Ins.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Todd Amateau)

On November 14, Lucas and Levy Tran filmed another bunch of close-up driving scenes on stage; using a classic FORD. Two days later, they shot the driving scenes on location; starting early in the morning to wrap at around 4pm. Interestingly, they had a fake baby on set as well. Maybe another rescue mission?

In between, they filmed what looked like a trial in a court room. The main cast had dressed up accordingly, and Lucas’ Stand-In Matt was seen sitting in front as if he was the one being accused. Both Lucas and Justin took some time to pose for photos with the office workers in the Stockbridge City Hall. Interestingly, they had a local TV station on set as well. Maybe some BtS interviews for the upcoming promo?

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Steven Serna)

Working on Episode 4×13 and beyond
Filming for Episode 4×13 started November 13. They set up in a warehouse location; trying to battle the cold in between scenes.

Since Extra Dee Byers revealed the call sheet in an Instagram Story, we know the title of the episode is “Save + The + Dam + World”. Considering that this was probably intended to be the Season Finale (if they hadn’t ordered more episodes), we can expect a rather explosive storyline – and maybe even a plot twist. Of course, it’s also possible they swapped scripts or did a rewrite as soon as they got the back-order; keeping the intended midseason finale episode for a later time.

On Wednesday, production moved out to the dam near Eatonton; about an hour outside of Atlanta. While Tristin wasn’t too happy about her hotel room (that is apparently a meeting-place for ants), they had fun filming outside in nice weather. Judging by the Instagram Stories of the crew, there will be some action with MacGyver hanging off either the dam or a bridge. Fun times!

Season 4 Announcement (via Peter Lenkov)

Other Cast, Crew and Character News
As Amanda Schull revealed, her character in Episode 4×08 is named Emilia West. There was a huge spoiler about Scottie Thompson’s character name on the call sheet for Episode 4×13 – probably the reason why TV Line had refused to reveal it in their spoiler article last month. (And also the reason why I haven’t posted it on Twitter yet.)

There weren’t many casting calls in the last two weeks. Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Family Members, for Codex Kids, for Family Members on Cruiser Bikes, for Politicians, for a Pilot and for a Naval Aide. They also had casting calls for Techs, for Agents, for Operatives and the usual calls for Photo Doubles and Stand-Ins (e.g. for Tristin Mays).

MacGyver in Austria and Germany
In Austria, the ratings for Season 2 stayed pretty stable; with the season ending on a high note, even. To recap: Episode 2×18 (Riley + Airplane) got 37’000 live-viewers, followed by Episode 2×19 with 38’000 live-viewers.

Episodes 2×20 (Skyscraper – Power) and 2×21 (Wind + Water) had 47’000 and 59’000 live-viewers. Last Saturday, Episode 2×22 (UFO + Area 51) got 36’00 live-viewers, folled by the Season Finale Episode 2×23 (MacGyver + MacGyver) with 53’000 live-viewers. On average, every Season 2 episode had about 37’000 live viewers which is less than half the average for Season 1 (83’000 live-viewers). There’s no information yet if they’ll also air Season 3.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

Tomorrow, German Free-TV will start from the beginning with channel Kabel 1 showing reruns of two episodes of Season 1 at prime time; replacing reruns of Hawaii Five-0.

Season 4 predictions
MacGyver got a full season order and didn’t get pushed back to a timeslot in Spring or Summer – or worse, to one of the current CBS “death slots” (Thursday 10pm or Sunday 10pm). Still, while that looks promising, it’s not a guarantee that the show is safe and automatically renewed. It’s still important that it has good live-ratings per se, but also compared to the other CBS shows.

If you’ve read my last few blog posts, you might remember that the average ratings of the other CBS shows compared to the Reboot might determine…

  • …if MacGyver gets another season or not: The better other shows do, the more dangerous for the Reboot; especially when the schedule is already packed. If the Fall schedule is full, shows are pushed to midseason or even Summer; usually getting lower ratings than they would have with a Fall premiere.
  • …how many episodes MacGyver gets for Season 5 in case it’s renewed: The more shows are cancelled, the more free slots on the schedule and the bigger the chances for a full season if your show was renewed.
  • …if MacGyver gets a syndication deal: If the ratings are rather low AND it’s also one of the lowest-rated shows on the network, the more likely another show gets a deal instead. The Reboot is lucky to have a well-known franchise name already, but ratings are still important.

While I’m happy for the return of MacGyver, I feel bad for the Magnum fans. Kinda ironic if you think that MacGyver was pushed to midseason to make room for Magnum in the first place. And benching a show for almost 5 months when there’s only 6 or 8 episodes at most left to air (depending if they got a 20 episode order again or a full season of 22 this time) seems a strange decision to me. But alas, it’s CBS. Strange decisions seem to be their forte lately.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Peter Lenkov)

But most important for the fans, what does the new/old timeslot mean? What can we expect this season? Let’s take a look at predictions for the schedule, the ratings and such.

  • Friday Schedule: Usually, CBS airs their shows weekly. Yet, the press release announced that MacGyver will finish in Spring. That’s a bit difficult with a full season of 22 episodes, especially if they have a 3-week-hiatus again for March Madness.

Prediction: If there are no schedule changes, Blue Bloods will be done around March 13 (the day MacGyver will air Episode 4×06). Hawaii Five-0 should air their Season Finale around end of March. Instead of airing reruns of H50 at 9pm, they could air two episodes of MacGyver a week. That would mean the show has its Season Finale in late Spring and leaves an open timeslot for Magnum PI.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Meredith Eaton)

Of course, CBS can still change their minds. Depending on how good Magnum does ratings-wise before they take it off schedule (especially when the crossover with H50 airs in January), they could decide to speed things up to bring it back sooner, airing it at 9pm after MacGyver as soon as H50 is done.

They could also put it onto another slot entirely since in recent years, the Friday 8pm timeslot has been occupied by non-scripted shows in Spring and Summer. They might want to prevent Magnum airing between a non-scripted show and reruns, but who knows. Anything could happen.

  • Ratings: First of all, most CBS Fall shows reach their peak around midseason. Second, most CBS Fall shows pick up in ratings on the same level the show ended in Spring.

Prediction: The Season 3 Finale Episode had a demo of 0.65 and a live-audience of 5.472 million viewers. Season 4 starts at midseason, meaning that it probably will start lower than it would have in Fall, not peaking as high and dropping faster the higher the temperatures rise up. That doesn’t sound very positive, but a timeslot around midseason on a Friday also means that the expectations aren’t as high as they would have been for a Fall premiere.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

Veteran show Hawaii Five-0 has an average demo of 0.69 and 6.92 million live-viewers per episode at the moment. When looking at demo ratings of the Friday line-up, H50 is still the one doing best (contrary to last year, when it was usually Blue Bloods winning in demo). H50 is remarkable stable in ratings, so the switch back to 9pm shouldn’t hurt H50 and will elevate Blue Bloods.

  • Crossover Potential: They are almost done with filming the crossover between Magnum and H50. As announced last week by TV Line, it will air on January 3. Despite teasing us with a 3-show-crossover at PaleyFest LA this April, MacGyver won’t be a part of it (unless Lucas Till secretly travelled to Hawaii when he was missing on set for a few days).

Prediction: I was disappointed to hear about the crossover between the Hawaii-shows only, but that was before the additional order for 9 more MacGyver episodes. A 3-way-crossover could have worked easily if the Reboot had wrapped up filming in Atlanta at the end of November with the initially planned 13-episode-order.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Sarah Downer)

For now, it doesn’t seem likely that the Reboot will get a crossover at all, unless it’s with another midseason crime show. None of the midseason rookies (FBI: Most Wanted or Tommy) are being filmed in Atlanta, though and Criminal Minds has already wrapped months ago. As you can see, the crossover potential is very low.

  • Story-Arc: The back-order for the additional 9 episodes was rather late. Some of the crew had already stated on social media a few months ago that they will move on to other jobs in December or January (e.g. Stunt Coordinator Daniel Hargrave).

Prediction: Since the story-arc was initially written for 13 episodes, I expect the season to be cut into two main storylines; similar to Season 1. It’s possible that some of the crew and the guest stars aren’t available for the production of the rest of the episodes. On the other hand, they have a few more months now to maybe snatch some recurring guest stars that weren’t available for the episodes so far. Reign Edwards is still filming in New Zealand, but a longer season could give her the opportunity to film at least one last scene as Leanna.

  • Season 3 DVD: We’re waiting.

Prediction: CBS released the DVDs for the Fall shows between a month and a week before the Fall premieres. I expect the DVD to be released around January – unless CBS finally realizes to make use of the potential of the DVD as a Christmas gift.

MacGyver Reboot Update #94

Only three more episodes to film for Season 4. In the meantime, fans are still a bit disappointed about not getting a Halloween episode tonight like the other shows on the CBS Friday lineup.

BtS photo of Season 4 for Spirit Day (via MacGyverCBS)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about characters and storylines in Season 4 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided! For daily news and to join the discussion and/or speculate away, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

 

Season 4 Overview
Before we revisit the filming days during the last two weeks, here’s the usual overview of the upcoming episodes so far (with the latest news about writers, directors and guest stars).

  • 4×01: (title tba)
    Directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×02: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×03: (title tba)
    Directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: (title tba)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan
    Directed by Duane Clark
  • 4×06: (title tba)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey
    Guest Appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and presumably Peter Weller (as Mason).
  • 4×08: (title tba)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
    Guest appearance by Keith David.
  • 4×09: (title tba)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: (title tba)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen

To recap my last blog post about the ongoing production: Filming for Episode 4×08 had started on September 24; with the cast filming at Chattahoochee Hills and at the Yanmar Evo Center in Acworth plus in the War Room and in MacGyver’s house. Both Justin Hires and Henry Ian Cusick posted a nice photo with guest star Keith David, but we don’t know yet what role he will play. Maybe we finally get to meet Bozer’s dad?

Finishing touches on Episode 4×09
Filming for the still untitled Episode 4×09 started around October 5. For several days, they filmed at Plant Sherer. Since some of the crew members and Extras had tagged Vogtle Nuclear Plant in photos and Instagram Stories a few days before and the crew complained about how loud it was at Plant Sherer, it’s possible that they used two different plants for the inside and outside locations.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Terry Matalas)

On October 14, they wrapped up filming the episode after shooting some more War Room scenes. While Lucas Till was mostly absent, the rest of the characters looked rather grim when filming scenes, so we can probably brace ourselves for some drama nearing the end of the season.

Working on Episode 4×10 and beyond
On October 12, Co-Showrunner Terry Matalas had posted an interesting photo of Lucas Till and Levy Tran in an old-looking painting with Lucas holding a light bulb. As it turned out, the painting is part of the set used for Episode 4×10, directed by the Swiss-Tibetan Yangzom Brauen. Filming started on October 15 in the War Room, but the BtS material was anything but boring. For once, they had medical equipment nearby. Second, it seems they’re filming an episode that is set in another timeline. Showrunner Peter Lenkov posted a nice editing room photo of Lucas filming with a character looking like Nikola Tesla.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Peter Lenkov)

A photo uploaded by Terry Matalas several days later confirmed that it’s Tesla; also hinting at Bell, Edison and Tesla having been part of DXS (the predecessor of the Phoenix Foundation).

On October 17, the cast joined other CBS shows for Spirit Day, posing in purple t-shirts to make a stand against bullying. Meredith Eaton also uploaded a nice photo of her with Tristin Mays and Levy Tran; labelling it “Tenacious Triad”. Justin Hires added a nice team photo as well. They continued filming a 1920s party scene as seen on Instagram stories and photos by Scottie Thompson or by Ramon De Ocampo.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

Filming picked up again on October 21. Tristin Mays filmed on location with Levy Tran and Henry Ian Cusick on Monday and with Lucas Till on Tuesday. Apparently, they had cockroach visitors on set and had a car rigged for some driving scenes.

The next day, Levy and Lucas rehearsed for scenes in MacGvyer’s kitchen. It looked like Desi will cook chicken-noodle-broth for Mac. In another scene in a different location, they lit a shovel handle on fire. A day later, they had two rats in a cage on location. Sadly, the cast and crew mostly post Instagram stories lately and not BtS photos in good quality. With no episode titles to go by, all these snippets feel like an extra weird episode with seemingly random MacGyverisms. I’m sure it will all make sense in the end.

Yesterday, they filmed night scenes with some very interesting looking cars from the 1920s, as seen in Insta stories and on a photo posted by Peter Lenkov. They will probably start on Episode 4×11 today.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Levy Tran)

Cast and crew also uploaded a few BtS photos that could have been taken while filming other episodes; e.g. Justin Hires a photo of himself with Meredith Eaton or Levy Tran a photo of herself with Tristin Mays, Meredith and “MacGyver’s piggy”.

Other Cast, Crew and Character News
The Guest Stars don’t seem to post much this season – and if they do, they don’t tag the posts so they’re not that easy to find.

There weren’t many casting calls lately. In the last two weeks, Central Casting Georgia has been looking for male Prisoner Guards, for a Real Nurse, for Caucasians between 20 and 40 for a “fun exclusive party scene“, for Asian Guards, for an Asian Prisoner, for Techs and Agents and for male Medics physically fit enough to push someone on a gurney. They also had a casting call for Stage Hands, Make Up Artists, Medics and Techs and the usual calls for Photo Doubles (e.g. for Ramon De Ocampo) and Stand-Ins.

Matthew Albright (the main Stand-In for Lucas Till) revealed that he has filmed some stunt scenes as well; consisting of being thrown at a wall.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Lucas Till)

MacGyver in Austria
In Austria, the ratings for Season 2 stay rather low. To recap: Episode 2×14 garnered 31’000 live-viewers, followed by Episode 2×15 with 38’000 live-viewers. Episode 2×16 (Hammock + Balcony) had 29’000 live viewers, followed by Episode 2×17 (Bear Trap + Mob Boss) with 42’000 live-viewers.

CBS Fall TV Season Ratings
It’s been 5 weeks of Fall TV. Lets take another look at the ratings – especially the ratings of the hour-long rookie shows and the crime shows not cancelled yet. The ratings are interesting because…

  • …the fate of the other CBS crime/drama shows will determine what timeslot Season 4 of the Reboot might air in and when the premiere will happen.
  • …the average ratings of the other shows might determine if MacGyver gets another season or not: The better they do, the lower the chance of MacGyver coming back for Season 5.
  • …the average ratings of the other shows might determine how many episodes MacGyver gets for Season 5 in case it’s renewed: The better the other shows do, the less likely for the Reboot to get a full season order and to air in Fall.

The fate of the rookie shows is usually decided at the latest in what’s called November Sweeps. The sweep came early for CBS this year: On October 23, CBS announced that they just renewed Evil for a second season, and handed out full-season back-orders to its other four freshman series, including All Rise. While this is good news for the rookie shows, it’s not really good news for MacGyver since there aren’t many potential timeslots for January left. Even worse, the “acceptable” timeslots in January just got reduced to basically zero.

  • At the moment, rookie show All Rise (Monday 9pm) has an average demo of 0.64 and 5.48 million live-viewers per episode.

Verdict: Mondays have been rather difficult for CBS in recent years. The demo for All Rise was lower than the one for Magnum PI in the same timeslot last year. It’s doing a bit better in audience than rookie show Evil, but the numbers are still rather low. Compared to the demos of all other CBS shows, All Rise is on Rank 15 (out of 20) at the moment. Therefore, the back-order of an additional 9 episodes came as a bit of surprise for most prediction sites.

CBS Fall 2019 Schedule (via World Screen)

MacGyver would have been a candidate for this slot in January, but so were at least two of the other midseason shows. Now that All Rise got a full season, the timeslot will stay occupied into Spring with new episodes and probably with reruns during hiatus (unless the show gets cancelled if the ratings drop further). It’s safe to say that Mondays 9pm is not an option for the Reboot anymore.

  • The average per episode for Bull (Monday 10pm) is a demo of 0.65 and 6.08 million live-viewers.

Verdict: Since it’s a candidate for a syndication deal and gained a bit in demo over the last few weeks, it will most likely stay in this slot. All the other prediction sites have it as “likely to be renewed”.

  • The new season of NCIS (Tuesday 8pm) is still doing well with an average of 1.19 in demo and 11.70 million live-viewers per episode.

Verdict: NCIS is the CBS Fall show with the biggest demo overall and also the lowest demo loss compared to last year. It’s getting old and expensive, but it’s also a money machine. CBS will keep it going for as long as possible.

  • FBI (Tuesday 9pm): The average per episode is a demo of 0.89 and 8.92 million live-viewers.

Verdict: Compared to last season, FBI has the second-lowest demo-drop and is almost even in audience. At the moment, it still seems to be the only crime show that could last longer than five seasons with more than 5 million viewers. CBS will hold onto it as long as they can; not putting it in danger by moving it around on the schedule.

  • The average per episode for NCIS: New Orleans (Tuesday 10pm) is a demo of 0.71 and 6.93 million live-viewers at the moment.

Verdict: Compared to last season, the losses in both demo and audience are one of the lowest. Its reruns could still get replaced with the FBI spin-off in Spring – or with FBI reruns so they can air the spin-off in the 9pm timeslot. No matter what, it doesn’t seem very likely for MacGyver to air on Tuesdays.

  • SEAL Team (Wednesday 9pm): At the moment, the average per episode is a demo of 0.66 and 4.75 million live-viewers.

Verdict: While audience numbers aren’t that great, the demo is still acceptable. As mentioned before, they put the show on a month-long hiatus last year; leading to a ratings drop that SEAL Team never bounced back from. According to this Deadline article from May, they might do it again for Criminal Minds. Because SWAT is failing, they could choose to put SWAT on hiatus instead – or to put both shows on hiatus. At the moment, it looks like MacGyver is still a candidate for this slot – at least if they plan to air it in Winter.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

The TV Ratings Guide predicts SEAL Team as likely to be renewed. SpoilerTV also puts it into their looking safe section.

  • At the moment, the average per episode for SWAT (Wednesday 10pm) is a demo of 0.56 and 3.77 million live-viewers.

Verdict: There are 20 CBS Fall shows airing at the moment. SWAT is at Rank 19 when looking at the demo and at Rank 20 for audience. Not very great. CBS rarely cancels crime shows before they reach Season 4 once they made it past the first season, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe from being demoted to midseason, moved to another timeslot or having to endure a break. Its fate might depend on the co-producing network – if they keep paying for it, CBS might keep it. The timeslot is not a good option for MacGyver anyway.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Terry Matalas)

SpoilerTV puts SWAT into the yellow danger/bubble zone, but the TV Ratings Guide predicts the show as likely to be renewed.

  • Rookie show Evil (Thursday 10pm) continues to struggle with audience numbers, but managed to raise its demo ratings last week. At the moment, the average per episode is a demo of 0.61 and 4.14 million live-viewers.

Verdict: Despite being placed at Rank 16 (of 20) in demo, the show got renewed for a second season already. Interestingly, the first season will conclude after 13 episodes on January 30. I still think that the show was misplaced and might get another timeslot next year; maybe even moved to CBS All Access – hence the reduced season order. Like MacGyver, it could end up being pushed to midseason; used as a filler show.

If they skip reruns, there will be an open timeslot on Thursday 10pm, starting in February. Nevertheless, MacGyver isn’t a good candidate for this slot.

  • Veteran show Hawaii Five-0 (Friday 8pm) has an average demo of 0.66 and 6.76 million live-viewers per episode.

Verdict: The entire Friday line-up of all networks had taken a little hit last week with the NFL going on at the same time. But when looking at demo ratings, H50 is still the best show of the CBS Friday line-up. If CBS insists on keeping Magnum as well, they might let H50 stay in this slot next year.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Peter Lenkov)

On the other hand, the Friday 8pm timeslot is usually occupied by non-scripted shows in Spring and Summer. They could temporarily move it to 9pm again for reruns (which would mean no reruns of Magnum) or put MacGyver into one of the Friday slots in Spring.

  • Magnum PI (Friday 9pm): While a ratings drop in demo for the second season was to be expected, it’s still more than CBS bargained for. The average per episode is a demo of 0.56 and 6.18 million live-viewers at the moment; placing it at Rank 18 of all scripted CBS shows .

Verdict: Although Magnum is the only CBS Fall show to gain in audience numbers, the demo is still a bit concerning.  Since it’s a co-production, the fate of the show might depend on how long NBCU is willing to keep paying for it. But CBS seems to like it and has invested in more promo (e.g. commercials during other bigger-rated shows like FBI; more Official Stills and Sneak Peeks). If H50 gets renewed, it’s probably safe. On the other hand, a renewal might not keep it safe from being demoted to midseason. As stated above, they could forego reruns in favor of reruns of H50 or of new episodes for MacGyver.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Christopher Jon Duddy)

The TV Ratings Guide changed its prediction for Magnum PI from likely to be cancelled to a toss-up for renewal. SpoilerTV has it still in their green looking safe zone.

  • For veteran show Blue Bloods (Friday 10pm), the average per episode is 0.62 in demo and 7.59 million live-viewers. It’s only Rank 16 (out of 20) when looking at all the scripted Fall shows sorted for demo, but Rank 4 when looking at audience.

Verdict: While the audience loss compared to last season is as expected, the demo dropped by 22%. Lead-in Magnum is still dragging it down. Blue Bloods is old and expensive, but it has international and syndication deals in place and is still in a better position for a renewal than many other shows.

  • Veteran NCIS: Los Angeles (Sunday 9pm) has an average demo of 0.73 and 6.55 million live-viewers per episode.

Verdict: The show does still well enough in a rather difficult timeslot. Apart from NCIS, it’s the highest-rated veteran crime show when compared for demo.

  • Madam Secretary (Sunday 10pm) will be done after airing 10 episodes; meaning that there will be a vacant timeslot by January at the latest.

Verdict: While other networks used to think of Friday as the “death slot”, Sunday has slowly been taking over in that role. It’s possible CBS will put another show there that isn’t doing well this season so they don’t have to cancel it yet – or choose a midseason show for it. As said before, it’s not a good slot for MacGyver.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Scottie Thompson)

CBS Midseason Schedule
Yesterday, FOX had already announced their midseason schedule. Now that the fate of the CBS rookies is known, we probably won’t have to wait too long for the CBS midseason schedule reveal.

At the moment, there’s only two definite timeslots to open in January and/or February, though: Thursdays 10pm and Sundays 10pm. There’s a good chance these slots are waiting for other rookie shows. This means either MacGyver premieres in Spring or there will be a schedule change with another Fall show going on hiatus to make room for the Reboot. The most likely option for this at the moment would be Wednesday, with Friday being the less likely option. There’s also speculation that CBS might open Saturdays again because they have too many shows and not enough slots. Some shows (e.g. Evil or SWAT) do very well in DVR ratings, but that’s not bringing in any commercial money like live-TV. There’s a chance for one or two shows to be moved to CBS All Access instead.

Overall, none of those options are good for the Reboot and the competition within the CBS shows will be harsh this year. Stay tuned.