June 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

“MacGyver” Reboot Premieres Tonight

“MacGyver” premieres at 8 p.m. tonight, finding a place on the CBS schedule thanks in part to the continued global familiarity of its 1985-92 ABC predecessor.

“Everyone knows what ‘MacGyver’ means,” CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller told City News Service last month at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. “It’s a verb. It’s used all over the world. It becomes part of the lexicon of how we speak that it felt like the perfect time to bring the show back.”

To executive producer Peter Lenkov, the resourceful 20-something Angus “Mac” MacGyver, “is very unique to the TV landscape.”

“This guy is a superhero whose superpower is his brain,”  said Lenkov, who was the showrunner for “Hawaii Five-0” when its reboot premiered on CBS in 2010. “He’s a cerebral hero. In the procedural landscape, everybody has a gun. He doesn’t have a gun.”

Lucas Till, best known for his portrayal of Havoc in the “X-Men” film franchise, stars as MacGyver, who creates a clandestine organization within the U.S. government in which he uses his extraordinary talents for unconventional problem-solving and vast scientific knowledge to save lives.

The new version differs from the original in that MacGyver is part of a team, a change Lenkov said was made “to make it a little bit different.”

“I feel that TV shows nowadays are very character-driven, so I really wanted to sort of explore his character,” Lenkov said. “And how do you do that?  By really having him interact with people close to him.”

The other members of the Department of External Services team are maverick former CIA agent Jack Dalton (George Eads), former field agent-turned- director of operations Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt) and unpredictable computer hacker Riley Davis (Tristin Mays). The cast also includes Justin Hires as MacGyver’s ambitious roommate.

Like with the original version, Henry Winkler is part of the producing team for the new version of “MacGyver.”

“He gave me some good advice when we were prepping the pilot,” Lenkov said. “He’s letting us do our thing, but he’s definitely a presence in the show. We trade emails a lot.”

Lenkov said he has a role in mind for original series star Richard Dean Anderson, which he had discussed with his representatives.

Tonight’s episode, where MacGyver and Dalton join forces to recover a missing bioweapon that has the ability to kill hundreds of thousands of people with a single drop, was the second pilot filmed for the series.

Only Till and Lucas’ characters from the original pilot are part of the series, Lenkov said.

Lenkov called the first pilot “the most expensive dress rehearsal you can do” with a story that “just didn’t work.” None of its footage will be aired, Lenkov said.

“You got to see what worked and didn’t work,” Lenkov said. “CBS was smart because they knew that the franchise has value. They knew there was something there. They especially saw that when they saw Lucas and George together on screen.”

 

ABC

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