CBS On 'MacGyver' Pilot Problems And Why They're Still Sticking With The Property [TCA 2016]

CBS will present a panel on their new MacGyver series later today and we have an interview with creators of the new series, James Wan and Peter Lenkov. In his executive session beginning the day of Television Critics Association panels, CBS President of Entertainment Glenn Gellar addressed troubles and delays with the pilot. There is currently not a pilot available to screen, and the show premieres this fall.

"Look, I'll say it this way," Gellar began. "Every pilot goes through a retooling. Admittedly, this pilot probably went through a little more retooling than most do." 

Lucas Till stars as a young Angus MacGyver, the character originated by Richard Dean Anderson in the series that ran seven seasons from 1985-1992. CSI veteran George Eads plays Jack Dalton, the role Bruce McGill had on the original series. A gender-flipped Patricia Thornton is played by Sandrine Holt. Gellar said the cast and creatives made it worth making sure MacGyver worked.

"We had Lucas Till," Gellar said. "We were thrilled to have George Eads back on CBS. We have an iconic franchise, MacGyver, and Peter Lenkov who said, 'I will do this.' He's a phenomenal showrunner. He developed Hawaii Five-0 for us. Knowing we had these two actors and that IP and our faith in Peter, we felt we had more than enough to pick up the series and schedule it in front of Hawaii Five-0."

MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 will comprise CBS's Friday night drama block. The original MacGyver was able to improvise scientific solutions to escape dangers. His name became a verb, as in "to MacGyver" your way out of trouble. Will Forte spoofed MacGyver in his MacGruber sketches on Saturday Night Live and eventual feature film. Early trailers show Till's MacGyver escaping a terrorist prison and getting recruited by a task force to contribute his improvisational skills. Gellar assured the TCA that he wasn't just trying to make fetch happen with MacGyver.

"It was much more than the MacGyver name," Gellar said. "It was the actors, the auspices and it fits the time period. We had more than enough to schedule the show Fridays at 8:00. It's the perfect show for its time slot."

MacGyver premieres Friday, September 23 at 8 PM on CBS.