Five years ago Paramount Television decided to develop a show about
"an action hero who can play in early time periods who is also
advertiser-friendly," says Paramount Network TV president John Pike.
From that seed sprang "MacGyver."
ABC executives on both coasts say "MacGyver" is very
"advertiser-friendly" and in "high demand." That's because while
it's action packed, it doesn't have a lot of violence - MacGyver
doesn't use a gun, champions things, like the environment,
advertisers like to be associated with and comes out strongly
against things like animal tusk poaching.
Advertisers also like having their name associated with a
show to which educators are actually giving good grades.
School teachers nationwide, while deploring the amount of
time students spend in the vast network "wasteland," have
come out in favor of "Mac" because he uses his wits, not
weapons, to solve crimes; he rescues damsels and escapes
like a 'Miami Vice' situation where, depending on the
episode, it can be very violent or sexually hot," Pike
draw for advertisers is the series' appeal to viewers both
young and old. "If you ever find an action hero that parents
and children can watch at the same time, you've got yourself
a pretty good format," Pike asserts. "It can perform
anywhere: you can put it on early or late."
Because it can play both early -- thanks to its clean-cut image and
low violence level -- and late, ABC bounced the show around and
finally put it to the task of solving the network's Monday night
During the Fall football season "MacGyver" runs at 8 p.m. on the
East Coast. The series follows "Monday Night Football" on the West
Coast, where some stations opt to preempt it in favor of NFL
overruns. Although "MacGyver's" flexibility has proven to be a mixed
blessing, regardless of its schedule changes, 100 episodes and five
seasons later, "MacGyver" has prospered. "One of the things that has
always worked about "MacGyver" is that adults get a kick about the
clever nature in which he solves the crime - it's a mini 'Mission:
Impossible' form," Pike says, referring to another Paramount series
By Lisa de Moraes, The Hollywood Reporter. March 5, 1990: p.S-1 to S-24.