Unaired Pilot (2016)

Unsurprisingly, the idea of another MacGyver series or movie has been around for a while.

There is an Unaired Pilot (2003) for a spinoff-series called Young MacGyver (starring Jared Padalecki as MacGyver’s nephew Clay), but the show never went into production.

In October 2015, Hollywood Reporter announced that CBS was bringing back MacGyver as a TV Show. NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer R. Scott Gemmill was set to write the script with James Wan (who had been attached for a MacGyver movie since 2012) directing the pilot.

In February 2016, Deadline reported that CBS had ordered a pilot for a MacGyver Reboot with a new script (written by Paul Downs Colaizzo) that was set to be directed by David Von Ancken. Only a few days later, Lionsgate announced that they had made a development deal with CBS for a MacGyver movie.

According to Backstage, the pilot was set to be filmed in Portland. In the end, the pilot was filmed in California in March and April 2016 with Lucas Till as MacGyver and George Eads as Lincoln. Here’s the synopsis:

After spending five years on a cave in Pakistan, kidnapped by the Mazzari, a terrorist group, twenty-something Angus MacGyver gets recruited into the clandestine Phoenix Foundation where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening.


You can find more information on the synopsis, the production process and the characters here.


Unaired Pilot Cast Credits:

  • Lucas Till (MacGyver)
  • George Eads (Lincoln)
  • Addison Timlin (Mickey)
  • Joshua Boone (Gunner/Hunter)
  • Michelle Krusiec (Homeland Security Agent Croix)
  • Sunil Malhotra (Niles Cardon)
  • Torrey Vogel (Jaws)
  • Anita Kalathara (Nela)


Unaired Pilot Producing Credits:

  • Paul Downs Colaizzo (Creator, Co-Executive Producer)
  • Brett Mahoney (Co-Creator)
  • David von Ancken (Director)
  • Lee David Zlotoff (Executive Producer)
  • James Wan (Executive Producer)
  • Michael Clear (Executive Producer)
  • Henry Winkler (Executive Producer)


On the 13th of May 2016, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had been picked up and ordered to Series by CBS – with Peter Lenkov (Hawaii Five-0, Magnum PI) being added as an Executive Producer. Deadline stated that Lenkov was set to write a new script with the general premise of the series remaining the same; confirming suspicions that the supporting cast was not coming back.

Nevertheless, CBS showed 20 minutes of the never-to-be-aired pilot at the Upfronts in May 2016, also releasing 3 promo stills, a teaser trailer and an official logo beforehand. The logo uses an open SAK to form the letter “v”. Interestingly, it is still used for inofficial production communication and for this Twitter account managed by the script writers.


You can find more information on the promotional material used for the Upfronts and the retooling of the reboot here.



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