Macgyver is an action-adventure and drama TV show that is based on an older show which has the same name. The original ran from 1985 to 1992, but this new version of Macgyver made its debut in 2016 and stars Lucas Till in the title role. The show was developed by Peter M. Lenkov and people will know it as a CBS title.

Macgyver currently has four seasons – it was renewed for another, but this has not aired at the time of writing.

Some people may not know that Macgyver takes place in the same fictional universe as two other popular TV shows – Hawaii Five-O and Magnum PI. This universe is sometimes known as the Lenkov-verse, after the man who created all of the shows.


In Macgyver, the main character works for a government organization which, from the outside, looks like a think-tank. Macgyver is a man of many talents with a high IQ, knowledge of many languages, and skills in areas such as engineering, armed combat, physics, bomb disposal and so on. He is essentially a superhero without any otherworldly powers. Notably, Macgyver never carries a gun.

Throughout the show, Macgyver finds himself involved in a number of high-risk action-based scenarios against a range of foes. Many of the episodes feature action set-piece finales and lots of high-octane environments.

Cast and characters

  • Angus Macgyver – Lucas Till
  • Riley Davis – Tristin Mays
  • Matilda Webber – Meredith Eaton
  • Desiree “Desi” Nguyen – Levy Tran
  • Russ Taylor – Henry Ian Cusick
  • Jack Dalton – George Eads
  • Patricia Thornton – Sandrine Holt
  • Samantha Cage – Isabel Lucas

Macgyver also features a range of recurring characters – these include Nikki Carpenter (Tracy Spindakos), Sarah Adler (Amy Acker) and more.

Filming locations

Macgyver was filmed in Los Angeles, California. This city is the hub for countless other shows. It is known as, not only the home of cinema, but also that of online streaming and television production. Parts of Macgyver were also filmed in Marietta, Georgia, which is a town located in central Cobb County, GA.


There are a number of different Macgyver trailers available for the audience to view online. The most popular and most-viewed is actually the trailer for the original 1980s show, which stars Richard Dean Anderson as Macgyver. Impressively, it has over 3 million views. The trailer for the 2016 show features Lucas Till as Macgyver and has him carrying out a number of action sequences with the Macgyver theme playing in the background. It has been viewed over 350,000 times.


The new 2016 version of Macgyver made its first steps towards production in October 2015. This is when the original series’ executive producer, Henry Winkler, became involved.  He joined up with CBS, who owned the original rights to the show.

The reason CBS owns these rights is because they acquired Paramount Television in early 2016 – the company who originally broadcast Macgyver. Winkler joined up with James Wan and R. Scott Gemmill at CBS, who would be the ones producing the show.

Plans to film a pilot surfaced in February 2016, and it was decided that it would be written by Paul Colaizzo and directed by James Wan. However, he was later replaced by David Von Ancken due to a scheduling issue.

The pilot proved popular enough for CBS to commission the series in full. That said, the network wanted a new pilot to serve as the show’s ‘real’ first episode. This was to be directed by James Wan. Peter Lenkov, who was the original co-creator of Macgyver, also became an executive producer and showrunner.

In 2016, CBS decided to greenlight a full season, which would comprise 21 episodes. The show proved popular enough on CBS that television bosses continued to renew the show. It has currently run for 4 full seasons. Furthermore, it was renewed in May 2020 for a fifth season.

Episodes and reception

Macgyver has run for 4 seasons thus far, and each one has a different number of episodes. The first season had 21 episodes, followed by 23 and 22 in the second and third seasons respectively. These episodes have had a number of different directors. In the most recently aired fourth season –  which first made its debut on streaming and TV screens in 2020 – there were fewer episodes. But the fifth season will most likely be back up to the average number, with 22 episodes.

Macgyver has generally received reasonably good ratings and critical acclaim, although it isn’t considered one of the best TV shows of all time. It currently has a 5.2 score on IMDB and 6.2 on TV.com.

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