CBS presented its upcoming fall and midseason schedule to advertisers during the network upfronts earlier today and while the Eye network did a good job of staying on brand with the majority of its new offerings – which were few, to be honest – it did present a first look at one new series that is itself already familiar to most audiences in one way or another. This is in reference to the network’s reimagined MacGyver series, starring X-Men: Apocalypse‘s Lucas Till in the title role and CSI alum George Eads as Lincoln, Mac’s liaison with the strategic task force he’s been recruited by that appears to be headed up by Michelle Krusiec’s Agent Croix.
The trailer offers up a collection of everything fans have come to expect from MacGyver since the original series starring Richard Dean Anderson has managed to have an incredible longevity after it went off the air in 1992. Part of that is the ironic joy brought in part by Will Forte’s SNL skit-turned-feature-film MacGruber in which the theatrical scientific resourcefulness of Mac was played for laughs rather instead of inspiring awe at what a single person can do with the everyday items he happens to find at his disposal. As the trailer suggests: MacGyver can do extraordinary things with just about anything, such as “bubble gum and a Q-tip”.
But what sets the trailer apart from MacGruber and the legend of MacGyver that has built in the decades since it was a weekly must-see series, is that it strives to capture the sense of adventure and fun-loving spectacle that made the original a staple of TV for seven seasons. While there are plenty of jokes – attributed to Eads for the most part – the series appears to be taking a sincere approach to Mac and his remarkable skill set. There isn’t much in the way of irony when Till is asked by reporters how he managed to escape his “terrorist holding cell” nor is does the trailer wink at the audience when Mac fashions a tripwire out of a garden hose (one of his lesser feats on display, to be honest), an explosive-tipped arrow, or a parachute out of – you guessed it, everyday items.
Instead, the series looks like it plans to have fun with the classic MacGyver formula of one man doing the impossible against otherwise insurmountable odds. Till, too, seems well suited for the role as he is sporting a hairstyle that’s somewhat reminiscent of Richard Dean Anderson’s late ’80s, early ’90s coif, while also bringing a certain not-unwelcome amount of cockiness to the role that is a charming counter to Eads’ jokier presence, whose job is to help guide Mac through his missions, but also serve as the audience proxy in being consistently impressed with the ingenuity of his charge.
Whether it all works out or not is another story, but with the exception of last season’s Limitless, CBS has a solid track record with this sort of procedural affair. And given the already solid fan base that MacGyver has (both ironic and unironic) this new series stands a chance of attracting a younger demographic than is usual for the network.
Overall, the series looks like a solid addition to CBS’ fall line-up.
MacGyver will air on Friday nights on CBS in the fall.