Early reviews for the MacGyver reboot on CBS were less than stellar, and reports indicated that the pilot was retooled before it could air. Despite early worries, though, the series premiered at number one for its air date for adults 18-49 with no strong lead-in to aid viewership. In the weeks since, the show has managed to hold on to some of that audience and is still winning its time period on Friday nights.
As a result of its popularity, CBS has given MacGyver a full-season order. The order came alongside similar orders for two other new CBS shows, Bull and Kevin Can Wait.
The full-season order was what was known as a "back 9" order, committing to carry the show beyond the midseason and through the final nine episodes of the season. While this doesn't guarantee a second season of the show, it certainly doesn't preclude it. This also shows that CBS is confident in the ongoing success of the TV series, and gives the powers that be time to make a decision regarding the show's second season.
The fact that MacGyver and the other shows were given full-season orders is significant since CBS has had to deal with some underperforming new shows lately. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the Rush Hour adaptation, which was cancelled part of the way through its first season (though it was allowed to air its remaining episodes). The cancellation of Limitless followed after that, leaving CBS zero-for-two on its nostalgia plays. That MacGyver has such a strong start is encouraging, and the show's performance will likely be watched closely going forward.
The big question is whether the show's charm will be able to hold out long enough for a second season. It's a different take on the MacGyver character (with more of a team-oriented focus), and objectively it isn't a bad show; the fact that it's using the MacGyver name sets the bar pretty high among fans, though. If it's going to get a second season order, it will need to be compelling enough to keep viewers tuning in after the novelty of Lucas Till's MacGyver ad-libbing his way out of danger wears off.
Some fans of the original series are already hoping that the show ends up a one-season wonder, feeling that it's too different from the original and cheapens what made the original version of the MacGyver character so great. That's a feeling that may fade with time, though, especially if the new MacGyver really comes into its own later in the season. Hopefully, MacGyver will be able to develop its own identity enough to earn a second season on its own merits.
MacGyver airs Fridays at 8pm on CBS.
Source: CBS (via Deadline)