“MacGyver” executive producer Peter Lenkov wants viewers to know that a pairing like series leads Lucas Till and George Eads doesn’t come along every day.
“This is like lightning in a bottle,” Lenkov told TheWrap. “What you see onscreen is very much like their personalities. I wrote the pilot without having really met them, just having these voices in my head, and it is actually exactly the way they are in their personal lives. They’ve become such good friends, I think Lucas is sleeping on George’s couch most nights now.”
“MacGyver” sees Till take over the role originated in the late ’80s by Richard Dean Anderson, playing a younger version of secret agent Angus MacGyver as he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help head off disasters. Former “CSI” star Eads plays Jack Dalton, who in this version is an ex-commando and MacGyver’s best friend.
The series is unique in that its original pilot was scrapped earlier this year, with the whole cast being replaced save for Till and Eads. Lenkov joined the show in May, giving him just four months to completely rework the series. But what was wrong with the original?
“It was a true origin story,” Lenkov said. “I felt like, ‘You know who MacGyver is,’ so to spend 20, 25 minutes explaining things when the audience already knows he is– I mean, ‘Macgyver’ is a verb. People know what it means to MacGyver something. This is not that. We’re jumping into this as if he’s a fully functioning agent.”
And even though the original “MacGyver” series aired from 1985-1992, Lenkov sees no difficulty making the character appealing to a modern audience.
“He’s inventive. He’s smart. He’s different than any other hero on TV,” Lenkov said. “He’s a cerebral hero. He doesn’t need a conventional weapon. He doesn’t wear a cape. He’s just able to look at things differently and repurpose things. It’s different than anything else in the TV landscape right now.”
“MacGyver” premieres tonight at 8 p.m./9c on CBS.