In 1985, the ‘original’ MacGyver premiered on ABC. With the titular character played by Richard Dean Anderson, the run lasted for seven seasons. Twenty-four years later, CBS granted MacGyver a reboot with Lucas Till in the lead role. But in April, only three weeks away from what would have been the season finale, CBS decided not to move forward with a season six.
While CBS claims that the cancellation had to do with viewership and other business metrics, fans are convinced MacGyver was cancelled due to an ongoing lawsuit legal battle between CBS and stakeholders in the original series.
MacGyver has always been No. 1 in its time slot, beating out other networks on a Friday night. It has been over three months since the cancellation and MacGyver continues to stay trending on CBS and Paramount Plus. With speculation that NBC may walk back Manifest’s cancellation, MacGyver fans are trying to convince CBS to do the same or move the show to Paramount Plus as it did for Seal Team.
When fans heard about the surprise cancellation of MacGyver, they took action on Twitter, voicing their opinion with the #SaveMacgyver hashtag. In the three months since the campaign began, fans have put up billboards around nine major cities—including in Times Square—gathered over 27,000 signatures, and created a website called SaveMacgyver.com. They’ve received support on Twitter and Instagram from MacGyver’s own Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Meredith Eaton, Henry Ian Cusick, Justin Hires, Levy Tran, creator Lee David Zlotoff, showrunner Monica Macer, and members of the season five writing staff.
The #SaveMacGyver Twitter campaign has been active since April 2021 and amassed almost 700,000 tweets, which gets impressive usage every Friday during watch parties. And through the group’s #OperationPaperclip and #OperationPostcard mailing drives, fans have sent over 1.4 million paper clips and over 2,065 postcards to the CBS offices in Los Angeles and New York.
Currently the #SaveMacGyver campaign is working with creator and executive producer Lee David Zlotoff to take over his social media on Fridays for the month of July to tie the campaign to multiple charitable efforts. People in the 81 countries that want MacGyver back on television are able to donate blood at their local facilities, for example. For those who may not be able to donate blood, #SaveMacGyver is suggesting that they make financial contributions to charities of their choice or donate food, clothing, and other items to people in need.
Additionally, fans announced #MacgyverCon, a virtual event by fans celebrating MacGyver featuring raffles, contests, and swag bags on August 28-29th, 2021. The guest includes Zlotoff, MacGyver’s technical consultant Rhett Allain, costume designer Sarah Downer and season five writers.
Despite the efforts, CBS has remained mum on if it will change the cancellation policy.