'MacGyver' Canceled: Why the CBS Show is Ending

MacGyver is the latest CBS show to be canceled this season, following the announced endings of NCIS: New Orleans and Mom. The Lucas Till-fronted show will come to an end after Season 5, meaning that the April 30 season finale will be the last-ever episode of the reboot.

Why MacGyver has been canceled

Low ratings seem to be behind CBS bringing the reboot to an end after five years.

Per TVSeriesFinale, the show has average weekly viewing figures of just under five million people, meaning that the show lost a fifth of its audience from the last season. This compares to the nearly eight million viewers the show got in its peak.

This puts it as the 15 most-watched scripted show on CBS—just behind NCIS: New Orleans, also canceled this year after underperforming compared to the other two NCIS franchises.

macgyver canceled
MacGyver starring Lucas Till has been canceled after five seasons. CBS

Viewing figures are also down a fifth in the key 18-40 demographic that is so crucial to TV advertisers.

Season 5 of MacGyver brings the total episode count of the CBS show to 95 episodes. This also helps to explain why the show got canceled this year rather than last season when the show also had middling ratings. Around 100 episodes is the usual number of episodes needed for a show to enter syndication on other networks, which allows the show to be profitable in the future for the network even after it has ended.

Reacting to news of the cancelation, Till wrote on Instagram: "the past five years have been what I will look on later as the most formative years of my life. Lots of tough, lots of love. I made lifelong friends, actually no, family. I learned to push myself to new limits, breaking through and through and through. Was nervous to take up the mantle of an icon and you guys allowed me into your homes and accepted me. I'm like the Roger Moore of MacGyvers now thanks to your support."

The "lots of tough" in that statement seems to refer to the difficulties that Till has discussed having on set.

CBS terminated MacGyver executive producer Peter M. Lenkov in July 2020 over claims he had created a toxic work environment on set.

Till said of this to Vanity Fair: "The way Peter treats people is just unacceptable. I was suicidal that first year on the show, because of the way he made me feel. But the way he's treated the people around me—that's just my breaking point."

Lenkov himself released a statement saying: "Now is the time to listen, and I am listening. It's difficult to hear that the working environment I ran was not the working environment my colleagues deserved, and for that, I am deeply sorry."

In a statement, Monica Macer (who took over showrunning duties from Lenkov) said: "We can't wait for [fans] to see our spectacular final episodes and the adventures that still await for Mac and the team at the Phoenix."

MacGyver Season 5 continues Fridays at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on CBS. All episodes so far streaming on Paramount+.