MacGyver this: The manliest man becomes a woman

When I came across this screenwriting contest to relaunch the 80’s TV show MacGyver with a female in the lead, I thought it would make a fun story for ThriveWire. What I discovered is that the producers are hoping to do much more than just make a hit show–they’re hoping to inspire a generation of young women to go into engineering and science fields, which is definitely something I can get behind.

The original MacGyver. No word on if the mullet will be brought back.
The original MacGyver. No word on if the mullet will be brought back.

The 80’s TV action star who could solve any problem with just a roll of duct tape and a Swiss army knife is getting a makeover and a sex change, according to producers of a modern incarnation of the show MacGyver.

In an effort to bring the show back to life with authenticity, the original MacGyver producer Lee Zlotoff has partnered with the National Academy of Engineering to launch a crowdsourcing competition to develop the show’s pilot. Through the competition, contestants submit ideas as to how the new MacGyver will be portrayed and introduced in the pilot. The only catch? Mac needs to be a Miss this time around.

Producers will select five winners at the end of the competition in April, who will receive $5,000 and will be “paired with a successful Hollywood TV producer to develop his or her script.”

Producers say they are looking for “something new, something better”—a woman who will be the inspiration for a new generation of scientists and engineers. When producer Zlotoff announced the competition in February, he said “I literally could not tell you how many times people have come up to me and said…’I went into the sciences because of MacGyver,’” adding that less than 20% of undergraduate engineering degrees go to women.

Think you’ve got what it takes to “create the next female hero that will inspire a generation of young women to see themselves as engineers”? Submit your ideas to by April 17th. And read my full story on MacGyver on ThriveWire.


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