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MacGyver was an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry Winkler and John Rich were the executive producers. Seven seasons of the show were produced, all of which were broadcast by ABC in the United States and various other network abroad from 1985 to 1992. The series was filmed in Los Angeles during seasons 1, 2 and 7, and in Vancouver, British Columbia during seasons 3–6. The show's final episode aired on May 21, 1992 on ABC.
The story arc of MacGyver follows the intelligent, optimistic, laid-back, resourceful secret agent Angus MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson. He prefers a non-violent resolution to fighting where possible, and refuses to use a gun except in the pilot episode when he fires an AK-47 at his enemies. MacGyver works as a troubleshooter for the fictional Phoenix Foundation in Los Angeles. Educated as a scientist with a background as a Bomb Disposal Technician/EOD in Vietnam ("Countdown"), and from a fictional United States government agency, the Department of External Services (DXS), he is used as a resourceful agent able to solve a range of problems along with his ever-present Swiss Army knife.
The series was a ratings success for ABC and was particularly popular in the United States, Europe, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Two television movies, MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday, aired on ABC in 1994. A spin-off series, Young MacGyver, was planned in 2003, but only the pilot was made. A live-action feature film is planned. Merchandise for the MacGyver media franchise includes games and toys, print media and an original audio series. There have even been a few comedic spin-offs of the famous show, such as Saturday Night Live's "MacGruber" which later was made into a full feature film named MacGruber, and a parody of the song "Hey There Delilah", which was given the name "Hey There MacGyver." The MacGyver movie, based on the series, is being developed and may possibly be produced by 2013.
The series revolved around Angus MacGyver (known to his friends as "MacGyver" or "Mac"), whose main asset is his practical application of scientific knowledge and inventive use of common items—along with his ever-present Swiss Army knife (mainly the Huntsman, Spartan and the Tinker models by Victorinox). The clever solutions MacGyver implemented to seemingly unsolvable problems — often in life-or-death situations requiring him to improvise complex devices in a matter of minutes — were a major attraction of the show, which was praised for generating interest in the applied sciences, particularly engineering, and for providing entertaining story lines. All of MacGyver's exploits on the show were ostensibly vetted to be based on scientific principles (even though, the creators acknowledged, in real life one would have to be extraordinarily lucky for most of MacGyver's ideas to succeed). In the few cases where MacGyver used household chemicals to create poisons, explosives, or other things deemed too dangerous to be accurately described to the public, details were altered or left vague.
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