Today, news has come out regarding sweeping changes at both Magnum PI and MacGyver — two extremely-popular reboots going strong at CBS. In a statement, CBS TV Studios confirmed that they have fired prolific showrunner Peter M. Lenkov and also terminated their overall deal with him. The news comes following the conclusion of Hawaii Five-0 earlier this year, and while writers’ rooms for both MacGyver and Magnum PI are both currently open for upcoming seasons. (They are currently on the network’s fall schedule, but premiere dates are TBD.)
The dismissal of Lenkov comes following an internal investigation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he was the subject of at least three different complaints spanning from Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver, with claims including that he created a hostile work environment and that he allegedly talked down to women and persons of color on his writing staffs. There are further complaints that include creating an apparent “boys’ club” atmosphere and allegedly not accommodating the schedules of actresses as often as their male counterparts.
Here is what the studio had to say in a full statement:
“Peter Lenkov is no longer the executive producer overseeing MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the studio has ended its relationship with him … Monica Macer will be the showrunner on MacGyver and Eric Guggenheim will run Magnum P.I. Both are currently executive producers on their respective series. Our studio is committed to ensuring safe and respectful production environments. Over the past year, we have assigned human resource production partners to every show, expanded staff training and increased reporting options. We will continue to evolve our practices with continued focus on building trust with all who work on our sets. Every complaint is taken seriously, every claim is investigated, and when evidence is clear that policies were violated and values not upheld, we take decisive action.”
Lenkov, meanwhile, issued a comment of his own:
“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. I accept responsibility for what I am hearing and am committed to doing the work that is required to do better and be better.”
Where does this leave the future of Magnum PI and MacGyver? As the studio noted, both shows will move forward, and they each already have an established cast, crew, and story in place. They should be able to progress onward; showrunner changes can prove complicated, but there are also examples of seamless transitions where stories remain largely the same for viewers watching at home.
This story is still developing, so we will have more information as it comes out. (Photo: CBS.)