It's hard to believe if you were alive when it was on the air, but MacGyver is 30 years old. For seven seasons, he fought evil with science — and he made it cool. The character MacGyver, played unforgettably by Richard Dean Anderson (and his mullet), used his incredible expertise of science, engineering and mathematics as a sort-of secret agent, rescuing hostages, stopping dictators, and dismantling dangerous weapons all over the world.
It's still the role that Anderson is best remembered for, and it made a huge impact on children of the '80s, inspiring countless kids to pursue careers in science. Now the show's creator, Lee Zlotoff, wants to inspire a new generation to get into science and engineering. And this time, he wants to do it with a female main character.
More of a spiritual successor to MacGyver than a full-blooded reboot, Zlotoff wants help from budding writers and scientists to create a new show that will do for people today what MacGyver did way back when. In essence, he's looking to crowdsource the creation of a new TV show that keeps the spirit of MacGyver while starring a female protagonist who uses her knowledge of engineering to solve crimes or battle evil. Only in 2015, the challenges are very different, with obstacles like climate change, terrorism and world hunger to battle.
Zlotoff has the National Academy of Engineering onboard as partners, along with several others. This group is holding a contest to find five winners, who will get $5,000 and the chance to partner with a Hollywood producer to create a pilot script that could go on to become the next MacGyver. Applicants have until April 17, 2015 to submit a required packet of materials, and you can submit up to three different pitches.
Do you have what it takes?