'MacGyver' Season 5: Why Did the CBS Series Get Canceled?

As social media continues to react to news of MacGyver's cancellation, many have been left wondering why CBS decided not to renew the series past Season 5. The network announced Wednesday the series will conclude with the April 30 Season 5 finale, which will now also act as the series finale. While the news has sparked a vibrant response from social media, it seems the show didn’t perform well enough in the network’s eyes to call for a Season 6.

At this time, CBS has not given a direct answer for the cancellation, though it seems likely it came down to ratings. According to TVSeriesFinale, Season 5 has averaged just under 5 million views per week, with only a single episode, Jan. 8's "Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason," surpassing the 5 million mark. The current season is also averaging a 0.5 demo rating. For comparison, Season 4 of the series averaged a 0.67 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the key demo figure for TV advertisers, and 6.08 million viewers. At its peak, MacGyver saw nearly 8 million viewers tuning in. TVLine reports that the current numbers put MacGyver at No. 9 in the demo ranking out of all of CBS's 14 original dramas and 10th in total audience.

Newsweek suggests that the episode count also could have played into the decision. When MacGyver airs its series finale, "Abduction + Memory + Time + Fireworks + Dispersal," on April 30th, the series will have aired 95 episodes in total. That episode count will make it around 100, which is the typical number of episodes required for a series to enter syndication on other networks, allowing the series to be profitable in the future for the network even after it has ended.

Regardless of CBS's reasoning, the cancellation is not sitting well with fans. Shortly after news broke Wednesday, many viewers took to social media to react, with some calling on CBS to save the series by using the "[Save MacGyver]" hashtag. Some have even begun sending paperclips to the network to show the show's large fanbase and prompt CBS to reverse its decision.

MacGyver is a reboot of the 1985 action drama of the same name. Debuting on CBS in 2016, the series follows Angus "Mac" MacGyver, a 20-something adventurer who has strong engineering skills and is an operative in a secret organization within the US government called the Phoenix Foundation. The series stars Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires, Meredith Eaton, Levy Tran, and Henry Ian Cusick.