Fact: Actor Richard Anderson was the first pick of the litter when it came to the lead role of Macgyver. Why he got the role is nothing short of ‘of course’.
The Macgyver tv series reared its beautiful 7 pounds 5 ounce, blue eyes, blonde hair in the summer of 1984 when John Rich, who was working on the Mr. Sunshine sitcom for ABC, Henry Winkler who had just finished his 11 year stint on the Happy Days, and Lee David Zlotoff was working on Remington Steele got together to come up with the concept. The idea was instantly sold to Paramount, and ABC became interested as well.
During the casting for the character who would play Angus Macgyver, all the actors who auditioned for the role were said to have “hulked” the part. As Winkler and Rich were looking for a suitable actor for the lead, they came across actor Richard Anderson’s appearance in the American television series ‘The Love Boat.’ In some way, Winkler got Anderson to audition for the character and it was an instant success. Winkler and Rich noticed in Anderson’s audition that he gave Macgyver a human touch which the other actors just couldn’t. It was literally on the spot that both of them knew they were looking at a ‘breakout’ star.
The television show Macgyver regardless of what people say was a sleeper hit for ABC. Sleeper hits are in this case television shows that don’t really gain attention until after the first season. This is mainly to due to advertising for the show and because audiences didn’t understand the show in the beginning stages. Additionally, some shows don’t gain attraction because it’s a completely novel idea.