Whenever a long-running series gets canceled, the first question fans of the cast ask is… what’s next? That was the question for MacGyver star Lucas Till needed to answer after the CBS procedural was cancelled in the middle of its fifth season. Only a few weeks after MacGyver aired its series finale, Till landed an answer in the form of a new TV series set to air on FX.
Following his run as Mac on MacGyver, Lucas Till will has joined FX's dramatic adaptation of the classic novel The Spook Who Sat by the Door. In the Lee Daniel-produced pilot, Lucas Till will take on a supporting role in portraying CIA agent Graham Renfroe, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The proposed series, which is set in the 1960s and 1970s, will be a shift for the actor as he goes from the comedy-laced action of MacGyver to a higher level of seriousness in Spook.
The move from a top-line role to a supporting role may come as a surprise to viewers. With MacGyver being a time slot winner due to decent ratings on Friday nights, one might think Lucas Till would have gone after another leading role instead of taking a side-seat, but the CBS drama did center on a larger ensemble than just the titular badass. This strategy may pay off for Till, also, especially given the shift in tone and the lack of behind-the-scenes drama that surrounded the CBS procedural. If the pilot gets a full series order, this series sounds like it could put Till in more awards conversations than MacGyver would have ever inspired.
The MacGyver star’s addition was another boost for the already anticipated Lee Daniels project. Lucas Till joined series lead and Insecure vet Y’lan Noel and Outsiders' Christina Jackson in the small-screen adaptation. Based on Sam Greenlee’s classic 1969 novel, The Spook Who Sat by the Door will follow Noel’s war veteran Dan Freeman and Jackson as his attorney wife Joy as they deal with Dan's dual life as the CIA’s first Black officer and a rising revolutionary.
Lucas Till isn’t the only new addition to the FX drama pilot, either. Black Lightning’s Nafessa Williams (whose CW series just wrapped as well after a disappointing cancellation) joined the cast along with BIllions' Nathan Darrow and The Morning Show's Tom Irwin. Williams will play high-class working girl Etta Henry, while Darrow and Irwin star as CIA assistant director Alfred Ames and director Jack Turner, respectively.
The FX pilot is being executive produced by Lee Daniels through his production company Inclusion Fund. Scream: The TV Series and Raising Dion writer/producer Leigh Dana Jackson will be penning the pilot’s script and will serve as showrunner as well as executive producer. Spook’s pilot is part of Daniel’s ongoing overall deal with 20th Television in addition to his Wonder Years reboot for ABC.
After the sudden cancellation of MacGyver, it’s nice to see Lucas Till moving on to the next project without much downtime. Hopefully, the Spook pilot will become a full series, allowing the actor to grace our television screens once more. If it takes a paperclip, a rubber band and a matchbook to make it happen, they found the right guy.