Finalists Announced for ‘The Next (Female) MacGyver’ Competition

nullTwelve finalists have been announced in The Next MacGyver competition. A joint initiative of the National Academy of Engineering and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the contest hopes to offer a new face in problem-solving under extreme pressure: a lady MacGyver. Earlier this year, the contest was launched to find the exciting new voices that would help create a TV show featuring a female engineer in action. 

The original "MacGyver," of course, focused on a spy who uses his vast knowledge of engineering to troubleshoot his way out of deadly situations. 

Most of the 12 finalists are based in the US, and some of them have backgrounds in STEM fields. The proposed show concepts include comedies and an interactive crime drama. Seven of 12 finalists are women. 

On July 28, The Paley Center for Media will host and co-present an event where the 12 finalists will present their ideas and concept art to a panel of judges, which will include actress America Ferrera and biophysicist Valerie Weiss. Five winners will be chosen. They’ll be mentored by producers and engineering experts to help develop their pilot scripts and will receive $5,000 each. 

“From Script to Screen,” a panel focused on the process of transforming a TV show concept from idea to pilot, will take place during the event. Participants include Ann Blanchard (CAA), Marci Cooperstein (ABC Family) and Danielle Feinberg (Pixar Animation Studios). 

The female finalists of The Next MacGyver competition are:





Kristen Bobst

Marina Del Rey, California

Drama / Procedural

 Doctor Tailor

Shanee Edwards

Culver City, California

Historical / Steampunk

Ada and the Machine

Beth Keser

San Diego, California

Adventure / Procedural

Rule 702

Jayde Lovell

New York, New York

Comedy / Drama

SECs (Science and Engineering Clubs)

Nao Murakami

Seattle, Washington

Sci-Fi / Crime Drama

The Mind

Miranda Sajdak

Los Angeles, California

Historical Drama


Judy Wu

San Mateo, California

Interactive Crime Drama


Here is a peek at some of the intriguing concept art for the proposed series (in addition to "Ada and the Machine" pictured above):