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

Finalists Announced for 'The Next (Female) MacGyver' Competition

Twelve 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 Riveting
Judy Wu San Mateo, California Interactive Crime Drama @Gnosis

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

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