He’s come a long way since his days growing up in the Laval, Que., neighbourhood. In 1987, after studying in Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies, Lenkov decided to fly to Hollywood, where he knocked on plenty of doors. The effort paid off. Almost 30 years later, in 2016, he was dubbed by Indiewire “TV’s King of the Remake.”
The veteran TV writer and Emmy-nominated producer — for Outstanding Drama Series for the FOX TV series 24 in 2005 — recently donated $50,000 to establish the Peter Lenkov Award for Script Writing in Film Production at Concordia. In August he taught a week-long Master Scriptwriting Class for the university’s Department of Communication Studies.
Lenkov sat down after one of his masterclasses for a candid Q&A.
You are executive producer of Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver. What does that mean?
Peter Lenkov: “It’s like being a CEO of a company. You are responsible for the end product.”
MacGyver is in season two and Hawaii Five-O in season eight. Both were also hits in their previous incarnations. How do you reinvent the wheel?
PL: “I looked for things that added value to the franchise, especially Five-O, trying to flesh out the characters. I don’t think you really knew who those characters were in the original series.
Same thing for MacGyver. I added people in his life so that you got to know him. The characters interact with him, therefore the audience gets to see him through the eyes of the people closest to him. In its day, the plots were always very solid, but I don’t think you knew enough about the characters, so that is what we have developed in the reboots.”