Wanted: ideas to help a new female MacGyver

Remember MacGyver? If not, this should refresh your memory (or at least tell you who he was).

It may be too late to create a new series of the original MacGyver with Richard Dean Anderson, but that’s not stopping Lee Zlotoff, creator of the original show, from trying to resurrect it. Admirably, though, he’s trying to create a show about a female MacGyver (his daughter, maybe?). And he needs your help. You could even win some cash.

Hollywood and top engineers are crowdsourcing ideas for a TV series with a female MacGyver, the brainy 1980s small-screen secret agent who used little more than a paper clip to solve tricky problems.

The University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering is launching the competition for series ideas with Washington’s National Academy of Engineering and the MacGyver Foundation, officials said on Thursday.

“We want to be surprised. We want to be amazed,” Lee Zlotoff, the creator of the original “MacGyver” series, told a news conference.

Organizers are hoping that a show featuring a dashing female engineer will do for the field what the “CSI” series has done for forensic sciences.

They also want to get more girls and young women interested in engineering. Less than 20 percent of engineering bachelors degrees go to women, and trends point to even fewer in the future.

“Who among us wants to live in a world designed primarily by males?” said Ruth David, former deputy director of science and technology for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Zlotoff urged people to send in ideas for the new TV show by April 17. Five winners will receive $5,000 and be paired with producers to create a script, which will then be pitched to a network.

Got any ideas?