A proud day for duct tape.

MacGyver, the thinking handyman's 1985-92 adventure series, will be revived, and retooled, for a next-generation-style WB show called Young MacGyver.

The planned series is being eyed for a 2003 debut, Variety says.

Casting for a pilot is expected to begin shortly. Producers (of whom Henry "The Fonz" Winkler is one) need an actor to play old MacGyver's twentysomething nephew. Like old MacGyver, played on the original series by Richard Dean Anderson, young MacGyver will work for the Phoenix Foundation, an agency devoted to defeating diabolical minds, one episode at a time.

And like old MacGyver, fans hope, young MacGyver will rely on his wits, and the random contents of a glove compartment, to save the world with a paper clip, a Hershey bar and, in a pinch, duct tape.

Anderson, now of Showtime's Stargate SG-1, is 52, and presumably considered ineligible to star in a show with the word "young" in the title. It's not known if he would play any role in the planned MacGyver revival. In Variety, a WB exec spoke of "a brand-new cast of a characters."

It's not known if young MacGyver will be bestowed with a first name at birth, unlike Uncle, who had to wait to the 1991-92 season. (It wasn't until then that viewers were told Mac's given name was...Angus.)

Earle Marsh, coauthor of The Complete Directory to Prime Time [SIC] Network TV Shows, says the young MacGyver concept has been tried before--on old MacGyver. The final episode of the original ABC series saw Mac reunited with his long-lost son, Sean, played by future Beverly Hills, 90210 resident Dalton James. The series concluded with the two MacGyvers tooling off into the sunset on motorcycles, Marsh says.

Anderson returned, sans his TV son, for two 1994 TV-movies, MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis, and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday.

In August, New Line Cinema sealed a deal with series creator Lee Zlotoff to retrofit the old series for a big-screen adventure.

To Tim Nyberg, one half of Jim & Tim, the Duct Tape Guys, authors of The Duct Tape Book, among other similarly themed titles, the return of MacGyver, in movie or TV form, can only mean good things for the adhesive material that he and his partner champion.

"MacGyver is another duct-tape evangelist, just like we are," says Nyberg, who cops to only having viewed "one-and-a-half episodes" of the original series. "...Some people [even] call it 'MacGyver tape.'"

What's so special about MacGyver tape?

"It's so strong that people have actually towed cars out of ditches with it, and yet you can rip it with your bare hands," Nyberg says. "It's kind of a quick fix--a universal panacea."

Looks the WB will find out how well it works on ratings.