Discovery cans Bear Grylls, so now what?

Bear Grylls

We got news from the Hollywood Reporter that Discovery has terminated its dealing with Bear Grylls, star of the “Man vs. Wild” series that had attracted more than 1 million viewers per episode. Although news as to why this occurred has been scant (something about not being able to get Grylls to work on two new projects), HR says that production on any series involving Grylls has ceased.

You can read about it here.

The questions that come to mind:

— What will Discovery do to replace the potential lost viewers? Although “Man vs. Wild” is not the network’s top show, it is among its most lucrative. How do they propose to feed viewers’ appetite for the program?

— Is it permanent? We all saw how the breakdown between the network and part of the cast of “Deadliest Catch” went down. First, the Hillstrands were out. But they eventually worked things out when other cast members were ready to end their affiliation with the show as well. Will Grylls and Discovery patch things up later as well?

— Most importantly, what does this mean for adventure TV? I would argue that “Man vs. Wild” was not the best show when it came to explaining and demonstrating wilderness survival. “Survivorman” and “Alone in the Wild” were far better, in my opinion. But Grylls’ program was the most popular. Will he come up with something new somewhere else? And if so, will it be in a similar vein, or will it take a new turn? I think it would be a good opportunity to make a better show. Grylls has some good tips in there, but some of the stunts are decidedly dubious demonstrations of wilderness survival and safety. A reboot would give him a chance to do something better. In any case, suitors will be lining up to get him on board.

Bob Doucette

on Twitter @RMHigh7088

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