Man vs. Cable Network
The Discovery Channel has fired British survival expert Bear Grylls, the gregarious host of the network’s Man Vs. Wild show. “Sources say the network has been unable to get the British TV personality to participate in two unannounced projects,” says the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story in March.
Grylls wrapped up filming the sixth season of the popular survival show last August, which included celebrity cameo appearances by actor Jake Gyllenhaal and attention-grapping episode descriptions such as “Watch Bear Grylls catch an eel with nothing but flax and whale guts in New Zealand!”
The network has indicated it will continue to air reruns of Man Vs Wild, one of the more popular programs in its schedule. The show, which airs in more than 200 countries worldwide, helped catapult the former UK Special Forces paratrooper into international fame. Grylls has spun off a rolling speaking tour and has secured a signature-series survival equipment deal with Gerber.
A representative for Grylls confirmed that the Man Vs. Wild star has parted ways with Discovery, but details of the dispute—which apparently center on a breakdown in contract negotiations—were not forthcoming.
"Bear's goal has always been to make life-empowering shows for his many fans around the globe, and he has taken great risks to bring Discovery such award-winning programming over seven seasons," publicist Heather Krug told the Hollywood Reporter.
"Unfortunately, Bear and Discovery have not been able to come to mutual agreement on new programming, and he disagrees with Discovery's decision to terminate current productions. Bear has loved the Man vs. Wild journey and looks forward to producing further cutting-edge content again soon for his loyal audience.”
According to the Man vs. Wildprogram description at Discovery.com, the show “brings seasoned adventurer Bear Grylls face to face with the grueling task of navigating remote locations, sharing invaluable survival tips.”
Grylls’ next grueling task? Finding a new network to sponsor him in the harrowing landscape of contemporary cable television.
According to his Twitter feed, at least, the survival star seem optimistic following his firing.
“Thanks guys. But don't worry...I'll be drinking my pee again soon!” he wrote in response to messages from fans and critics alike. “I’ll Survive!”