Bear Grylls Returns to Discovery with ‘Ultimate Survivors’ Series

by | February 5, 2013 at 6:04 PM | TV News

TV personality Bear Grylls (Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

By Tim Kenneally

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Bear Grylls has apparently made up with the Discovery Channel, perhaps over a refreshing meal of urine and larva.

The former “Man vs. Wild” host, who experienced a contentious split with Discovery last March, is returning to the company with a new series, “Bear Grylls: Ultimate Survivors,” which will air internationally on Discovery in 217 markets across the globe.

The series, which will consist of six hour-long episodes, will feature Grylls recounting stories of ordinary people caught in devastatingly dire situations in far-flung regions of the globe, then re-recreating the situations with himself at the center of danger to demonstrate the survival skills that were required to make it back to civilization.

“I am super excited to be working with Discovery again – the channel where the ‘Man vs. Wild’ journey began,” Grylls said of the new collaboration. “‘Bear Grylls: Ultimate Survivors,’ and any future endeavors, will be intense – but that’s where the fun is!”

“We are thrilled to welcome Bear back to the Discovery fold,” added Luis Silberwasser chief content officer and executive vice president of Discovery Networks International. “He is a true game-changer in the survival genre, integral in shaping it into the programming powerhouse that it is today. We are now poised to push the limits even further for our international audience.”

“Ultimate Survivors” is being produced by betty TV (“Promzillas,” “The Joy of Teen Sex”) for Discovery Networks International. Neil Smith is executive producing for betty, while Sarah Davies is executive producing for Discovery Networks International.

The new project heals a rift between Grylls and Discovery that opened up last March, when Discovery dropped “Man vs. Wild” over what the network described as a contract dispute. A spokeswoman for Grylls told TheWrap at the time that the British adventurer disagreed with Discovery’s decision.

“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,” the spokeswoman said in a statement at the time. “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.”

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