So what if Bear Grylls slept in a hotel…

November 28, 2007

Bear Grylls speaks during a news conference in KathmanduHaters pay attention: forget the fact that survivalist Bear Grylls cheated a bit in the first season of his show — appearing to be essentially alone with few tools and roughing it in extreme climes, when in some cases he actually had help, and on occasion bunked in a bed.

He’s back and, perhaps more importantly, so are his viewers, according to David Zaslav, chief executive of Discovery Communications, which airs his weekly show “Man vs. Wild.”

“Our ratings are very strong, they are comparable (with last year). The viewers are all back. They love it.”

Grylls, a former member of the British military who has climbed Mount Everest, typically parachutes into uninhabited territory without a map or much else, and spends days trying to find his way back to civilization. But a British TV news network uncovered the fact that Grylls checked into motels on a few occasions when he was depicted on TV as having slept in the wilderness. One paper, citing no one in particular, said he is called “the adventure equivalent of a cheese souffle. A lot of hot air and not much substance.”

This season, production of the show has changed, with Grylls acknowledging his camera crew, assistance from indigenous people and no hidden flotation devices. But credibility issues are often hard to shake.

Discovery’s Zaslav says people are drawn to Grylls’s derring-do, just as they are to other shows where people put their life in danger on camera, like its Bering Sea fishing expedition show “Deadliest Catch.”

“We have refocused the show and we are being very careful about making sure that we fully disclose to viewers everything that is going on. Where he is getting help, what he is doing. He is more comfortable and we are more comfortable and I think we are going to have a long run with it.

“One thing you know now is that what you are watching on the air is completely credible.”

And Man Vs. Wild is still one of the Discovery Channel’s top 5 most watched shows. So there.

(Photo: Bear Grylls, Reuters file)

4 comments

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All I know that is Bear is a real strong person. that’s all

Posted by mmm | Report as abusive

If he join Fear FacTor TV Shows..I’m 150% guarantee he can win. I wish i can join him.

Posted by suhairy | Report as abusive

i think his da men yo his like the badass bich dat can survive in wilderness!!!!!!!!!!im #1 fanyo no haters or else?

Posted by fan | Report as abusive

Bear is da beast. He is wayyy better than that outher guy…

Posted by helloo | Report as abusive