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Bear Grylls, 'Man vs. Wild' host, returns to Discovery in new series

"Man vs. Wild” host Bear Grylls throws out the ceremonial first pitch with a ball that he lit on fire before the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. (April 12, 2012) Credit: AP

The ever colorful and occasionally controversial Bear Grylls of “Man vs. Wild" -- who happened to be one of the Discovery Channel's biggest stars until they went to war over a new contract last year -- is back, in a new series just announced by the network. (Note that there are no plans YET to air his series on TDC domestically, but that it will air around the globe. A matter of time until it gets here, one presumes...)

His statement: “I am super excited to be working with Discovery again -- the channel where the Man Vs. Wild journey began,” said Bear Grylls. “Bear Grylls: Ultimate Survivors, and any future endeavors, will be intense -- but that’s where the fun is! Man Vs Wild took me to some of the toughest climates and terrains out there, and this new series is an exciting evolution of that. The aim is to follow incredible real-life survival stories and demonstrate dynamic lifesaving know-how along the way.”

And the new series description:  

“Bear takes his survival expertise one step further as he reveals the incredible stories of ordinary people stranded in devastatingly dire situations. Coupled with incredible archive footage and interviews with the survivors, Bear will pit himself against the very same dangers and scenarios, reliving their journeys through first-hand experience, and showing us how to survive through some of the world’s most desolate landscapes.”

No word on airdate launch.

Grylls, host of “Man vs. Wild,” was a major figure on the network until a few speed bumps were hit -- charges of fakery (for which he apologized) and the aforementioned contract dispute. When that hit last March, TDC cut all ties, and shows, with this perfunctory farewell address:

“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.”

 His production company had this in response: “Bear has loved the Man vs. Wild journey and looks forward to producing further cutting edge content again soon for his loyal audience.”

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