In that wild jungle where lions roam free and no man ultimately makes it out alive -- speaking here of the TV jungle -- Bear Grylls appeared to be the lone exception: For seven seasons, "Man vs. Wild" has been a cable staple, an international hit as well as magnet for the occasional celebrity (Jake Gyllenhaal, for example) who wanted to prove they were just as tough as Bear by making a cameo. Yes, indeed: Bear has stirred the popular imagination and (once) nearly got killed in the process for doing it. But it's over, for now. The Discovery Channel yesterday "terminated" a production contract with him -- simply put, he was fired.
"Due to a continuing contractual dispute with Bear Grylls, Discovery has terminated all current productions with him."
His company statement:
"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."
That last line here is the other bit of news -- Grylls is now free, apparently, to shop the show elsewhere, but where elsewhere? Outside of Discovery, the list of potential future homes is surprisingly small, but could include G4, the National Geographic Network, the Outdoor Channel, Spike TV, the Smithsonian Networks (possibly) and truTV (again, maybe).