Could we have seen the last of Bear Grylls and "Man vs Wild" on the Discovery Channel? [Update: Yes, his contract was terminated.]
The Hollywood Reporter briefly reported earlier this morning (before apparently pulling the story) that the cable network has terminated its relationship with the 37-year-old survivalist due to breach of contract. According to the article, Grylls failed to participate in two unannounced projects that he was contracted for. (Note: The website site has since re-published the story.)
“Due to a continuing contractual dispute with Bear Grylls, Discovery has terminated all current productions with him,” a network spokesperson told the site.
If true, the move would cancel a series that consistently performs well in key demographics and reaches a global audience of more than 1.2 billion. And let's not forget the celebrity guests, such as Will Ferrell and Jake Gyllenhaal, who have also been a massive draw.
Also on MNN: The 8 grossest things that Bear Grylls has consumed
As the New York Times reported in a profile of Grylls, the adventurer has recently completed his 11th book (debuting in May) and will also be launching a live show this year. In addition, he has a "Man vs Wild" videogame, outdoor clothing line, iPhone app, and promotional deals with Dockers and Degree deodorant.
So if the Discovery rumor does pan out, I'm thinking Grylls will do just fine. Not to mention the very real possibility of a competing network (think: National Geographic Channel) quickly swooping in to offer him yet another series.
As this is a developing story, we'll keep you updated.