Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls has been canned by Discovery, according to the network. “Due to a continuing contractual dispute with Bear Grylls, Discovery has terminated all current productions with him," a network spokeswoman said via email.
Rumors abound, of course. Sister publication The Hollywood Reporter says that Discovery couldn't get Grylls to participate in two unannounced projects that were part of his contract. What's most surprising about the cancelation is that Man vs. Wild consistently performs well for Discovery, with a 1.1 million viewer average over the most recent season. Whatever Grylls did to anger the powers that be at the network, it must have been vexing enough to make his numbers appear to be more trouble than they're worth.
Grylls is not a Discovery-only phenomenon. The professional survivalist has published 11 books (the most recent, an autobiography called Mud, Sweat and Tears, will land stateside in May), has his own line of outdoors gear and endorsements with Dockers and Degree deodorant, along with a video game in which the player, as Grylls, must drink his own urine to survive.
So, like Glenn Beck's departure from Fox News a few years ago, it's unlikely that Grylls will go begging after his time at Discovery—but it will be interesting to see if further details about the dispute between star and network leak out in coming days and weeks.