Discovery nabs Bear Grylls, Alexis Conran for series

Series featuring survival expert Bear Grylls (pictured) and magician Alexis Conran are among four new commissions from Discovery Networks International.
August 20, 2014

Series featuring survival expert Bear Grylls (pictured) and magician Alexis Conran are among four new commissions from Discovery Networks International.

Premiering early next year, Bear Grylls: Breaking Point pairs the popular adventurer with people looking to overcome their worst fears. In each episode of the Betty-produced, 6 x 60-minute series, Grylls will be joined by two individuals with a serious phobia or personal obstacle to overcome. The expert will then evaluate them in the wilderness for 24 hours, and take them on a two-day journey.

Also premiering in 2015 is Man vs. Expert, in which Conran of The Mind Control Freaks uses magic to trick experts in various fields. The 6 x 60-minute series is produced by Magnum Media.

In addition, the Sharp Entertainment-produced Tethered - set to debut at the end of 2014 – will see two strangers tied together and dropped off in unfamiliar terrains. Pairs will be left at a meeting point with a six-foot cable binding them together, a map and a limited survival kit, and will have 10 to 12 days to collaborate and escape the wild.

Finally, Discovery Networks International has signed on for another season of the Discovery Studios-produced Manhunt, in which ex-Navy SEAL Joel Lambert must elude a different tracking unit that sets out to locate him.

“Our upcoming factual productions for the rest of 2014 and into 2015 are some of the most innovative to date,” said Sarah Davies, VP of production and development for factual at DNI, in a statement.

“The storytelling and adventure that is at the heart of Discovery programming will keep the audience entertained and wowed. And the extraordinary talent we feature – dynamic personalities like Bear and Joel – as well as the ordinary people with incredible stories and will are absolutely amazing and, most of all, genuine,” added Davies.

Elizabeth McIntyre, head of production and development of factual for DNI, added : “Our factual pipeline continues to pump out the best and brightest ideas. The strong relationships with the creative community we have forged sets our content apart from the competition, allowing us to break ground in non-traditional genres and invest in our audiences worldwide.”

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.