9:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Discovery Channel Pits 'Man vs. Bear' in New Competition Series (Exclusive)
Humans are taking on grizzly bears in a new Discovery Channel show.
The network has greenlit Man vs. Bear, a new competition series in which "humans will be entering the bear's territory and take them on in a competition like never attempted."
Each week three grizzlies — Bart, Honey Bump and Tank — will take on three new human competitors (male and female) at their Utah sanctuary to test the limits of strength, speed and stamina. All of the challenges — from a game of "tug of war" to using brute force to roll giant logs — will be based on the bears' natural instincts as well as predatory skills and actions.
Each episode of the series, set to premiere at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, will include five distinct challenges inspired by what bears do naturally in the wild. In the final round, the top two competitors will come face-to-face with Bart, who stands 8 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 1,400 pounds. The human competitor who earns the most points of the day will be named champion.
At the end of the season, the top three competitors with the most points will return one more time for the superhuman showdown against the bears.
Bart is the largest, most powerful grizzly on the mountain with no other bears matching his strength and versatility. Honey Bump, who is the only female on Bear Mountain, is the fastest of the pack and boasts a level of ferocity and predatory instinct that tops her male counterparts'. Bart and Honey Bump were orphaned as cubs and discovered by an Alaska State Trooper. After a nationwide search for a loving home for the rescued cubs, they were adopted by caretakers Doug and Lynne Seus. Along with Tank the Bear, known for his voracious appetite, the Seuses have raised and cared for all three bears for two decades on a sprawling section of protected land.
"Competing against bears is both scary and exciting," said Ira, an MMA fighter and competitor from Dallas. "It's competing against the unknown. This is a completely new challenge for me."
The series will also include blow-by-blow commentary from on-the-ground experts Brandon Tierney and Casey Anderson.
Tierney is an Emmy Award-winning sports commentator and host of CBS Sports Radio's nationally syndicated show Tiki and Tierney. He's hosted game coverage for the New York Knicks and served as a commentator for college basketball for the last 20 years.
Anderson is a wildlife expert with 25 years of experience and has lived with bears nearly his entire life. After graduating college, he became a wildlife filmmaker and expert on animal biology and behavior. He’s also the founder of the Montana Grizzly Encounter and has rescued seven bears from inhumane captivity situations
In addition to airing on Discovery, new episodes will be available to stream each week on the Discovery GO app. Viewers can also get to know the bears and discover more about their lives on Bear Mountain and figure out which bear matches their own personality with an interactive quiz.
Man vs. Bear is produced for Discovery Channel by Kinetic Content, a Red Arrow Studios company, with Chris Coelen, Eric Detwiler, Vincent Cariati, Steve Kaufman, Paul Lima and Karrie Wolfe as executive producers. For Discovery, Joseph Boyle and Bill Howard are executive producers and Jessica Mollo is associate producer.
Watch a sneak peek below.