Would you challenge a grizzly bear to a game of tug-of-war? Discovery Channel is about to find out who would prevail in its new competition series “Man vs. Bear.”
Here’s how the show works: Each week, three grizzlies named Bart, Honey Bump and Tank will compete against three humans (men and women) in five challenges that test strength, speed and stamina. The bears have the home team advantage, as the competition takes place at the Utah sanctuary where they live, and the challenges play to the bears’ natural instincts and predatory skills. Besides tug-of-war (yes, that’s actually happening), challenges include rolling giant logs using brute force alone, and other activities bears naturally do in the wild.
In the final round, the top two human competitors will go face-to-face with Bart the grizzly bear, who is 8-and-a-half feet tall and weighs 1,400 pounds. The human with the most points at the end of the episode will be crowned the winner. Then, at the end of the season, the top three human competitors with the most points will return one more time for a final human-bear showdown.
“Competing against bears is both scary and exciting,” said Ira, an MMA fighter and competitor from Dallas, Texas, who is clearly very excited about bears. “It’s competing against the unknown. This is a completely new challenge for me.”
The series will also include blow-by-blow commentary from Brandon Tierney, a sports commentator, and Casey Anderson, a wildlife expert.
Here is Discovery’s description of each of the soon-to-be bear-reality-stars and their backstories: “Bart is the largest, most powerful grizzly on the mountain with no other bears matching his strength and versatility. Topping the pack as the fastest is Honey Bump, who is the only female on Bear Mountain. She brings a level of ferocity and predatory instinct that her male counterparts cannot beat. 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 — known for his voracious appetite — the Seus’ have raised and cared for all three bears for two decades on a sprawling section of protected land.”
“Man Vs. Bear” is produced for Discovery Channel by Kinetic Content, a Red Arrow Studios company, with executive producers including Chris Coelen, Eric Detwiler, Vincent Cariati, Steve Kaufman, Paul Lima and Karrie Wolfe. For Discovery Channel, Joseph Boyle and Bill Howard executive produce, and Jessica Mollo associate produces.
“Man vs. Bear” premieres Wednesday, December 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.