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Bear Grylls’ The Island will pit 14 participants against the elements

Bear Grylls
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Get ready for more outdoor adventure – Bear Grylls has gotten the green light for a new adventure/survivor-style NBC series called The Island, reports Variety.

The nature series will follow the same “man versus nature” premise we’ve come to know and love from the outdoorsman. Except this time, rather than featuring Grylls himself, there will be 14 participants left on a deserted island to survive with little more than their wits.

The six hour-long episodes appear to be going for a similar plot as another famed outdoorsman, Les Stroud, whose Canadian-produced Discovery series Survivorman features one man against the elements with no support team. Except that, on The Island, there’ll be 14 survivormen.

The participants will be left to survive with just a few tools; no smartphones, no stoves, shelter, or any other of those basic necessities – and certainly not the conveniences – that we 21st Century folk have come to rely on. They’ll have to find food, water, and shelter. And just like Survivorman, there (supposedly) won’t even be the security of cameramen on location – the 14 men will film the entire program themselves.

Related: Gerber Bear Grylls ultimate survival kit: for the over-prepared adventurer

Some of the cast members clearly hold some skills that will be integral to survival: there’s a trauma surgeon and a firefighter, for example.

Grylls tells Variety that the show will be “raw” and “unfiltered,” shedding a light on whether modern man has lost his most basic survival skills, or if they can still cut it when push comes to shove. Unlike other reality shows from broadcast TV, there won’t be any grueling competitions, nor rewards.

As with most popular “reality” shows these days, The Island is based on a program of the same name that aired in the U.K. last year.

It’s not clear whether Grylls will make any appearances on the island with the men, though one must assume that he will show up at some point. Or at least send the men on their way with a bit of training and/or advice. He can’t be that cruel, can he? 

Grylls’ company, Bear Grylls Ventures, will produce along with Endemol Shine North America. And Grylls will serve as executive producer, joined by Eden Gaha, Michael Brooks, Holly Wofford, and Delbert Shoopman.

This will be Grylls’ third project with NBC: he previously headed up the show Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls, and Running Wild with Bear Grylls, where he brought a long a list of celebrities — including Zac Efron and Ben Stiller — to test their fortitude in various remote locations.

It’s an interesting experiment that will provide a glimpse into the modern man.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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