In the most long overdue news of the year, we’ll at last be treated to a competition show pitting human beings against their worthiest of predatory counterparts in Discovery Channel’s aptly titled Man vs. Bear, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Humans will be entering the bear’s territory and take them on in a competition like never attempted,” said the network.
Historically, bear/human competitions have been very one-sided, depending on the task. Hopefully this series will find level playing field between the two species, crowning a champion and thus finally putting to bed the age old rivalry.
Here’s how it works. Bart, Honey Bump, and Tank—three grizzlies—will compete against a trio of human foes each week (both men and women) at the bears’ Utah sanctuary in battles of speed, power, and stamina. Whether rolling massive logs or playing tug of war, the bears will have at least some natural instinct as to how these challenges work and are won. Five separate challenges will be featured on each episode, all inspired by bear behavior in the wild. In the last round of each show, the remaining two human challengers will go head to head with Bart—the strongest of the three grizzlies, who checks in at 8’6’’ and weighs a hefty 1,400 pounds. Whichever human challenger racks up the most points will emerge as the victor. And by season’s end, the three highest-scoring competitors will return for a final face-off with the bears. So really, it’s just Man vs. Man show with bears as the obstacle course.
All three bears, it should be noted, have been cared for by Doug and Lynne Seus. Siblings Bart and Honey Bump were orphaned as cubs and rescued by an Alaska State Trooper before being taken in by the Sueses. Tank was adopted later. The scouting reports say Bart is the most powerful of the three, Honey Bump the fastest, and Tank the most insatiably hungry.
What’s more, in a discriminatory move by the network, commentary will be provided by exclusively human experts—Emmy Award-winning sports commentator Brandon Tierney and wildlife filmmaker/bear savior Casey Anderson (he’s rescued seven bears).
Lastly, this Bart is not the famed Bart the Bear, who co-starred in films The Edge and Legends of the Fall. That Bart, though also adopted by the Seuses, was an Alaskan Kodiak who died in 2000.
The series is set to premiere Wednesday, December 4 on Discovery.