Why MythBusters' Adam Savage Decided To Join The Spinoff Show

adam savage hosting mythbusters jr. on science channel

As one-half of the lead duo at the heart of MythBusters, Adam Savage became a household name to many a TV viewer during the beloved show's 14 years in production. Its cancellation on Discovery was a strangely unexpected blow that wasn't quite healed by any of the cast's follow-up projects or the reboot. But now, Adam Savage has returned to his roots for the Science Channel spinoff MythBusters Jr., which he seems as surprised by as anyone. In his words:

The moment I heard 'MythBusters spinoff' I was ready to say no. After 13 and a half years, I was happy to hang up my spurs. Jamie and I were super proud of what we built over the years, and I was happy to put it to bed. [But after learning its concept], I was like holy shit, I really do want to do that show.

I think the old saying goes, "You can take the man out of the MythBusters, but you can't take the MythBusters out of the man." It appears to be the case with Adam Savage, who made his big return to the franchise during the Jr.-sized series premiere. He probably wouldn't have been interested in very many spinoff pitches -- such as a MythBusters series set completely underwater -- but the special effects master was apparently smitten by the youth-oriented show.

Or, at the very least, he was encouraged by the positive momentum that MythBusters Jr. aims to bring to younger audiences who might not have grown up glued to MythBusters as older generations were. For the spinoff, Adam Savage is leading a team of six co-presenters that all have yet to reach their sweet 16 birthdays, but all are invested in areas of STEM learning, which includes building, inventing, and destroying whatever subject matter gets tackled on the show.

As inspirational as it is to think about Adam Savage virtuously joining MythBusters Jr. solely to bring more education to the masses in fun ways, I think we all know why he really joined the spinoff. Because Jamie Hyneman isn't around anymore to bust his chops whenever he gets too excited or angsty about a big project. I'm kidding, of course. (Probably.)

In talking with Popular Mechanics, Adam Savage did compare his flagship series of yore with the newer MythBusters Jr., offering a solid answer for the biggest difference between the shows.

The show is of the DNA of MythBusters but it is also different. It was really important to us to not just copy MythBusters, but to let the enthusiasm of the kids be what drives this narrative. . . . One of the key differences between MythBusters and MythBusters Jr. is that really the experiments on Jr. are largely of the do try this at home variety.

One of the core components of an O.G. MythBusters episode was the opening where Jamie and Adam would make it clear to viewers that the show's stunts and recreations were being tackled under professional supervision, and for no one to try any of it at home. On the flip side, the Jr.-sized follow-up makes a point to set viewers up with experiments that are possible to replicate safely. It's a great way to get younger viewers involved, as well as to keep them coming back for more.

Wisely, MythBusters Jr.'s premiere put its own spin on one of the more popular installments from the show's predecessor. You can check out the duct tape-filled trailer below.

Get ready for lots more explosions and hair-raising experiments in the future, as MythBusters Jr. airs Wednesday nights on Science Channel at 9:00 p.m. ET. Wondering what else is hitting primetime on the small screen soon? Our 2019 midseason schedule has all the latest dates for all the greatest shows.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.