It’s been years since anyone on Survivor appeared to be surviving anything other than arguments and decreasing ratings. Enter surviva-maniac Bear Grylls, who will return to NBC for the ultimate exercise in televised survival with The Island. I’m guessing that ABC will have their lawyers looking out for people saying, “We have to get off the island!”
The Island, which received a six-episode order, will be about as no frills a reality series as one can imagine, and it will center on 14 men dropped off on a deserted island where they’re pretty much left to their own devices to figure out how to stay alive and safe. They will be granted the simplest of tools and the clothes that they’re wearing, and it’s up to the group to…well, survive. I’m assuming it’s a large enough island, as the men will have to work together to hunt down food, create shelters and find water, among other primal duties.
The teamwork should come easier than it does on most reality shows, as there are no winners and no eliminations for anyone to worry about. The prize, I guess, is getting to be stressed the hell out on TV, plus some time away from a regular day job. Included in this group of 14 are a firefighter, a defense attorney, a trauma surgeon and a stay-at-home dad.
Here’s how Grylls explained the concept, according to Deadline.
This experiment reveals, in a shocking way, whether modern man, when pushed, can still summon all the resolve, ingenuity and strength that traditionally made a man’s man — or whether our society’s cushioning has meant we have lost those hard-earned skills of our ancestors. This is the raw, unfiltered and uncensored story of 14 men, as told exclusively by them.
And he does mean exclusively, as there will be no camera crew or network producers around, and the filming will be done by the men themselves. I’m really hoping for an episode where someone tries to cook one of the cameras out of hunger desperation.
The Island is actually based on the U.K. series that Grylls put together in 2014, and it will be the adventurer’s third series on NBC, following Get Out Alive in 2013 and the celebrity-filled Running Wild with Bear Grylls in 2014. Before that, he had a handful of shows on Discovery, most notably Man vs. Wild.
It’s kind of strange that The Island’s U.S. counterpart would get announced on the same day Discovery orders up Naked & Afraid XL, which will pit six men and six women together in a deserted area so they can try to survive for 40 days. Of course, they’ll be naked, so they won’t even have the shirts on their backs like the Island contestants, so the shows are obviously nothing alike.