Picture this: Channing Tatum running through the wild — perhaps rapelling down cliffs in Utah or trudging though torrential wind and rain in Scotland — for a TV show.
NBC is making it, as one might expect, a reality — or rather, a reality series. The network has ordered a six-episode celebrity-survival series "Running Wild with Bear Grylls."
As the last sentence implies, the famed British adventurer, best known for his run in Discovery's "Man vs. Wild," will take celebrities to remote and wild locations around the world. The roster includes actors Tatum, Zac Efron, Ben Stiller and Tom Arnold, football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and "Today" anchor Tamron Hall.
The celebrities will be partnered one-on-one with Grylls in their own standalone episodes. The wild adventures will include skydiving into the Catskill Mountains and enduring Scotland's rough weather while doing something outdoorsy.
“‘Running Wild’ allows viewers to see inside the hearts and minds of these guests in a very open, honest and vulnerable way, pushing them out of their comfort zones and seeing what they are like in real life when stripped of all the benefits of celebrity,” Grylls said in a statement. “Ultimately, this show is about taking these stars on the adventure of a lifetime and being alongside them when they discover something new and empowering about themselves and their world. For me, that is always a privilege.”
The celebrity actioner was created by Grylls and extends his relationship with the peacock network. He appeared last summer in "Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls."
Grylls has played outside with celebrities before. He traveled through Iceland with actor Jake Gyllenhaal on "Man vs. Wild." Will Ferrell also appeared on his Discovery show.
"Bear is just a well-known guy and he did this type of thing before with other actors," said Ben Silverman, who serves as an executive producer and whose company, Electus, produces the show along with Bear Grylls Ventures. "That helped get all of these folks engaged."
The stars get paid for appearing, but "not as much as you think," Silverman said. He added that there were some potential celebrity participants who backed out due to concerns for their physical well-being, though he wouldn't name names.
"Just know there's some tough celebrity big shots who got scared and backed out," Silverman said. "But I don't think we have a shabby lineup without them. Who doesn't want to see Channing Tatum be rugged?"
The series is set to premiere Monday, July 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.
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