How Bear Grylls Survived Getting Fired From Man Vs. Wild

You might have been surprised to see Grylls get one of the earliest interactive shows on television, but You vs. Wild has been a long time coming. After all, when author Edward Packer created the concept of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books in 1969, he did so with The Adventures of You on Sugar Cane Island, a story that challenged readers to survive the island’s many dangers. So, a survival show was bound to be one of the early adopters of interactive TV.

As for Grylls’ involvement, he’s been showing us — the people at home — how to survive dangerous missions for his entire career. In addition to the star’s multiple TV shows, books, and survival academy, a British theme park built in his name even allowed fans to simulate his feats. Really, it was the next logical step to put the audience in charge of Grylls’ survival, testing how well our training has paid off. If “interactive shows are the (terrifying) future of television,” as GQ put it, then survival shows are the early surfboards helping us to ride this wave. In the not-so-distant future, we may just look back at You vs. Wild and scoff at how basic it was. But with survival decisions being the most interactive television experiences we have, as of this writing, who better than the world’s most famous survivalist to help us navigate those choices?

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