Interview with Bear Grylls and Holly Wofford from "The Island" on NBC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Bear Grylls and Holly Wofford of "The Island" on NBC 5/29/15

Moderator: Neda Naderi
May 29, 2015 1:30 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to The Island Bear Grylls and Holly Wofford press and media conference call. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards weíll conduct a question-and-answer session. At that time if you have a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator, please press star 0. As a reminder this call is being recorded Friday, May 29th, 2015. I would now like to turn the call over to Neda Naderi. Please go ahead, maíam.

Neda Naderi: Hi, everyone and thank you for joining todayís conference call for NBCís new adventure reality series The Island with Host and Executive Producer Bear Grylls and Executive Producer Holly Wofford.

The second episode of The Island airs next Monday at 10:00 pm. Without further ado I open it up to questions and welcome Bear Grylls and Holly Wofford.

Bear Grylls: Thanks, guys, hey, nice to be with you, thanks for your time. Iíll try and answer as many things as we can get through but thanks for joining us.

Operator: Okay, and ladies and gentlemen...

Neda Naderi: Thanks you so much.

Operator: ...ladies and gentlemen if youíd like to register a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3.

If you are using a speakerphone, please lift your handset before entering your request. Once again to register a question press 1-4 and our first question comes from the line of Sarah Bellman of WhoSay. Please proceed with your question.

Sarah Bellman: Hello, how are you guys?

Holly Wofford: Good, thanks.

Bear Grylls: Yes, all good.

Sarah Bellman: I was just wondering what is the biggest piece of advice you would give someone whoís taking on this challenge?

Bear Grylls: Well, we kind of intentionally wanted to pick everyday people, you know, real cross-section of society for this experiment, you know, this very wasnít us sending out to do a reality show, you know, with reality type people.

You know, we really wanted to do a study of whatís happened to modern day man. Weíll still got that edge so, you know, bear in mind we had really regular people. We gave them, you know, bare minimum amount of training, you know, literally about a day and a half, two days and then theyíre on to it.

And probably the most important advice I gave to them was at the end of their training which was really about the psychology of it and said listen, you know, this will be a brutal, brutal, you know, experience youíre about to go through.

You know, youíre going somewhere, you know, where thereís, you know, bare minimum of everything. Youíre going to be dehydrated, youíre going to be starving, you know, some of these guys didnít eat for days and days and days and days and days on end.

You know, thatís sleeping rough on the floor. You got snakes, you got, you know, sandflies, you know, itís going to be a really brutal, you know, time this but just remember the pain wonít last forever and this is your chance to distinguish yourself and show the world what youíre made of and that you can put up with this and youíre made of sterner stuff and you donít, you know, crumble when the pressure goes on.

And I think what Iíve noticed is that so many people can talk a good story, you know, and one thing I said to them I said, you know, the words donít matter. You know, this is about your actions, your actions are what define you.

And look after each other and be kind and be resourceful and be determined and, you know, be that quiet, humble team player who just kind of works harder than anyone else and those are the thing that really are going to matter during this experience for you.

And you know, I said to them I said youíll remember these words at difficult times and theyíre true, you know, and what was interesting is as Iím watching this whole experience, this whole month unfold and as Holly and me and the team sat and watched footage coming in every day, you realize some of the guys who, you know, talked of great stories just couldnít necessarily follow-through with that.

And other people who started-off really nervous and unsure about their place not only in the world but also on this island started to grow and I think this is why itís such a compelling show is that you really this is as raw and as real and as visceral and as moving as you can get because itís just straight, these guys going through an incredible experience and trying to kind of look after each other and hang on in there themselves so really proud of how they did.

Sarah Bellman: Awesome and I guess overall was luxury was the hardest for them to give up?

Bear Grylls: Well, everyone obviously has different stuff but itís amazing what hunger does to people and I think if youíve never been without food for 12 days straight, itís hard to kind of describe what it does to you but, you know, again you see this very powerfully close-up with these people is this obsession comes with eating.

And itís almost like they donít mind what the taste is, what it is, they just want that feeling of something in their belly and itís why a lot of the, you know, concentration camp survivors, you know, in the last World War talked about this is, you know, theyíd often just eat mud and grit and gravel because it was wanting that feeling of just something in the belly.

And these guys really, you know, go through it and you know, I said to them you got to embrace failure because youíre going to fail and fail and fail at fishing, at catching crocs, at doing all of this stuff until eventually you get it and you know, and I wonít say whether they did get it but it was a really moving kind of journey as these guys had to figure out how to be resourceful and use what is there in clever and genius ways to try and satisfy this hunger.

But it was a very powerful thing, you know, that need for food between the men.

Sarah Bellman: Great, thank you so much.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue of The TV MegaSite. Please proceed with your question.

Suzanne Lanoue: Good morning. It seems like so many reality shows are, you know, they call them reality shows but theyíre not really reality but it seems like yours is really trying to be real. Do you think that thereís a need for that in the audience, people really want to see real reality?

Bear Grylls: Well, youíre right and I know there is a need for that and it was a big step for NBC, you know, to say hold on, youíre going to do a show where there are no camera crews and youíre just putting everyday people with some GoPros and some cameras and trusting them to film stuff and weíre putting however much money on the line to make this happen.

We wonít get the footage, you know, but they kind of understood and they said well this is what we should be doing. We should be doing cutting-edge stuff that takes it forward and really does a show that is 100% as it is and they really backed us and encouraged us to do it but youíre right, people find it hard.

They almost go yes, yes, yes, I get it but where does the catering come from or yes, yes I get it but how do you resupply the crews and itís like no, no, it is literally what it is. Its 14 men left on an island with nothing with zero contact with the outside world for that month and itís almost sort of hard to understand in its simplicity.

But it really was that and sometimes, you know, thatís why the stories are so powerful because it is so straight-up and people sort of almost forget about this is a TV thing, you know, become so sort of raw for these men, just the process of trying to survive that, you know, they sort of forget about the cameras.

And I think thatís what yourself lose in these reality shows, itís all about the cameras whereas for these guys it is all about, you know, staying alive and the fact that there are no rules for these people.

You know, are you going to go on your own or are you going to work together as a team. What happens if you hate each other? Are you going to sleep there, are you going to fish there, are you going to do this, you know, there are no rules. You got to kind of figure it out as you go and I think Americans are not used to this thing of no prizes, no eliminations, you know.

Suzanne Lanoue: I hope you start a trend, that would be great.

Holly Wofford: Yes, and further to that, the one thing that I would add to that is the fact that, you know, I like to say that this is the most real survival show in the history of televisions. These men didnít even know where they were going until we handed them their tickets.

They had no idea. They had the full run of the island. There was no other person, no production person, no nothing, no medical on the island. It was 14 men on an island surviving for a month, go.

Suzanne Lanoue: Wow, and what was the decision to make it all men and not have some women in there or make it difficult?

Bear Grylls: Well, Holly, happily jump in.

Holly Wofford: Go ahead, yes, sure.

Bear Grylls: Well it started off because we wanted, you know, I get so many people always saying to me, you know, whatís happened to modern man nowadays, you know, theyíre so emasculated and theyíre, you know, their greatest survival ability is now Google and their smartphone and, you know, weíve lost that ability to, you know, what makes a man nowadays. Itís confusing.

And so when we originally, you know, did this, thatís what we tried to set out to answer. We said well letís take a totally cross-section of society and see if they do still have that when you strip them of all of the, you know, conveniences of modern living.

Weíve done a version of this in the U.K. and, you know, lots of people said after the success of that first season, we would love to see what would happen with women as well and it was really exciting to be able to do a second season and then do a womenís one as well.

That was incredibly moving actually, very different, very surprising, not what I expected to happen on that island with the women but very inspiring and, you know, the goal is if this one goes well and people really kind of get into it in a way weíve seen it build in all the other countries weíve aired around the world, you know, it would be great to do a womenís version as well for sure.

Suzanne Lanoue: So do you think it would be difficult if you tried to make it mixed men and women?

Bear Grylls: Yes, well thatís maybe Season 6, you know, we got to get to that stage but itís interesting, you know, it took a while in the U.K. for people to really understand this show and, you know, but by the time we found ourselves sort of three episodes in, some of these people realized my God this really is what it says it is.

It really is that raw and real and itís sort of built quite a cult following quite fast in the U.K. and, you know, ended incredibly popular and, you know, we got a (bafter) last week which was exciting for it so but sometimes new things take a while for people to kind of almost to believe.

So Iím excited especially for this week because weíre kind of established it last week, this is what weíre doing and it really starts to ramp-up in quite a dramatic way from here on in.

Suzanne Lanoue: Thatís quite a commentary on our lives but that people donít understand that real is real when you think about it.

Bear Grylls: Yes, well sometimes the simplest things can be kind of hard to understand like that, you know, and I was with it as well when we initially set this thing up is like can we really pull this off, you know?

Suzanne Lanoue: All right, well thanks a lot, I appreciate it.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Stephanie Pichet) of ( Please proceed.

Stephanie Pichet: Hi, Holly and Bear. I was very excited to watch the first episode and so and understand it is real so my questionís for you Holly, what type of safety nets did you have in place just in case because it is so real?

Holly Wofford: Yes, I mean, looked at the dangers, the dangers are out there. They absolutely are and, you know, we had to be smart about how we protected the men but I say protected the men and I mean that from a distance. As I mentioned there were no other people on the island. The men had the run of the island.

However, the safety net was that as you saw in the first episode the men did have a walkie-talkie that they could reach us at in the event of an extreme emergency and then we had a safety crew and a medical crew, they were a couple of miles away but they could reach the island within a matter of minutes.

Stephanie Pichet: Uh huh, okay, and Bear I grew up going camping with my family and so that was the thing and my father taught us a lot and, you know, he would call it walking around sense.

When you guys were casting, did you find that people have had walking around sense or can, you know, figure things out are the best ones for this type of show and then what skills do you think we need to have just as people in todayís modern society should we ever get landed on an island where thereís nothing for us to survive with?

Bear Grylls: Well, your dad is right, you know, it is a key trait that walking around sense of that just awareness of whatís going on around you but I think people lose that and I think one of the reasons is that life is just so fast and itís so busy and we kind of stand on our track and that is it, you know, we kind of just focus on that and we lose that awareness of whatís going on around us.

But, you know, again with casting we didnít want to get people who had these sort of skills. We just really wanted the person that you would recognize from next door so when you see it on the TV you go oh do you know what? I know someone whoís just like Michael or I met someone the other day whoís like, you know, Trey or whoever it is so no, they didnít have all this awareness.

It was part of what we tried to, you know, me and the survivor team tried to teach them in that sort of brief bit of training they had beforehand but I think when it comes to actually the traits they needed, I think what Iíve noticed is that there is such a strong link between the island and life, you know?

And the qualities that really mattered on the island might not be qualities that you initially think would really be important, you know, and you said what makes a great survivor? You wouldnít necessarily say things like humility or kindness, you know?

But when youíre that beaten-up and youíre that starving and youíre that thirsty and you havenít slept for however long and itís pissing the rain day after day, you know, the person who can work harder than the person thatís going to carry all that firewood and just quietly sort of help people and be a good guy really matters and itís the same in life, you know?

I think nobodyís interested in the bravado, you know, from the person next door. You want a person whoís going to really care for you and, you know, be a good guy to be with in the battles of life so, you know, itís wise such a path will link between everyday life and the island.

Itís just the island strips are very bare and blows all the fluff of life away so people can come and see it as it is but I think itís why it resonates with people because you relate to it even though you might not necessarily have ever gone through that sort of experience yourself, you know?

Stephanie Pichet: Thank you. Iím really enjoying it, canít wait to see more.

Bear Grylls: Thank you.

Holly Wofford: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Cody Schultz of Hidden Remote. Please proceed.

Cody Schultz: Hi guys, thanks again so much for speaking with us today. My first question is for Holly. As Bear mentioned, there are no camera crews on location with the participants and our question is from the production side, what has been the most difficult aspect working on the series?

Holly Wofford: Well, the 14 men shot the series themselves. Everything was shot by the 14 men and I think frankly maintaining the cameras, lugging the cameras around and thinking about shooting what theyíre doing under the circumstances when theyíre starving and when theyíre, you know, absolutely thirsty, dying of thirst.

I think those are the biggest challenges on the surface as far as a production is concerned. You know, itís a network television show. We had expectations for these men.

Each man did receive a small amount of camera training so they werenít sent out there blindly but yes, I think, you know, getting their bearings, being able to shoot when feeling so exhausted and being able to deliver a, you know, a network quality product was quite challenging for them.

I think frankly their biggest challenges were survival, though, you know, outside of production. Itís mentally how do you keep yourself in the game when you are absolutely miserable and you know itís only going to get worse before it gets better.

And I think itís the mental struggle and the mental transformations and the mental successes that they came back with that Iím most proud of. I have to say though, you know, what they gave to us, what they delivered to us as far as media and what they shot is just so impressive.

These guys, you know, they took it seriously. They put their heart and soul into turning this into a successful series. Of course when they went out there they werenít thinking I hope this is a successful series, you know, they went out with a goal of being able to stick it out, being able to be successful at the survival game while theyíre out there and documenting that along the way.

And they, you know, they did that so exceptionally well and Iím so, so proud of them for what theyíve brought back.

Cody Schultz: Okay great, and then my second question is redo, guys. What was your favorite moment from this season of like when a contestant maybe had a breakthrough or just any moment that stands out?

Bear Grylls: You go, Holly.

Holly Wofford: Sure. I have to say if you stick around and watch the series, you will see that every man that makes it to the end is a changed man. It is absolutely remarkable. Itís inspiring and for me this was a personal - it was a personal championship - I mean, it was an amazing experience to see these guys that we cast, these regular men, these non-survivalists who had very little to no skills in the wild, some had never even been camping.

And they come out the other end not just being able to survive on an island but changed from, you know, their outward appearance but inside, their hearts, their minds, they will never be the same again and itís absolutely remarkable.

Bear Grylls: Yes, Iíd really echo that that, you know, Holly itís interesting because Shara my wife, you know, she so used to lots of our shows coming out that she, you know, she sometimes watches them but when it comes to the island, itís the first TV show Iíve ever done where she goes and I was away when she watched, you know, sheís now watching Episode 3-4-5 of the U.S. version, sheís going I havenít cried for a long time in front of a TV set.

You know, and itís so great to hear, you know, and youíre right Holly, that beach at the end when they all came back, I mean, you know, these guys had a light in their eyes that money canít buy, you know, it really is this hard-earned glint in their eye that they won through heart, sweat, endeavor, brotherhood, you know, and theyíve earned it the hard way.

And it was, Hollyís right, it was very, very moving and inspiring and, you know, thatís why weíre so proud of this.

Holly Wofford: Yes, and youíre exactly right Bear. I think, you know, itís not just survival, this show. Itís human transformation and there are a lot of moments that are very touching and real. Itís not just hardcore survival. Yes, it is hardcore survival but itís very there are a lot of touching moments throughout this series.

Cody Schultz: (Unintelligible) and we can see whatís ahead so thank you guys so much.

Holly Wofford: Sure thing.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen as another reminder to register a question, press 1-4 on your telephone keypad and our next question comes from the line of Rebecca Murray of Please proceed.

Rebecca Murray: Good afternoon. I was wondering were there people who emerged as leaders that you did not anticipate were going to be the leaders of the group?

Bear Grylls: Holly, do you want to...

Holly Wofford: Sure, yes. Absolutely. There were, you know, we cast a group of 14 regular guys and you never know whoís going to end-up standing-out as a leader, whoís going to step forward, what approach are they going to take to leadership? Is it a loud boisterous one or is it, you know, a quiet approach?

And I have to say that the men that I would have guessed would have emerged as the leaders and carried the show in that way absolutely did not and the men that were more quiet and perhaps more observant in the beginning truly emerged as leaders.

That said, this experience for the men it was a group effort. It took every man to get every other man to the end, you know, as Bear said, sorry to quote you Bear and I donít want to misstate you but heís like no man is an island and thatís true, you know, it take a team.

And it really it took this team and it took a lot of positive attitudes and kindness to get through this experience. Yes, there were moments that were heated, you know, a group of strangers, they arenít always going to get along but they certainly did find a way to succeed as a team and as a group as a whole.

And Bear I thought you said something really interesting to the men at the end about like everyday heroes. Do you remember what you said to them? It was you said that, you know, you can never predict who the heroís going to be. Again, Iím just sort of restating what you said generally but you can never predict who the heroís going to be and youíre absolutely right.

Bear Grylls: Well, you can in the movies because they all look, you know, square-jawed and big muscles and all of that but, you know, this really was the ultimate sort of quest to find, you know, find those heroes and what Iíve learned in many things, you know, from expeditions in the military and the island shows that heroes come in many forms and theyíre often well-disguised.

But when you really put the squeeze on, you know, like the island does where itís the ultimate pressure cooker, you know, you begin to see what people are made of and those heroes do definitely emerge but, you know, first of all there was a lot of pain and I think thatís why itís such compelling TV, you know, because the pain is very full-on for these guys.

And I often talk about the phases of forming a team which is the forming, the storming, and then the performing. You know, first of all you form them, then itís a storming, you know, where itís crazy where youíve got all these people in different backgrounds, different jobs, different, you know, attitudes and prejudices and opinions and because thereís no rule of law on the island, some people might not want a leader so thereís all a storming phase.

And then eventually out of desperation you figure it out and finally you get to, you know, hopefully you get to a phase where it works but yes, no, as you said itís an inspiring process you see come to life.

Rebecca Murray: Well, it really is fascinating, thank you.

Holly Wofford: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Courtney Fulori) of (Oh So Great). Please proceed.

Courtney Fulori: Good morning, thanks for talking with us.

Holly Wofford: Good morning.

Bear Grylls: Hi.

Courtney Fulori: The show has been described by some as a combination of Naked and Afraid with Survivor. What do you think it is about the show that differentiates it from those two and to bring viewers in?

Bear Grylls: Holly, why donít you go?

Holly Wofford: Sure. The thing about The Island is this is the most real survivor survival television show in the history of TV. It truly is. As I said earlier, these men didnít even know where they were going until we handed them their tickets. They were literally dropped on an island, expected to film themselves and were given no resources beyond three machetes, three knives and enough water for one day.

The only other supplies they had were camera equipment obviously and a medical pack so, you know, they had no knowledge of the island when they arrived and were expected to find a way to survive amongst themselves and it was no easy task thatís for sure. The other thing is, you know, thereís no grand prize here. There are no challenges. There are no rewards.

They didnít get food along the way provided by production. They didnít, you know, there wasnít the game element - there isnít the game element - in The Island. There are no eliminations, you know, voting-out eliminations and the fact that they arenít playing for any sort of prize. The only prize truthfully is pride.

Theyíre not playing for a monetary prize so itís, you know, its hard core. There are no format elements in this series, you know, if you look at Naked and Afraid, you know theyíre going to be dropped off and they move from one location to the next and then they have to, you know, get to their pick-up location.

Survivor has the games and the elimination at the end. The Island is truly a docu-series of 14 men documenting their experience surviving on an island and itís real, itís raw and itís extraordinary.

Bear Grylls: And whatís cool is that it didnít need a prize. It didnít need money or anything, you know, to motivate these guys. These guys worked beyond the normal, you know, and the reason they did it is that they wanted to discover something about themselves.

And they wanted to show to their loved ones whether it was their mom, their dad, their spouse, their kids, they wanted to prove their mettle and they hadnít necessarily weíve had a chance in life to prove that mettle and itís incredibly inspiring seeing how motivating it is for people. You donít need prizes or games for people to go to hell and back.

And, you know, if you think of those other shows you talked about, you know, these guys are experts on nature play, their survivor list and theyíve got camera crews supporting them, you know, and the same with Survivor, thereís camera crews, you know, everywhere, you know, what is so original is doing this in a way where youíve got zero contact.

And, you know, most people say oh thereís no contact but I bet there is. I mean, itís literally zero contact and I think thatís whatís so original here and itís what results in some pretty shocking moments to be honest.

I mean, there were definitely times Holly and me were seeing stuff coming back and going wow, you know, you just have to come and sit down and take a moment, you know, but it was always going to be like that, you know, youíve put them on an island with no rules, you got to expect a bit of that.

Courtney Fulori: And Bear is it pretty much impossible to be a vegetarian and be on one of these shows?

Bear Grylls: Well, youíre going to go pretty hungry, you know, but the thing is there are no rules and this is whatís so appealing, you know, because you could easily have a vegetarian or a vegan on there and, you know, and thatís why itís such a great reflection of life. There are no rules. Thereís nobody saying you can do it. Why couldnít they?

They could do it but theyíre just going to go through even more starvation than the others, you know, and there are a lot of times where they had to make some pretty moral judgments, you know, on certain things and, you know, itís moving seeing how people approach that when you take people outside of this rule of law, you know?

So it would be possible but it would be even tougher I think, you know, especially when youíre having to work so hard. The main thing is about thirst, you know, thereís no water there, you know, to get water theyíre having to trek miles at a time and having to carry the water back.

And theyíre having to then filter it and then collect firewood to get a fire to boil it, you know, this is sort of hours and hours of work to get sips of water so, you know, you can see what sort of hunger and everything theyíre going through when itís such hard work just to get the basics of just water in your mouth.

Courtney Fulori: Great, well thank you both and appreciate it.

Holly Wofford: Thank you.

Operator: And our final question comes from the line of (Emily Platt) of American Universityís The Eagle. Please proceed.

Emily Platt: Hi, Iím just wondering how you choose the island (unintelligible) that the contestants are dropped?

Bear Grylls: Well, in short we try to find the toughest island out there, you know, so I think people have an image of desert islands as being lovely places with nice palm trees and, you know, nice climate and, you know, nice swimming and all of that, you know, this really could have been called Hell Island because itís a place thatís just full of snakes, crocodiles.

Itís like a natural fortress patrolled by sharks, brutal heat and humidity, sandflies that sometimes, you know, youíll see these men theyíre literally itís like theyíre just devoured by these things, you know, so weíre looking for an island that has a lot of those elements.

At the same time weíre having to look for an island that has enough natural resources and indigenous animals that can sustain life but barely and that was the kind of brief, you know, find a really mega unforgiving island that can sustain life just.

Emily Platt: All right, and were you given a choice of islands by NBC or was it a list that you created on your own?

Bear Grylls: Yes, we, you know, Holly led a scouting team and we had people out all over the, you know, all over the world looking for the right sort of places and then we put a, you know, selection of those in front of NBC and put our stamp our case for each one and eventually pick the right one.

You know, but again at the end of the day the great thing is itís not about the island, you know, you could do it anywhere. Itís about these guysí personal journey and their transformation and the cost of the transformation and the cost, you know, Iíve said on this is about 1000 barrels of sweat but itís an incredible price to pay and itís an incredible prize at the end.

It might not be a sort of prize youíre used to on American TV but itís a prize that is almost beyond value for these guys that endured but not all of them made it.

Emily Platt: All right, thank you.

Bear Grylls: Hey just before everyone jumps on the phone, a thing Iíd just say is Holly has been amazing. Sheís kind of led this team. Sheís been the unsung hero behind the scenes and thereís only one girl who worked hard than those men on the island and thatís Holly and I think both of us couldnít relax until finally weíd gotten them off.

And when they were finally off the island, it was a huge sense of relief because, you know, when you unleash people with no training or minimum training on an island like that with that many nasties, there is so much that can go wrong and, you know, Iím used to shows like Running Wild where I can really guide these people by the hand through the wilderness.

And in many ways the hardest thing for me on this one was sitting on my hands and watching it unfold so Holly you did an amazing job, you know, managing all of that from the production side, the safety side and, yes, I canít sing your praises enough to all of those journalists because you deserve it.

Holly Wofford: Well, thank you Bear, thatís really nice. I mean, the show is my baby. Thereís no doubt about it. Itís been a very personal show that Iím extremely proud of and so grateful to have been a part of and most of all Iím just extremely and exceptionally proud of the men out there, you know, the men and the journeys that they went through and the struggles that they overcame.

Each man arrived at the island with a very personal reason for coming and I think that they all leave as changed men and many thanks to you Bear for allowing that to happen. You know, this is your show and without you none of us would be here.

Bear Grylls: Yes, so itís been a great journey. I hope you guys enjoy the rest of the episodes. Brace yourself. It ramps up and yes, hereís to hopefully doing well.

Operator: We will now turn the call back to Neda.

Neda Naderi: Thank you everyone.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your line.



Air Date: Mondays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET); Premiere: May 25

In the hourlong ďThe Island,Ē the internationally acclaimed adventurer and survivalist Bear Grylls gives the modern American man the ultimate challenge. Can a man of today's world survive on a deserted island without the luxuries ó or even the basics ó of contemporary everyday life?
"The Island," based on the hit Shine TV-produced Channel 4 U.K. series of the same name, doesn't include any of the usual reality show trappings. There are no prizes. No eliminations. No winner. No camera teams. The entire series is filmed by the men themselves.   The six episodes will leave 14 American men isolated on a deserted island with only the clothes on their backs, minimal survival tools, committed to filming every moment themselves. 
These 21st-century American men, who are accustomed to a roof over their head, restaurants and the benefits of technology, are stripped of all modern conveniences and catapulted back to their roots. They must hunt for food, source water, erect shelter, build community and try to survive using only their strength, determination and know-how. All of the men, including a stay-at-home dad, trauma surgeon, firefighter and criminal defense attorney, have something to prove to themselves and each other. This experiment takes them to the very edge of human endurance. They will test their physical, mental and emotional limits and fight for their very existence. 
ďThe IslandĒ is produced by Endemol Shine North America and Bear Grylls Ventures. Bear Grylls, Eden Gaha, Michael Brooks, Holly Wofford and Delbert Shoopman serve as executive producers.

Bear Grylls

Host, "The Island"

World-renowned adventurer Bear Grylls hosts NBCís adventure reality series, ďThe Island,Ē where he gives modern American man the ultimate challenge of survival.

Grylls has become known worldwide as one of the most-recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure.  His journey to this acclaim started on a small island off the UK coast, where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Grylls went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, with the almost legendary SAS .  It was here that he perfected many of the survival skills that his fans all over the world enjoy, as he pits himself against the worst of Mother Nature. Despite a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa -- where he broke his back in three places and endured months in military rehabilitation, Grylls went on to become one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

He then went on to star in seven seasons of the Discovery Channelís Emmy Award-nominated ďMan vs. WildĒ which has become one of the most-watched shows on the planet, reaching an estimated 1.2 billion viewers.  Off-screen, Grylls has led record-breaking expeditions from Antarctica to the Arctic, which in turn has raised many millions of dollars for children's charities around the world.  In recognition for his expertise and service, Grylls was appointed as the youngest-ever Chief Scout to 30 million Scouts worldwide and was awarded an honorary commission as a Commander in the Royal Navy and as a Colonel in the notoriously tough Royal Marines Commandos. He has authored 15 books, including his autobiography ďMud, Sweat & Tears,Ē which became a #1 international bestseller. He is married with 3 young boys and together they live on a small, remote Welsh island off the UK coast.

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