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Television Entertainment Science

"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci 364

rbrandis (735555) writes In a video announcement Thursday on Discovery Channel, MythBusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman revealed that longtime co-hosts and fan favorites Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci are no longer on the show. "This next season we're going back to our origins with just Adam and me," Hyneman said in the video, which explained that the change took hold as of the season's last episode on August 21. (Our interview with the original-and-remaining Mythbusters is one of my favorites.)
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"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

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  • by digsbo ( 1292334 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:24PM (#47734265)
    I won't mind so much. A shorter, more focused format will get me watching more again.
    • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:37PM (#47734321)

      I will miss Grant too. He seemed to be the only one close to a scientist of the 3, as an electrical engineer and robot builder.

      Haven't watched the show for a while now. It became too much blow shit up and other dumbed down shit. Every episode. And yet it was still one of Discoveries smarter shows, as sad as that fact is.

      While I can fault their scientific method, they had some ingenius ways to test and bust some myths. I wonder if "returning" to roots means smarter shows though or just trimming the budget?

      • by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:53PM (#47734401)

        I wonder if "returning" to roots means smarter shows though or just trimming the budget?

        It think it means declining ratings.

      • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @12:49AM (#47735073)

        Haven't watched the show for a while now. It became too much blow shit up and other dumbed down shit.

        That's true, but it was always the build team (Kari, Grant, and Tory) doing that. Standard episode breakdown:

        1) Teaser talking about something interesting, we'll call this "project one".
        2) First steps towards building project one.
        3) Go to something completely different with the build team, which possibly has some tangential thematic ties to project one.
        4) First steps towards this second project, we'll call this "project blow-up-something-and-laugh-about-it".
        5) Show some small scale models of project one, but don't go any further, just to hold the audience's interest.
        6) Flip back and forth between the two groups, making sure to hint each time that the audience might actually learn something next time.
        7) Finish project blow-up-something-and-laugh-about-it. Watch Kari, Grant, and Tori force out laughter and exclaim about how awesome that thing was when it exploded.
        8) Finally get around to finishing the interesting project. Hope that the audience says, "Better late than never..." and comes back for another episode.

        Really, I don't have any issues with Kari, Grant, and Tory. They seem like decent people and it was pretty clear that their excitement over the stupid shit was forced. The producers are to blame for the state of the show... In fact, I recall something where Adam was up on stage talking about Mythbusters production and pretty well said as much about one particular producer. None the less, if they drop the build team and don't replace them with something equally heinous the show will be better off for it.

        Incidentally, there are fan edits of Mythbuster projects where they cut out the cruft. Search for "Smyths."

        • I remember years ago when I first set up MythTV, and set it to record MythBusters. It eventually recorded the episodes from the first season, when they still did several myths per show, but finished one before starting on the next one. Watching those episodes was like heaven compared to the newer format. No "this is coming up later" and "this happened earlier" segments both before and after each commercial break. You have to wonder how much interesting footage they're leaving out so that they have time

      • Discovery. Smart. Show. Seriously, what the fuck! (please don't get me started on your mentioning of "scientific") [] Has it even been possible to put those three words in the same sentence since 2004?
        • *cough* []

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          It can happen. Mythbusters seems like an oasis in the desert. Granted these days the water there is fairly muddy, but it's still decent.

          Judging from the promos you see during Mythbusters, and Discovery Channel seems like a total wasteland now.

      • It became too much blow shit up

        ...and their adolescent orgasmic reactions to explosions get old after a while.

  • nerd rage in 3, 2, 1....

    (note, "nerd rage" not "nurdrage" on Youtube)

    Question is, was it an amicable departure or.... something worse?

    Wonder if someone else will pick these three up for some other science show?

    • When it's all 3, I think it's a trimming of the budget thing. Or perhaps 2 of them really wanted to move on, and they didn't think they'd find a team that works on camera as well. If it were just say Kari, they could sub her with Jessy Combs. With 2 people, they'd likely collapse the team.

      As with Tasha Yar, my view is, when you have a winning show, stay on as long as possible and ride it out.

      • Has to be budget. Seeing as most comments here said the earlier seasons were better (I haven't watched in a couple of years as well), ratings are probably dropping. And with that comes reductions in ad revenue. And with that comes cost reduction.

        In fact, IMDB ratings of the show, have fallen from 7.5 to 6.5 over the course of the show (turn on the Series Trendline):
        http://graphtv.kevinformatics.... []

        Why all three? Who knows? But they each have a kick ass resume, that's for sure.

        • Given their pay, royalties, and their appearance fees at just about any geek convention they wanted to go to (and probably still can for a while)... if they managed their money properly, they're probably set for life. Or would be in terms of what average folks try for.
      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        No they couldn't. Her time replacing Kari during her pregnancy was painful to watch. Not saying they couldn't replace a single person leaving, but definitely not with Jessy.

      • First season TNG stunk so bad; we only watched because it was so good to have Star Trek back on the air. I could not blame Crosby leaving. It was the middle of the second season before the writing noticeably improved.
    • Hopefully.

      Personally, the only reason I watched sometimes was Kari Byron. I'll keep an eye on what she does next.

      I do wish Hyneman and Savage luck. I like them, really, just not enough to actively follow what they do. If they come up with something interesting and get people talking, I'll check it out. But I feel the Mythbusters are about to bust the myth that people will watch a programme that lets go of their young and winsome cast members.

    • Wonder if someone else will pick these three up for some other science show?

      there is *plenty* of demand for such a thing...and the advertisers are certainly there as well

      they could make it all 'STEM' and 'girl power' and just clean up...pop science is huge right now

  • Time to scrub the " known for his/her work on DC" from WP.

    I think two hosts are plenty, BTW. Dilution always hurts a brand when carried too far.
  • "Fan favorites"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:32PM (#47734293)

    The only shame about that is losing Grant Imahara. He actually built mechanically neat rigs and such for experiments in a more advanced way than Adam and Jamie tended to.

    It always seemed to me like Grant was hired to do some science, Kari was hired to be the tits, and Tory was hired to balance out the tits.

    • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:44PM (#47734343)
      Kari was indeed 'eye candy' for the male audience, that's not to be underestimated in the TV ratings game. She also pulled her weight when it came to creating/assembling some of the mythbuster's creations. She is a lovely mix of beauty and intelligence, and that's not a force not to be underestimated. Her loyalty to the show goes a long way, and her life acts seem to show a deeper persona. With TV, you need to have to strike a certain balance twixt the nerdy type and the everyperson. Time and fate will tell where each person goes from this parting of the ways. This trio of castoffs might just end up with their own version of Mythbusters, or singly prove their own mettle. Time will tell the tale.....
      • Re:"Fan favorites"? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:47PM (#47734671)

        It should be understood that while her looks surely played a part in her getting cast on a permanent basis, that wasn't how she got in the door. They didn't post an ad looking for female models/actresses. She was an intern on the show, working there because she loved creating and wanted to work for M5. She got called on camera to help with a myth (by providing a mold of her butt) and that was what started it.

        Skill got her the position with the show initially,

        Also as you note, personality goes a long way, and she has a very good one for the screen. That is why Adam Savage is a part of the show. Mythbusters was originally pitched to Jamie Hyneman but he knew, correctly, that he wouldn't be able to carry a show like that alone because of his dry personality. So he suggested Savage, who he'd worked with in the past, in part because he's a goofball.

        With a show like that it takes a combination of skill and presentation to make it a hit, and that was what the hosts had, Byron included.

        • And of course all the idiots replying take the standard there is one and only one explanation to anything. People, there are often multiple reasons that something happens, and often all of them are actually valid.

          They weren't looking for a hot butt, just someone willing to have their butt moulded on international television. She was already interning at M5 and got chosen because her willingness to do that.

          • They weren't looking for a hot butt, just someone willing to have their butt moulded on international television. She was already interning at M5 and got chosen because her willingness to do that.

            Pretty much this.

            Byron's butt modeling job did get her put on the cast, but not because of it's nice shape. It was that she was willing to do the particular myth, and they saw that she had other qualities, as in she really knew how to smile, and her personality was engaging. She could build things, and was game for a lot of silly stuff that a lot of women wouldn't do, except when they were just trying to get reality TV fame. She'd do it because she was part of the group. And yes, she was pretty.

      • by potpie ( 706881 )
        I must say I've never understood the need to include women solely for "tits" value. It must be a holdover from the pre-internet days. I don't care what gender you are or how many trucks it looks like you've been hit by; I'm watching Mythbusters for completely non-sexual reasons.
    • "Kari was hired to be the tits"

      Kari was hired to be the welder.

  • No Kari??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:37PM (#47734319)
    WTF?? Another female geek role model bites the dust. She's smart, she's gorgeous, she's clever, she's witty. We need way, way, more women like her on TV.

    Bad fail, Mythbusters.
    • True, although I'd honestly prefer to see her in a more independent role and this split, however amicable (or not) might still provide that kind of opportunity for her. The last few seasons she's been playing up the eye-candy bits to the point where I can't tell what she's truly ok with and what some producer decided needed to happen, because you boobs, geeks with disposable time/income, etc.

      Fingers crossed.
    • Re:No Kari??? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by goodmanj ( 234846 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:28PM (#47734583)

      I can't say much for certain about Mythbusters, but I'm sure of one thing: Kari Byron's career is not over.

      • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

        I'd have to agree. I get the distinct feeling this is a setup for a spinoff show. I just hope the "build team" is given a decent idea to work with.

  • by Almonday ( 564768 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:45PM (#47734351)
    ...and the show "went back to its roots." Nothing to see here, move along.*
    • They asked for more money... ..and the show "went back to its roots." Nothing to see here, move along

      The show was (has?) "jumped the shark" and they had to do something to revive the franchise. Getting rid of the Pretty Inturns is a great idea to breath life back into a show that should have been canciled several years ago.

      • Good point...and after a moment's reflection, I think I agree. The show has gotten tired in recent years and if the three of them aren't already actually, tangibly banking on their contributions thus far, then yeah, it's time to move on for all involved. This move also opens up opportunities for Adam and Jamie to revamp the show with a new formula, which might be awesome...or not. Time will tell.
    • by Enry ( 630 )

      That's my guess. I still watch it (the TiVo just grabs episodes). One thing that was really telling was just before Christmas 2013 the Mythbusters were on tour and I was expecting to see all 5, but only Adam and Jamie were there. Another item was they had a preview of the coming season along with a discussion of Adam's busted hand. That season in the spring and the one that just concluded now seem to be filmed in the same 'season' as there were parts of the preview we saw that weren't until the past few

      • Maybe so, and perhaps we're all better off for it: your post reminded me that 1) not every young female viewer of Mythbusters is necessarily looking to Kari as a role model just because she has two X chromosomes, and 2) not every male viewer is necessarily panting over Kari's public presentation just because her boobs are more visible (but not necessarily less ample) than her brain. Booms are good. Positive female role models in the sciences are good. Paying people something roughly commensurate with the
    • by Guru80 ( 1579277 )
      They very well might have asked for more money but I think there is a very good chance this is just an effort to make one or two seasons more profitable as ratings fall and call it a good run. I love Mythbusters but I rarely watch anymore even though it's still as entertaining as ever. After 10 years and close to 1000 myth's busted it's pretty much routine. Seen one myth busted you've seen a thousand type of thing at no fault of their own. That's a heck of a run for that type of show.
  • Not sure if gone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:47PM (#47734369) Homepage Journal

    It's really too early to tell, but it seems like they're taking this way too well and keep mentioning they're next adventure.

    It's possible that they're going to star in their own show that Discovery is not willing to announce yet.

    • It's called severance pay. If you want it, then you'll be sure not to besmirch your employer.

    • by jd ( 1658 )

      Discovery got caught using fake footage in documentaries. No scientist should be working with a channel that is peddling fraudulent material. History lost a lot of reputation with their academically bogus Ancient Aliens stuff, but at least they didn't try to offer photographs and videos they themselves doctored as "evidence".

      If the three have projects worth taking seriously, they won't be projects on Discovery. HBO has less of a credibility issue.

  • by sr180 ( 700526 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:53PM (#47734403) Journal

    I am a big fan of the show, but Ive stopped watching it because of the modern style of production - geared to those who have ADHD.
    Modern shows now lead the viewers into the direction of the show... So, you have a few minutes of introduction, then a quick preview of whats coming up, then an ad break. Then after the ad break, they show you what you saw earlier, a quick little update, and then another flash forward to what you'll see coming up. Repeat repeat repeat.
    With ads, it drives me mad. Without ads, its even worse. 10 minutes of real content gets padded out to a full 45 minute episode. So Ive quit watching - which is a pity, because the small bits of content embedded in the forward flashes and back flashes is usually quite good.

    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

      So, you have a few minutes of introduction, then a quick preview of whats coming up, then an ad break. Then after the ad break, they show you what you saw earlier, a quick little update, and then another flash forward to what you'll see coming up.

      You left out the part where the flash forward is often misleading and designed to make the next part seem more interesting than it really is. So you start the show with an exciting preview, then a bit of content, then another exciting preview. Then ads. Then a recap, then the discovering that what looked interesting in the preview was entirely uninterested followed by another deceptive preview.

      But MythBusters does it even more annoyingly: they'll combine Adam and Jamie doing Myth A with Tori, Grant, and Kar

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:09PM (#47734473)

      AGREED! I'm going entirely off topic here, but I don't know what American producer decided that this format was a good idea. It's repulsive. You don't see this on the BBC. If Top Gear ever did this, they'd be flushed down the toilet -- which is why the American version of Top Gear on the "History" channel is just so terribly unwatchable. The History channel is one of the top offenders promoting this kind of banality, and it's a shame that the Discovery channel and so many others have caught this same illness (I'm looking your way, "Science" channel). American television producers are farking idiots.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Blame Discovery (and History, and all the other copycats). It's a fucked up format designed by morons in order to pad minutes and fill out advertising when they otherwise have very little real content.

    • by jd ( 1658 )

      The assumption seems to be that as 90% of kids 15 years ago were diagnosed ADHD, 90% of the target audience now must also have ADHD. Except for Game of Thrones viewers, who apparently have other issues.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:22PM (#47734549)

      There are people who shorten these episodes to cut the repeats and some of the filler
      "These 'Streamline' edits run shorter because they are missing teasers, cartoons, flashbacks, repetition, idents, history lessons, fun facts, "we're experts", and anything else that slows down the show."

    • The explanation I've heard is that the show is shot and edited for Australian television first, where it takes the form of a half-hour episode (without commercials? not sure). For the American edition, they pad it up to an hour with commercials, but can't really add new content so it's just repetition.

    • by adolf ( 21054 )

      AFAICT, the format of Mythbusters hasn't changed in a very long time.

      There is a certain cadence of it which has not, AFAICT, varied since the show included "the kids."

      One of the producers of Mythbusters is said to listen to it in her car, and if she can't follow and understand the episode by voice alone, it gets redone.

      (As your attorney, I think you're trying too hard to coalesce your own aging mindset with the continually-renewed world around you. Give it a rest. Things move on.)

  • by toygeek ( 473120 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:01PM (#47734445) Homepage Journal

    But I think it's a good move. I always thought they were trying to do too much in one episode. And really, who can argue with focusing on two really awesome dudes who love to blow stuff up?

    More isn't always better, sometimes its just more.

    • by jd ( 1658 )

      Then make the episodes longer. Or have one set of presenters on the first show (they're usually paired) and the others on the second show. Or eliminate redundant footage so that you can have two or three times the content. Or eliminate the advertisers, sorry adverts, and get three times the running length.

  • I always thought of Tory as the Brian Dunkleman of Mythbusters. You know, that guy who hosted with Seacrest during the first season of American Idol that no one remembers. They should have dumped Tory when he tried to electrocute Adam with the Ark of the Covenant, and no one would have minded.
    • by Horshu ( 2754893 )
      To this day I keep getting Tory and Kari mixed up when they talk about them. I hate to say it, but I'll be glad to see Male Tory go.
  • by belg4mit ( 152620 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:39PM (#47734641) Homepage

    Adam mentioned a shift in fromat in a Tested video a while back, this seems to fit along with that.

  • by Pro923 ( 1447307 ) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:56PM (#47734711)
    I'm surprised no one said it... I think they've just run out of Myths! A lot of the new shows - it really seems like they're reaching. And as other people did mention, they have about 15 minutes of content in an hour of show with the commercial->recap->brief content->preview->commercial->repeat format. Yeah, I just really don't think they can make another season of shows without halving the number of myths that they have to come up with..
  • by kamitchell ( 1090511 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @12:52AM (#47735081)

    What an impersonal goodbye. Just an announcement from Adam and Jamie, some video clips, and a stock photo.

    While I could believe Adam's thanks for all their work, he seemed strained somehow. I think the network did it, after the wrap of filming for the last episode.

    It really lacked the warmth that a heartfelt goodbye, shot in the M7 workshop with a handheld camera, hugs, and tears.

    I speculate that the network forced the reconfiguration of the show after filming of that episode ended.

    Sad, really.

  • Most of the show's "experiments" are nonsense or the results are obvious. Science isn't done this way. Never was, never will be. I'm waiting for them to do seances and contact the dead to prove something. Or conclude that because they can't contact the dead that need try to invent a new way to contact the dead, so stay tuned.
  • by adolf ( 21054 )

    I'm actually rather OK with this. Though Kari is fun to watch and has certain skills (particularly welding and being hot), and Grant is very talented with nuts and bolts and software and robotics, I actually like Mythbusters mostly for the hard science (even if wrong) of Jamie, and the manic presentations of Adam.

    Who was the other one again? Oh, yeah, that other guy.

    Anyway, I remember Mythbusters with just Jamie and Adam. I miss it: Two well-versed, very smart people arguing against each other but tow

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