Just two nights after Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman were at the White House to support Astronomy Night, the duo have confirmed that their program, MythBusters, will end its run next year. The decision went public today, but was decided much earlier, allowing the episodes shot this year (airing in 2016) to provide for a proper send-off for the show. Or at least as much as one can manage in television.
Premiering in 2003, the show has run on the Discovery Channel and its networks around the world, with the MythBusters testing the validity of folk wisdom, myths, urban legends and similar propositions. Spawning a traveling museum exhibition, a traveling tour (which will wrap up later this year), a spin-off, and thousands of science fans, MythBusters is a hallmark of a time when (in my opinion) the Discovery Channel was bringing lots of original science and technology programming to a general audience. While it’s nice to have the Science Channel (part of the Discovery family of networks), a drawback of such a channel is that it doesn’t reach as many households and those who do tune in are already big on science. Having a quality science show on a more general purpose network is a good thing.
I’ll miss the show, but can’t say I’m surprised at the announcement. With the departure last year of the ‘Build Team’ (Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci), and a reduction in episodes in the latest season, I felt that the end was in sight.
It will have been a long run:14 seasons, nearly 250 episodes, and a lot of fun. Perhaps its best to end with the words of Zombie Feynman (via xkcd).
“By teaching to hold their beliefs up to experiment, MythBusters is doing more to drag humanity out of the unscientific darkness than a thousand lessons in rigor. Show them some love.”