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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bear Grylls and Will Ferrell Join Forces in the Swedish Wilds during Special Episode of MAN VS. WILD for new Land of the Lost movie

Episode Marks Most Fully Integrated Partnership to Date Between Discovery Channel and Universal Pictures and Proves that Extreme Adventure is Harder on the Stomach Than Comedy

Marking the latest adventure in Discovery Channel's long-running series MAN VS. WILD, Bear Grylls invited Actor/Comedian Will Ferrell to join him for an extreme adventure in the Swedish hinterland, it was announced today. The early June episode is tied to Universal Pictures' upcoming comedy adventure "Land of the Lost," which stars Ferrell and hits movie theaters on June 5, 2009.

This special episode of MAN VS. WILD is the most fully integrated to date in an ongoing strategic partnership between Discovery Channel and Universal Pictures to create special shows that tie into opening movies. Previously, the two companies have worked together on tie-ins with recent Universal releases. These include a integration of Universal's "Frost/Nixon" with an episode of Discovery's CASH CAB; a tie-in of Universal's "Fast & Furious," which recently opened to $71MM--the highest box office weekend of 2009--with Discovery's DESTROYED IN SECONDS; and last summer with Universal and Marvel Studios' "The Incredible Hulk" with Discovery's DEADLIEST CATCH, Universal's "Wanted" with Discovery's FUTUREWEAPONS and Universal's "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" with Discovery's MAN VS. WILD.

In this first joint extreme adventure special, Grylls takes Ferrell through the paces of real life survival in the ice-bound mountain and glacier ranges in the far north of Sweden. Armed with only the most basic survival equipment, Grylls briefs his partner on the extreme conditions they'll have to confront over the next 48-hours...and what worst-case scenarios lie in store.

Common to all MAN VS. WILD episodes, Grylls shows Ferrell what it takes to find food in the icy coniferous forests, as they climb trees, improvise snow shoes from saplings, drink their own urine and even bite into reindeer eyeballs!

"Will did an amazing job in sub-zero very unforgiving conditions," said Grylls. "He trusted me when it mattered and we survived... And he has definitely had an adventure! He should be very proud of how he performed."

"To be able to participate in an episode of MAN VS. WILD was a thrill of a lifetime, even though I did get urine-drunk which is sad," said Ferrell.

"We enjoy every aspect of working with our clients on content integrations. The most successful partnerships given our non-fiction programming include customized opportunities that get our client's close to our content as organically as possible. This one is fun and should garner great interest for our show and for the movie," commented Joe Abruzzese, President, Advertising Sales, Discovery Communications.

"Pairing one of the toughest men alive with one of the funniest will be an absolute riot," said John Ford, President and General Manager of Discovery Channel. "Bear and Will share a snow shelter and eat reindeer eyeballs together. That says it all. I can't wait to watch."

"Our ongoing partnership with Discovery has been greatly successful for our companies, and the pairing of Bear and Will for MAN VS. WILD is our most innovative project to date," said Annah Zafrani, Vice President of Media Promotions, Universal Pictures. "We're able to connect 'Land of the Lost' to Bear's fans--people who love adventure and mysterious worlds. It doesn't hurt that, with Will, we have one of the funniest men on the planet... who is also game to be lost in the wild."

An ex-Special Forces soldier, Bear Grylls was trained as a survival expert in the British army, has a black belt in karate and is an experienced high-altitude mountaineer. Grylls has channeled his daring spirit into feats such as the highest-ever dinner party at a table suspended below a hot air balloon at 24,500 feet, and the first unassisted crossing of the frozen North Atlantic Ocean in an open rigid inflatable boat.

In addition, in 1998 at age 23, Bear became the youngest British climber to ever complete a summit and descent of Mount Everest. Last year, Bear returned to the Himalayas to conquer a new dream--attempting to fly a powered paraglider higher than Everest. Through this expedition, Bear and his team donated more than $2.5 million to charities, including $600,000 to the Global Angels Foundation, a charity that supports long-term projects for underprivileged children worldwide.

MAN VS. WILD is produced for Discovery Channel by Diverse Productions and executive produced by Steve Rankin. Dan Korn serves as Executive Producer for Discovery Channel.

Will Ferrell stars as has-been scientist Dr. Rick Marshall, sucked into a space-time vortex and spat back through time. Way back. Now, Marshall has no weapons, few skills and questionable smarts to survive in an alternate universe full of marauding dinosaurs and fantastic creatures from beyond our world--a place of spectacular sights and super-scaled comedy known as the "Land of the Lost." For more information, visit www.landofthelost.net.

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