Mythbusters has enjoyed an incredible 13-season run that includes five nominations for Outstanding Reality Program at the Primetime Emmy, but some insiders believe the departure of Kari Byron and other cast members could mark the beginning of the show’s end.
This week producers announced that longtime investigators Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara would not return. In announcing their departure, the show gave a nod to their contributions over the last decade.
“Kari, Tory and Grant have been an incredibly important part of ‘MythBusters’ for over a decade,” Discovery said in a statement. “From explosions to car crashes to even more explosions, this trio has helped shape ‘MythBusters’ into the Emmy-nominated series it is today. Everyone at Discovery wants to thank them for their tireless work busting almost 1,000 myths, and we wish them all the best on their future endeavors.”
Their departures mark a new era for Mythbusters, one that will focus almost solely on main stars Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage. This brings the show back to the original format of the first several seasons, before Byron, Belleci, and Imahara joined as assistants of sorts.
Some critics believe this new era for Mythbusters could be a cost-saving move, as they trimmed three salaries. Others speculate that some lingering tension between cast members led to the mass exit. There had been rumors that the cast members were not getting along, which Hyneman addressed in an interview with Access Hollywood in March.
“We get on each other’s nerves and everything all the time, but whenever that happens, we say so and we deal with it and move on,” he revealed. “There are times that we really dislike dealing with each other, but we make it work.”
But others believe the departure of Kari Byron and others is the result of a slow decline for Mythbusters. After 13 seasons of busting (or sometimes proving) myths, the show is running low on material, and in the last several seasons had a loose definition of “myth.” Some critics say the show may only have one or two seasons remaining, though the hopes are a return to the original format and cast members could squeeze a bit more life out of Mythbusters.