Deadliest Catch: Hungry Hibernators Go Fishin' On Peacock

Apparently not satisfied with human hijinks on our reality-competition shows, Peacock this week introduces a reality-competition show starring bears.

The show, titled “The Hungry Games: Alaska’s Big Bear Challenge,” premieres Thursday.

The bears are brown bears residing in Alaska’s 4.1 million-acre Katmai National Park and Preserve. The park is known for its Alaskan brown bears and its salmon, says Wikipedia. 

And, as demonstrated in the above photo, the two have a decidedly one-sided relationship in which the salmon sometimes find themselves unwittingly sailing directly into the waiting mouths of hungry bears.

It’s all part of a process by which the bears prepare for their winter hibernation -- basically by eating like crazy for five months.



According to Peacock, the goal is to consume an estimated 3 million calories and gain up to 200 pounds in preparation for their long winter’s nap -- much of it salmon, apparently. 

In the show, cameras follow these Alaskan bears for 150 days as they consume more calories in a single day than human competitive eaters can gulp down in 10 years of July Fourth hot dog-eating contests.

“The Hungry Games” consists of three, one-hour episodes. The action is narrated by New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby. 

No screeners were available on Friday for the TV Blog to take a look at the show to assess whether any bears were harmed in the making of it. 

The fact that salmon were harmed seems not have fazed the makers of this show at all. 

In addition, the presence of Darby might indicate that the show intends to take a comic approach to depicting the life-or-death struggle of these bears as they summon up all their instincts in a desperate race for survival before winter sets in.

Indeed, a Peacock press release positions “The Hungry Games” as “a playful, competitive spin on the bears … as they gear up for winter hibernation.” Playful? Not if you’re a salmon!

Assuming that these bears have neither seen nor heard of reality-competition TV shows such as “Survivor,” “Top Chef” or “The Golden Bachelor,” the TV Blog feels certain that they were put in a position to participate in a bear-based reality-competition show without their knowledge.

On that subject, however, “The Hungry Games” is not the first competition show with bear contestants.

The last one was Discovery’s “Man Vs. Bear” in 2019, in which 21 super-strong humans faced off against three bears in one-on-one tests of brute strength. If memory serves, the bears won.

In “The Hungry Games,” it’s “Bear Vs. Salmon.” Spoiler Alert: The bears win this one too.

“The Hungry Games: Alaska’s Big Bear Challenge” premieres Thursday, July 11, on Peacock.

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