Saturday, August 23, 2014

Firing the Misfiring MythBusters

The Discovery Channel has fired three cast members from MythBusters. On the season's last episode, which aired Thursday, August 21st, 2014, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman tersely announced that Grant Imahara, Kari Byron, and Tory Belleci would no longer be on the show.

Was the firing of these three popular hosts done for pure cost-cutting motives as some have suggested? Or was it the "Build Team's" infamous cannon ball accident in 2011, which resulted in a cannon ball blasting through a Dublin, CA neighborhood, that contributed to their dismissal?

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Mythbusters "Build Team" fire cannonball through Dublin, CA house
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Yahoo TV:
'Mythbusters' Fires Three Cast Members: Show Is Going in 'New Direction'

Grant Imahara, Adam Savage, Kari Byron, Jamie Hyneman, Tory Belleci
Mythbusters fans were shocked by a huge twist at the end of Thursday night's season finale — that "Build Team" members Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara would no longer be part of the Discovery Channel show going forward.

"It's not only the end of this episode, it's not only the end of this season — it is also the end of an era," host Adam Savage announced.

Co-host Jamie Hyneman added, "This season we're going back to our origins with just Adam and me."

It's an abrupt change for fans, who've grown to love the Build Team over the past 10 years.
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Wikipedia has a good account of the infamous cannon ball accident:
On December 6, 2011, while conducting the "Cannonball Chemistry" experiment, the MythBusters crew accidentally sent a cannonball through the side of a house and into a minivan in a Dublin, California neighborhood. Although the experiment was being carried out at the Alameda County Sheriff's Bomb Range under the supervision of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, the errant projectile went over its intended target of water barrels and instead soared 700 yd (640 m) into a neighboring community, striking a house and leaving a 10 in (25 cm) hole, before striking the roof of another house and smashing through a window of a parked minivan. No one was hurt by the rogue cannonball.

A producer of the show visited the house to apologize, followed by Savage and Hyneman; Savage later stated that production of the series would not be suspended because of the incident. Savage and Kari Byron returned to Dublin High School on February 22, 2012, to participate in a moderated panel session at Dublin High School's Engineering and Design Academy Open House during National Engineers Week 2012, in part to help repair relations with the community. The sold-out event attracted an audience of over 1,000.

During the airing of the experiment on November 11, 2012, the Build Team apologized for the accident and explained that they suspended testing after the accident in order to assess damage and start an investigation. The testing resumed several months later, at a rock quarry in a much more remote area.
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related
Wikipedia:
Episode 195 – Cannonball Chemistry – Myth statement: Some 15th-century cannoneers used stone cannonballs instead of iron ones, to deliver the same damage but disintegrate on impact so the enemy could not reuse them.
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ABC News 7:
MythBusters Cannonball Mishap hits house, car, mini van and road, Dublin California accident
 

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