Man vs. Beast
Man vs. Beast is a series of sensationalistic television specials aired in the United States by the Fox television network. The shows were produced by Brian Richardson and directed by Bob Levy. They involve a variety of challenges in which people and animals compete against each other. Although the initial special, Man vs. Beast, was heavily panned by critics and animal rights groups, Fox commissioned a sequel, Man vs. Beast 2, which aired on February 20, 2004.
In 2003, ITV commissioned Granada Productions to re-create the American special for British audiences. A six-part series was filmed, hosted by John Fashanu. However, owing to heavy lobbying by animal rights groups, transmission of the series was postponed indefinitely.
The competitions included the following matchups:
- Professional eater Takeru Kobayashi lost a hot dog eating contest against a Kodiak bear.
- Scott Helvenston, a US Navy SEAL, won a race against a chimpanzee through an obstacle course.
- A group of 44 dwarfs lost a race against an Asian elephant to see which could pull a commercial jet a certain distance first.
- Shawn Crawford, a world-class sprinter, won a 100-metre race against a giraffe but lost against a zebra.
- A Sumo wrestler lost a tug-of-war against a large, female orangutan.
- Robert Weintraub (January 16, 2003). "Aaron Sorkin Mauled by Fox: The disturbing appeal of Man vs. Beast.". Slate.com. Retrieved 2006-06-15.
- "Unnatural Animal Acts A Turnoff.". Born Free Foundation. Retrieved 2006-06-15.
- "Man vs Beast – programme may be scrapped". Captive Animals' Protection Society. Retrieved 2006-06-15.