What Hath ‘Mythbusters’ Wrought?

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It is no secret by now that Mythbusters, Discovery Channel’s long running myth-busting show is a favorite of this blogger, but it appears that the scientifically skeptical nature of the show is becoming more and more appealing to television execs.

Yes, Discovery premiered its own Mythbusters-esque spinoff last season with Smash Lab, which was given a second season pickup by Discovery this week, but the network apparently was not done there.

Discovery also gave the go-ahead to Prototype This!, which features scientists trying to solve seemingly impossible tasks with clever inventions, and One Way Out, which features a magician and escapologist trying to escape from whatever situations his challengers put him in.

Other networks, not content to watch from the sidelines, have unveiled their own, similar, shows.

TruTV announced Man vs. Cartoon, which will apply some Mythbusters-type testing and skepticism to classic cartoons. Though as I have mentioned in a previous post, Mythbusters already went there once before.

Food Network announced yesterdayFood Sleuths, a show that will tackle kitchen myths such as the five second rule (Mythbusters already did that one too… this is beginning to sound like that South Park episode “Simpsons Did It.”) and whether your stomach can digest swallowed gum.

Television programming seems to arrive and fall in fits and bursts. Ghost Hunters led to a multitude of spinoffs, including Ghost Hunters International and (the awful) Paranormal State. There was even a legal battle over two new shows called UFO Hunters.

Perhaps the drive towards science based shows is a natural evolution (no pun intended) from the silliness of shows such as Ghost Hunters.