According to Wikipedia.com:
MythBusters is a science entertainment TV program created and produced by Australia‘s Beyond Television Productions for the Discovery Channel. The series is screened by numerous international broadcasters, including SBS Australia, 7mate Australia, and other Discovery channels worldwide. The show’s hosts, special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, use elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, Internet videos, and news stories. The show is one of the oldest—and the most popular—on Discovery Channel currently in production, being preceded only by How It’s Made in the US and Daily Planet in Canada.
Filming is based in San Francisco, though some elements of production are done in Artarmon, Australia. Planning and some experimentation takes place at Hyneman’s workshops in San Francisco; experiments requiring more space or special accommodations are filmed on location, typically around the San Francisco Bay area and other northern California places, going elsewhere when required, such as Florida for alligator experiments, or Africa for shark and elephant myths.
During the second season, members of Savage’s and Hyneman’s team (“The Build Team”) were organized into a second team and now generally test myths separately from the main duo and operate from another workshop.
MythBusters refers both to the name of the documentary and also the cast members who test the experiments.
The series concept was created for the Discovery Channel as Tall Tales or True by Australian writer and producer Peter Rees of Beyond Productions in 2002. Discovery rejected the proposal initially because they had just commissioned a series on the same topic. Rees refined the pitch to focus on testing key elements of the stories rather than just retelling them. Discovery agreed to develop and co-produce a three-episode series pilot. Jamie Hyneman was one of a number of special effects artists who were asked to prepare a casting video for network consideration. Rees had interviewed him previously for a segment of the popular science series Beyond 2000 about the British/American robot combat television series Robot Wars. Adam Savage, who had worked with Hyneman in commercials and on the robot combat television series BattleBots, was asked by Hyneman to help co-host the show because, according to Savage, Hyneman thought himself too uninteresting to host the series on his own.
During July 2006, an edited thirty-minute version of MythBusters began airing on BBC Two in the UK. The episodes shown on the European Discovery Channel sometimes include extra scenes not shown in the U.S. version (some of these scenes are included eventually in “specials”, such as MythBusters Outtakes).
Savage and Hyneman are the original MythBusters, and initially explored all the myths of the series using their combined experience with special effects. The two work at Hyneman’s effects workshop, M5 Industries; they make use of his staff, who often work off-screen, with Hyneman and Savage usually shown doing most of the work at the shop. The show is narrated by Robert Lee, though in some regions his voice is replaced by a local narrator.
As the series progressed, members of Hyneman’s staff were introduced and began to appear regularly in episodes. Three such members, artist Kari Byron, builder Tory Belleci and metal-worker Scottie Chapman, were organized as a second team of MythBusters during the second season, dubbed the “Build Team”. After Chapman left the show during the third season, Grant Imahara, a colleague of Hyneman, was hired to provide the team with his electrical and robotics experience. Byron went on maternity leave in mid-2009, with her position on the Build Team temporarily filled by Jessi Combs, best known for co-hosting Spike’s Xtreme 4×4. Byron returned in the second episode of season eight. The Build Team now works at its own workshop, called M7, investigating separate myths from the original duo. Each episode now typically alternates between the two teams covering different myths, although the two teams still work together.
The series had two interns, dubbed “Mythterns”: Discovery Channel contest winner Christine Chamberlain and viewer building contest-winner Jess Nelson. During the first season, the program featured segments with folklorist Heather Joseph-Witham, who explained the origins of certain myths, and other people who had first-hand experience with the myths being tested, but those elements were phased out early during the series. The MythBusters still commonly consult with experts for myths or topics for which they need assistance. These topics include firearms, for which they mostly consult Lt. Al Normandy of the South San Francisco Police Department, and explosives, for which they consult retired FBI explosives expert Frank Doyle and Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. The MythBusters often ask other people, such as those supplying the equipment being tested, what they know about the myth under investigation.
There is no consistent system for organizing MythBusters episodes into seasons. The program does not follow a typical calendar of on and off air periods. The official MythBusters website lists episodes by year. On the other hand, Discovery sells DVD sets for “seasons”, which sometimes follow the calendar year and sometimes don’t. In addition, Discovery and retail stores also sell “collections” which divide up the episodes in a different way—each collection has about 10 or 12 episodes from various seasons.
Each MythBusters episode focuses typically on two or more popular beliefs, Internet rumors, or other myths. The list of myths tested by the series is compiled from many sources, including the personal experiences of cast and crew, as well as fan suggestions, such as those posted on The Discovery Channel online MythBusters forums. Occasionally, episodes are produced in which some or all of the myths are related by theme such as pirates or sharks, and occasionally these are dubbed as “[Theme] Special” episodes. As of May 2009, four myths have required such extensive preparation and testing that they had entire episodes devoted solely to them, and four specials have been double-length. Several episodes (including the 2006 Holiday Special) have included the building of Rube Goldberg machines. Before a myth gets introduced by the hosts, a myth-related drawing is made on a blueprint. After the hosts introduce the myth, a comical video explaining the myth is usually shown.
The MythBusters typically test myths in a two-step process. In early episodes, the steps were described as “replicate the circumstances, then duplicate the results” by Savage. This means that first the team attempts to recreate the circumstances that the myth alleges, to determine whether the alleged result occurs; if that fails, they attempt to expand the circumstances to the point that will cause the described result. Occasionally the team (usually Savage and Hyneman) will hold a friendly competition between themselves to see which of them can devise a more successful solution to recreating the results. This is most common with myths involving building an object that can accomplish a goal (for example, rapidly cooling a beer, or finding a needle in a haystack).
While there is not any specific formula the team obeys in terms of physical procedure, most myths involve construction of various objects to help test the myth. They utilize their functional workshops to create whatever is needed, often including mechanical devices and sets to simulate the circumstances of the myth. Human actions are often simulated by mechanical means in order to increase safety, and to achieve consistency in repeated actions. Methods for testing myths are usually planned and executed in a manner to produce visually dramatic results, which generally involves explosions, fires, and/or vehicle crashes. Thus, myths or tests involving explosives, firearms and vehicle collisions are relatively common.
Tests are sometimes confined to the workshop, but often require the teams to be outside. Much of the outdoor testing during early seasons took place in the parking lot of M5. A cargo container in the parking lot commonly serves as an isolation room for dangerous myths, with the experiment being triggered from outside. However, budget increases have permitted more frequent travel to other locations in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. Common filming locations around the Bay Area include decommissioned (closed) military facilities (such as Naval Air Station Alameda, Naval Air Station Moffett Field, Concord Naval Weapons Station, Naval Station Treasure Island, Marin Headlands, Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Hamilton Air Force Base, and abandoned base housing at Marina, California‘s former Fort Ord), and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Firearm range. Occasionally, mainly for special episodes, production is out of state, or even out of the country.
For the rest of the biography, please go HERE.