The Real Reason MythBusters Was Cancelled

In 2003 the Discovery channel unveiled one of its benchmark shows, "MythBusters." Hosted by primarily by Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the show was geared toward proving or disproving various beliefs that are either commonplace in public discourse or presented by pop culture, such as films and TV shows. In the course of its 20 seasons the show tested a number of myths where there was a real threat of danger to the cast and crew, any number of which could have ended its run had things gone wrong. 

When interviewed by Popular Mechanics, both hosts made it known that they constantly feared for both the lives of the crew and the status of the show's often-expensive equipment. The subjects tackled by the show alone had the potential to land them in legal hot water as well; at one point footage featuring instructions on explosives had to be scrapped when DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) stepped in (via Nerdist). While the show was eventually cancelled, it was for a far more mundane reason than any of these.

Major shakeups in the cast doomed MythBusters

The downfall of "MythBusters" was not the result of a lawsuit or major accident, but in fact a drop in ratings. Throughout the show's time on the air, Savage and Hyneman would compose one team testing a particular theory, while the "B Team," composed of Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci, tested their own at an often separate location. In 2014 all three members of the B team chose not to return to the show after a breakdown in financial discussions (via Distractify). According to Talk Radio News, their departure contributed to a significant drop in ratings, while the show's "mythbusting" projects continued to be a major expense

The show was officially cancelled in 2015 due this budgetary strain, but was granted a final season set for 2016, with which the hosts could send the show off on their own terms. After the finale, the remaining cast went on to pursue their respective interests, though the MythBusters brand did see a brief revival on the Science Channel and Savage returned to Discovery in 2019 to produce his own "Savage Builds" show (via The Hollywood Reporter).