Honoring everyday heroes while living out his personal mantra highlighted in the New York Times bestseller Fail Until You Don’t: Fight, Grind. Repeat., beloved television and radio host, Bobby Bones is traveling to the deepest corners of the country to meet people who hold unique jobs, skills, hobbies and abilities for his new series Breaking Bobby Bones. Premiering Monday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET on National Geographic, each half-hour episode finds Bones undertaking several challenges as he attempts to conquer their tricks of the trade while delving into the tragedies that have facilitated their triumphs today.
In an exclusive with PopCulture.com ahead of the premiere on Monday, Bones reveals the conception behind Breaking Bobby Bones was all about highlighting average, relatable people who have made a difference in their communities. But to take it up a notch, he chose to add some “levity” to the situation by undertaking numerous adventures and skills that these individuals challenge themselves to every day.
“It’s about the people that I’m with,” Bones told PopCulture, explaining how the first episode of the series finds him meeting Mike, a former gang member out of prison who discovered something called “rope access,” and is now one of the “best” in the U.S. “It’s what you do when you can’t get to a high place, if it’s under a bridge, the top of a fancy landmark, or in my case, it was hanging 4,000 feet on a rope over the Grand Canyon — and I hate heights. I had to go do that, but it’s learning his story and really through every episode, it’s about not if, but when adversity hits us, how do we react?”
Bones hopes that viewers of the 16-part series will react like all of the people he’s come across his journey “because they’ve all had some situations that have happened” or are currently happening that they have “fought through” and come out of. “I want people to watch this show and relate it to what they’re going through ‘cause we’re all going through something right now," he said. "We all have our story that people don’t know about or our struggle that maybe a few do, but it’s about knowing that there is no achievement that cannot be accomplished.”
The 41-year-old reveals he had a “bunch of influences” and has a deep admiration for the British travel series, An Idiot Abroad, “where he [Karl Pilkington] goes to other countries and just is terrible at everything.” Bones, most self-deprecatingly, states, “That’s basically what I am in a way here” with Breaking Bobby Bones. “I love ‘Move that Bus!,’ Extreme Home Makeover, where at the end they move the bus and something great happens and there's that at the end of every show.”
Further stating how he just loves “compassionate stories,” Bones credits his immense empathy to having grown up in struggles. “A lot of these people that I’ve put on the show did, as well, had some sort of struggle in their life,” he said. “I just wanted people to relate and when the show ends and you turn it off that you just feel better about yourself or about what you can do. That’s the goal. And if you don’t feel that way when you finish watching the show, I failed — so, I hope people really like it and take that from it.”
Breaking Bobby Bones premieres Monday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET on National Geographic with two back-to-back episodes, then the show will air Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET with two new episodes premiering weekly. PopCulture readers can get a free trial of Disney+ and watch all of National Geographic's programming through this special offer.