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'MythBusters' returns with new vibe, casting changes

Co-host Adam Savage and executive producer Dan Tapster reveal all about the next season of "MythBusters" and explain why Grant Imahara, Kari Byron and Tory Belleci won't be returning.

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Hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman return next season to bust stunts with science. Discovery Channel

Get ready for more explosions, destruction and exciting stunts on the new season of the Discovery Channel show "MythBusters," airing January 10. Though fans hoping for their typical "MythBusters" episodes might be surprised to learn of the show's new format and reduced cast.

"The Simpsons," "Breaking Bad," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and even the retro hit TV show "The A-Team" will be under the microscope as "MythBusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman bust stunts with science.

This season will give "MythBusters" a "new look, a new vibe, and it's become more educational again," according to executive producer Dan Tapster. That also includes a much smaller cast.

When Discovery Channel revealed that longtime supporting cast members Grant Imahara, Kari Byron and Tory Belleci wouldn't be returning to the show, fans were confused and outraged at the lack of details behind the decision.

Though some fans speculated that Imahara, Byron and Belleci left because of budget cuts by Discovery, or because of personality conflicts, according to Entertainment Weekly, sources said the departures were the result of disputes over salary renegotiations.

"We were very keen for [Imahara, Byron and Belleci] to be a part of the show, we are massive fans of theirs, and what they did over 10 years was phenomenal," Tapster told Entertainment Weekly. "There were negotiations, and based on those negotiations, they opted out. It's a shame for them. It's a shame for us. But it gave us the opportunity to reinvent the show, which it kind of needed."

"One of the biggest changes of Kari, Grant, and Tory's departure is that Jamie and I now have to produce all 42-and-a-half minutes of the episode, but we don't have twice as much time to shoot it," show co-host Savage told EW. "That means the mental work for the show doubled. Every sequence transition has to be really tight."

Former "MythBusters" Imahara, Byron and Belleci "are continuing to talk with Discovery and Tapster's production company about new potential projects," according to EW. Discovery Channel

Now that the show will focus only on Savage and Hyneman, the stakes are arguably higher to produce an educational science show with plenty of action and exciting experiments to keep the audience interested.

The new season of "MythBusters" launches with busting or proving myths inspired by episodes of " The Simpsons," which include dropping a cherry bomb down a toilet and taking a wrecking ball to a suburban home.

Savage and Hyneman will also be building weapons made in episodes of "The A-Team," as well as testing the finale of "Breaking Bad" involving the M-60 in Walter White's trunk.

As huge fans of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the duo will also test the famous stunt where Indiana Jones uses his whip as a rope swing. Savage is a bit of an Indiana Jones whip expert, as he braided a similar "Raiders of the Lost Ark" bullwhip by hand and featured it on his Web series "Tested" in 2012.

"I've waited my whole life for this moment," Savage says in the "MythBusters" sneak peek video, while dressed as Indiana Jones. "This test goes down in history as one of my all-time favorites. It tested my whip wielding skills to the absolute limit."