Hunter Ellis hired as show's new host

History Channel has renewed its archaeological adventure series “Digging for the Truth” for a fourth season, hiring two hosts to replace the departing Josh Bernstein.

Bernstein’s successors are Hunter Ellis, a former Navy fighter pilot, and Zay Harding, who was host of British travel series “Globe Trekker.” Bernstein, known as a modern-day Indiana Jones for his youthful energy and swashbuckling manner, was lured away from History by the Discovery Channel, which hasn’t yet announced a specific Bernstein series.

Nancy Dubuc, exec VP-general manager of the History Channel, has made a virtue of the necessity of doing without the popular Bernstein. “Moving forward with multiple hosts,” Dubuc said, “adds greater flexibility to the shooting schedule, allowing us to expand the number of episodes next season from 13 to 20.”

But Bernstein helped to make “Truth” a successful primetime series on History, where the episodes regularly scored more viewers than the network’s primetime average. During its third season of 13 episodes from February to April, “Truth” harvested its best total-viewer average, 1.38 million, up 7% over the 15 episodes from season two.

Joining Ellis and Harding in the fourth season are two returning series regulars: archaeologist Kara Cooney and Charles Ingram, who’s listed as a “military and diving expert.”

The new season kicks off in the third quarter with a two-hour special on pirates of the Mediterranean.

Hunter Ellis is no stranger to History Channel, having previously hosted its “Man, Moment, Machine” and “Tactical to Practical” series.

JMW Prods. produces “Truth,” with Margaret Kim as exec producer for History Channel.

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