For the first season of Bear Grylls: Born Survivor it did appear like they just dumped in a place with his camera crew and then had to survive it. He would deliberately put himself into dangerous situations just to show you how to get out of them. In the later series it seems a little more set up as I suspect some of the things he finds are planted there to help him.
I think one of the things this show is best known for is the diversity of what he'll eat and drink to survive... in one episode he even drinks his own urine to survive a desert.
However despite it's "cheesiness" it is still entertaining whilst still providing useful survival tips should you ever find yourself in the same situation.moreless