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Naked and Afraid

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Naked and Afraid
Narrated byMichael Brown
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons17
No. of episodes200 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • David Garfinkle
  • Jay Renfroe
  • Jim Morton
  • David Story
  • Sean Foley
Running time60 minutes
Production companyRenegade 83
Original release
NetworkDiscovery Channel
ReleaseJune 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) –
  • Naked and Afraid XL
  • Naked and Afraid: Alone
  • Naked and Afraid: Solo
  • Naked And Afraid: Last One Standing
  • Naked and Afraid: Castaways

Naked and Afraid is an American reality series that airs on the Discovery Channel. Each episode chronicles the lives of two survivalists who meet for the first time naked and are given the task of surviving a stay in the wilderness for 21 days.[1][2] Each survivalist is allowed to bring one helpful item, such as a machete or a fire starter. After they meet in the assigned location, the partners must build a shelter and find water and food.


The events of each couple's journey play out in a single episode. Partners strip down and meet each other. They are provided with rough cross-body satchels containing a personal diary/camera for use when the camera crew is not there at night, and a map. They all wear identical necklaces with a center bead, which is a microphone with a wire that connects to a wireless audio transmitter hidden in the satchel. Some personal jewelry is allowed. Each survivalist is allowed to bring one helpful item, such as a hatchet or a fire starter.[3]

There is a camera crew who are not allowed to intervene except for medical emergencies when it is "absolutely necessary". Castmate Alison Teal reports that she was granted an "emergency" tampon.[4]

At the beginning of the fourth season, the survivalists were given a third "surprise" item. A team is allowed to "tap out" at any point during the 21-day challenge. If they do not tap out, they must arrive at the designated extraction point on the final day to be picked up by a helicopter, plane, automobile or boat or other vehicle suitable for the environment. Viewers are updated throughout with statistics, including how many days have passed, the time, and the temperature. Naked and Afraid computes and then updates the cast members' PSR (Primitive Survival Rating), which is based on predictions and observations of survival fitness in skill, experience, and mental strengths. Before and after weight measurements are also revealed at the end of an episode.[5]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
16June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23)December 14, 2013 (2013-12-14)
26March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16)April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27)
310June 22, 2014 (2014-06-22)October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12)
412April 19, 2015 (2015-04-19)August 2, 2015 (2015-08-02)
55October 4, 2015 (2015-10-04)November 1, 2015 (2015-11-01)
612March 13, 2016 (2016-03-13)June 12, 2016 (2016-06-12)
711March 5, 2017 (2017-03-05)May 21, 2017 (2017-05-21)
86July 30, 2017 (2017-07-30)August 20, 2017 (2017-08-20)
915March 11, 2018 (2018-03-11)August 12, 2018 (2018-08-12)
1026March 3, 2019 (2019-03-03)December 19, 2019 (2019-12-19)
1130December 1, 2019 (2019-12-01)August 16, 2020 (2020-08-16)
1211March 7, 2021 (2021-03-07)April 18, 2021 (2021-04-18)
136August 1, 2021 (2021-08-01)September 5, 2021 (2021-09-05)
1413February 26, 2022 (2022-02-26)April 23, 2022 (2022-04-23)
1511February 19, 2023 (2023-02-19)April 30, 2023 (2023-04-30)
165October 15, 2023 (2023-10-15)November 12, 2023 (2023-11-12)
17TBAFebruary 18, 2024 (2024-02-18)TBA



The production's home base is in the United States (the Louisiana Bayou, Florida (Everglades and Seminole County) and Alabama). Panama was used as a setting twice in the first and fifth seasons, Nicaragua was also used twice as well in the third season. Like the first season, the second season visited six countries as well, using Malaysia as a setting once again (Season 1 shot on the Malaysian Borneo, while Season 2's survivalists were stranded in Peninsular Malaysia). Season 10 took contestants to the frozen tundra of Alaska and an African Kill Zone.[6]

United States
Region Locations (season number)
Southern Alabama Alabama (6), Florida Florida (4, 6, 9, 12), Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia (12), Louisiana Louisiana (1, 7), Mississippi Mississippi (9), Tennessee Tennessee (9), Texas Texas (8, 12)
Western Alaska Alaska (10), Arizona Arizona (12), Colorado Colorado (12), Montana Montana (10, 12), New Mexico New Mexico (15)
Continent Locations (season number)
Africa Botswana Botswana (3, 14), Madagascar Madagascar (2), Mozambique Mozambique (10), Namibia Namibia (3, 5, 6, 12), South Africa South Africa (7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17), Tanzania Tanzania (1), Zambia Zambia (14, 15, 16)
Asia Cambodia Cambodia (3), India India (3, 4), Malaysia Malaysia (1, 2), Maldives Maldives (1), Philippines Philippines (5, 6), Thailand Thailand (4, 6)
Europe Croatia Croatia (6, 8), Bulgaria Bulgaria (11), United Kingdom United Kingdom (7)[a]
North America The Bahamas Bahamas (3, 8, 9), Belize Belize (2, 5, 6, 7, 8), Canada Canada (6), Costa Rica Costa Rica (1), Dominica Dominica (3), Honduras Honduras (6, 9), Mexico Mexico (4, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16), Nicaragua Nicaragua (3, 4, 6, 9), Panama Panama (1, 5, 7, 9, 10), Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (7, 16)
South America Argentina Argentina (3, 15), Bolivia Bolivia (2), Brazil Brazil (3, 9, 10), Colombia Colombia (4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 15, 17), Ecuador Ecuador (7, 8, 10, 12, 13), Guyana Guyana (4, 15), Peru Peru (2)
Oceania Australia Australia (6, 7), Fiji Fiji (2)
  1. ^ Only visited the overseas territory of Montserrat Montserrat (7), it is located in North America.

Casting call[edit]

On July 31, 2013, Discovery Channel posted a casting call and a dare to "survive the 21-day challenge" via their Twitter account.[7]

Naked After Dark[edit]

Following the success of the live talk show Shark After Dark, Discovery aired Naked After Dark in season two, which aired after each new episode. Host Josh Wolf talked with the cast from the episode, showed behind-the-scenes and never before seen episode footage and has in-studio stunts.[8] It aired for 1 season with 6 episodes.

Pop-Up Editions[edit]

Starting in June 2014, Discovery started airing repeat episodes of the show with "Pop-Up" text on the screen. These graphics shed light on the countries and the survivalists with interesting and often humorous factoids. These shows premiere on Wednesday nights.[9]


Critical reception[edit]

By the time of the 2015 season premiere, Brian Moylan of The Guardian called it the "best reality show on television" as it "takes the outrageousness of other reality genres, but applies it to celebrate human strength and fortitude rather than exploiting the frailty and narcissism of those that just want to be noticed."[10]

Reviewing the premiere in 2013, Brian Lowry of Variety found Naked and Afraid to be "typical of the genre, but it's still kind of a risible kick, if only for how seriously the show takes itself."[11] Melissa Camacho of Common Sense Media, and David Hinckley of the New York Daily News, gave the show 3 out of 5 stars.[12][13]

Mike Hale of The New York Times expressed skepticism that the dangers implied by the situations faced by the couples in each episode were authentic, even by the standards of reality television, observing that the couple in the series premiere appeared to be cleaner and more shaven than he would have expected. Hale also was not impressed with the interaction between the two participants, whose personalities he found uninteresting, stating that he found the snake bite suffered by the field producer shown in the beginning of the episode to be more riveting.[14]


Discovery Channel issued a press release which announced some Nielsen ratings milestones for the series. Naked And Afraid was the "#1 Ad-Supported program in cable among men on Sunday, July 28." They also noted that the program now shares the Discovery Channel record for the highest-rated survival telecast in the network's history since June 2009.[15] The "Surthrive" episode in season 4, featuring Bo Stuart and Debbie Harris, is the highest rated episode in the history of the show.[16]


There has been controversy related to how real the show is. Former contestants have said that the locations are not as isolated as portrayed.[17] A contestant was treated with IV fluids so she could continue, but this was not shown.[18] Les Stroud, of the survival show Survivorman, has been very vocal with his criticism.[19]

See also[edit]

International versions[edit]

Country Local title Original channel Premiere date Season Ref.
 Brazil Largados e Pelados Brasil Max November 9, 2021 3 Season [20]
 France Retour à l'instinct primaire RMC Découverte August 29, 2018 2 Seasons
 Spain Aventura en pelotas Max 2024 1 Season [21]


  1. ^ Kurp, Josh (April 7, 2013). "'Naked And Afraid' Star Explains How She Caught Fish With Her 'Private Parts'". UPROXX. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Kaplan, Don (April 5, 2013). "Discovery Channel bares all with upcoming 'Naked' shows". Daily News. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  3. ^ ""Naked and Afraid" producer: "We didn't develop the show to be exploitative, ever" Executive producer Denise Contis defends the premise of "Naked & Afraid"". June 24, 2013.
  4. ^ "IMA:I'm Alison Teal from Discovery Channel's Naked and Afraid and Alison's Adventures — AMA;-)". Reddit.
  5. ^ "Naked & Afraid review". Variety. June 21, 2013.
  6. ^ RenewCancelTV (February 12, 2019). "'Naked And Afraid' Renewed For Season 10 By Discovery".
  7. ^ "Discovery Twitter". July 31, 2013.
  8. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 24, 2014). "'Naked After Dark' Hosted by Josh Wolf to Premiere Sunday, March 16 on Discovery". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 8, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Discovery.com".
  10. ^ Moylan, Brian (April 20, 2015). "Naked and Afraid is the best reality show on television". The Guardian – via www.theguardian.com.
  11. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 21, 2013). "Review: "Naked & Afraid"". Variety.
  12. ^ "Naked and Afraid". Common Sense Media. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  13. ^ Hinckley, David (June 21, 2013). "Two strangers test out their survival skills on Discovery Channel's new reality show 'Naked and Afraid'". Daily News.
  14. ^ Hale, Mike (June 21, 2013). "They Didn't Pack Sunscreen, or Anything Else". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 30, 2013). "Discovery Channel's 'Naked and Afraid' is the #1 Ad Supported Program in Cable Among Men on Sunday July 28". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.
  16. ^ "Naked and Afraid (2013-)". tv-shows.prettyfamous.com. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "5 Little Known Facts About 'Naked And Afraid'". The Inquisitr. August 3, 2021. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  18. ^ "Former Naked And Afraid participants raise new concerns about whether the show is real or fake". August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  19. ^ John (August 18, 2016). "Is Naked And Afraid fake? Former participants allege serious tomfoolery". starcasm.net. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  20. ^ Carlos, Henrique (November 9, 2021). "Largados e Pelados Brasil estreia junto com o lançamento do discovery+". Observatório da TV (in Portuguese). Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  21. ^ verTele, Redacción (January 11, 2024). "HBO Max recupera 'Pekín Express' con famosos y anónimos, y anuncia otros dos formatos 'al desnudo' para España". Vertele (in Spanish). Retrieved January 11, 2024.

External links[edit]