Naked and Afraid

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Naked and Afraid
Naked & Afraid logo.jpg
Narrated byMichael Brown
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons13
No. of episodes120 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • David Garfinkle
  • Jay Renfroe
  • Steve Rankin
  • Mathilde Bittner
  • Denise Contis
  • Joseph Boyle
Running time42 minutes
Production companyRenegade 83
Original networkDiscovery Channel
Original releaseJune 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) –
Related showsNaked and Afraid XL
External links

Naked and Afraid is an American reality series that airs on the Discovery Channel. Each episode chronicles the lives of two survivalists (1 man; 1 woman) 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 locale, the partners must build a shelter and find water and food.

The thirteenth season premiered on August 1, 2021.


The events of each couple's quest 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 or boat or other vehicle suitable to 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]




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)
Continent Locations (season number)
Africa Botswana Botswana (3), Madagascar Madagascar (2), Mozambique Mozambique (10), Namibia Namibia (3, 5, 6, 12), South Africa South Africa (7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13), Tanzania Tanzania (1)
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), Nicaragua Nicaragua (3, 4, 6, 9), Panama Panama (1, 5, 7, 9, 10), Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (7)
South America Argentina Argentina (3), Bolivia Bolivia (2), Brazil Brazil (3, 9, 10), Colombia Colombia (4, 6, 7, 10), Ecuador Ecuador (7, 8, 10, 12, 13), Guyana Guyana (4), 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'd 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]


  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"".
  4. ^ "IMA:I'm Alison Teal from Discovery Channel's Naked and Afraid and Alison's Adventures — AMA;-)". Reddit.
  5. ^ "Naked & Afraid review". Variety.
  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. ^ "".
  10. ^ Moylan, Brian (April 20, 2015). "Naked and Afraid is the best reality show on television" – via
  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-)". 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". Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  19. ^ John (August 18, 2016). "Is Naked And Afraid fake? Former participants allege serious tomfoolery". Retrieved April 22, 2021.

External links[edit]