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Out of the Ordinary

Naked Participants on New Discovery Channel Show

Penises! Vaginas!

Now that I have your attention, the Discovery Channel will be blurring out those organs on its new reality show “Naked and Afraid.” This new survival show, which will test participants’ ability to hunt for food and build shelter, will surely push the limits of acceptability (for a reality show, that’s certainly a challenge) because this one drops its cast members into wild, remote locales, completely nude.

“Naked and Afraid” will feature two complete strangers, a man and woman, for 21 days as they work to survive while navigating their way to a predetermined rescue location, one to ten miles from the drop-off point. Each episode features a different couple in a new natural obstacle course and premieres on June 23.

Additionally, the survivalists are allowed one personal item, a “rudimentary map,” and constantly rolling Go Pro cameras. Along with the participants’ camera footage, a four-person crew tracked and shot the couple the entire time. And once a day, the producers collected memory cards from the Go Pros and checked the batteries.

But of course, they’re nude. And while traversing the landscape of Panama, Borneo, or the Maldives might be a first time for the self-identified “survivalists,” the network is totally experienced with these forays. “Naked Castaway,” which premiered in April, featured explorer Ed Stafford as he survived for 60 days without food, tools, or clothing on a remote Fijian island.

Sadly, the storied educational programmer, which has constructed its legacy with documentary series like “Planet Earth” and “Africa” and built its related programming with “Shark Week,” has increasingly turned from non-fiction fare to unscripted work to forage for new viewers.

But back to the cool stuff, Denise Contis, an executive producer on the show, has denied that the Discovery Channel was striving for shock value with the nudity. “It’s the ultimate survival show. Neither of them have clothes and by the time they are on the ground it is a complete non-issue.”

So you decide, and we’ll wait for the next controversy.

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