I love survival shows and reality shows, and want to share some of my favorites with you. TV survival and reality shows are instructional, a reenactment of a true story, a dangerous occupation or an adventure, and make us feel like we have experienced the harsh struggle right along with the featured people. We’ve all seen wilderness survival, urban survival, crab fishing in the Bering Sea and all sorts of great subjects, allowing us to learn and be entertained at the same time.
It is hard to pick, but here are a few of these wonderful programs. They are from a variety of channels including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Outdoor Channel, Spike TV, truTV and CBS. I know there are more out there, but in this article we’ll try to pick the cream of the crop.
* Survivor from CBS combines wilderness survival as a team player and as individuals in this competition for a top prize of $1,000,000. Players need to outwit, outplay and outsurvive the others, as the competitors are eliminated at different stages. This is one of the first and best TV reality shows, and has lasted quite some time.
* Deadliest Catch from Discovery Channel features crab fishing in the Bering Sea, and follows several boats and crews during the different crab fishing seasons. These are tough captains and fisherman in one of the most dangerous occupations around. This program portrays the difficulties of the weather, working conditions and the personal stories of each crew member. This is another one of my favorite TV reality shows, and continues to be watched by many fans.
* Dual Survival, one of the Discovery Channel survival shows, features both survival experts Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury. This program is both instructional and entertaining, and shows a variety of climates and conditions. Cody Lundin is more of the hippie type minimalist/survivalist and Dave Canterbury has a military/hunting survivalist background. Both men come from unique perspectives, giving the viewers great insight and knowledge.
* Man vs. Wild features Bear Grylls, who served with the United Kingdom Special Forces. This is another one of Discovery Channel survival shows, and puts Bear in different locations all over the world. Man vs. Wild keeps your attention, and gives another way to survive the elements in both wilderness and urban environments.
* The Best Defense: Survival! is from one of the Outdoor Channel survival shows. This program’s hosts are Michael Bane, Michael Janich and Rob Pincus, who also host The Best Defense. This program is highly instructional, showing urban survival skills with episodes on the survival room, food, water, medical, security, transportation/bugout, bugin/shelter in place. Urban survival supplies and skills are a great addition for most viewers, giving instruction and plans for a variety of situations.
* Surviving Disaster from Spike TV, led by Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, is also one of the best survival shows I have ever seen. Surviving Disaster episodes include Hijack, Towering Inferno, Hurricane, Earthquake, Home Invasion, Avalanche, Lost at Sea, Mall Shooting, Nuclear Attack and Pandemic. Cade Courtley and his expert instruction could save your life, so please watch and pay close attention to this excellent program on Spike TV.
* I Shouldn’t Be Alive from Animal Planet reenacts true survival stories. There is something different about a program when you know that it really happened. Unlike the other programs, this one has the survivor tell their own personal story, with amazing real survival situations. They range from mountaineering, plane crashes, lost at sea, lost in the Outback of Australia and many other life-threatening ordeals. Animal Planet has the story reenacted, with the real survivor narrating the events. These are truly amazing survival stories.
* The Amazing Race is another of CBS TV reality shows, and is an adventure and competition between teams. Each pair is given instruction and limited resources to travel between a variety of locations, and tasks have to be completed along the way. After each stage, the last team to arrive at the destination is eliminated. This show is extremely popular.
* Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on truTV may not be your typical program, but in order to survive, you need to know what is really going on in the world. Jesse Ventura and the investigative team from truTV dig deep to research, do interviews and present the facts behind difficult conspiracy theories. Episodes include subjects such as Lyme Disease, secret societies, Wallstreet, JFK Assassination, HAARP (weather modification), Big Brother, 9/11 and many other interesting topics.
*Expedition Impossible on ABC is one of the newest TV survival reality shows, and looks to be an excellent adventure competition. This program comes from Executive Producer Mark Burnett, who also produces Survivor and The Apprentice. Expedition Impossible features 13 3-person teams, as they must complete a stage of the journey each week, with 10 stunning legs to travel. The first team to finish wins $50,000 for each member and a brand new Ford Explorer. This will be an excellent survival and reality show.
These are some of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy them too. As mentioned earlier, there are so many more TV survival shows and reality shows that are on now and from the past that are great too, but these are my 10 top picks. Education and fun combined is surely the best way to keep the mind sharp.
By Susan Hovis
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