Gutsche believes this move toward more controversial programming is Discovery Channel's way of luring in a larger audience. He states, "[Today's culture is] a media-cluttered culture, and there are just too many options. Nude contestants is definitely a way to stand out." This thought rings true even before either show's actual release, with such media authorities as Robert Galinsky, founder of the New York Reality TV School, sharing thoughts on the controversy. Though many see this risky move as a simple eyeball-grabbing strategy, some see nudity-based programming as a step towards a more raw, genuine form of entertainment.
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Discovery Channel Doubles Down on Nudity-Based Programming
By: Eric Spitznagel
Nancy Daniels, Discovery Channel’s executive vice president of production and development, won’t say whether the network is trying to corner the market on nudist television. “Both shows came to us via very different routes,” she says, “and they both represent the ultimate in survival challenges. With the word ‘naked’ in the title, there is obvious immediate interest.” But it’s not just the suggestive titles that could potentially lure viewers. “Seeing other people naked is one of our basic needs and instincts,” says Robert Galinsky, founder of the New York Reality TV School. “They’re taking the reality show premise and stripping it down to the bare essentials, pun intended.”
Trend expert Jeremy Gutsche says Discovery is trying to distinguish itself in a crowded field. “One of the problems that all networks are facing right now is finding ways to attract younger viewers,” he says. “It’s a media-cluttered culture, and there are just too many options. Nude contestants is definitely a way to stand out.”