Last month, VH1 premiered Dating Naked, a dating show where potential couples go on first dates while completely naked. Tomorrow, GSN will premiere Skin Wars, a competition show about artists who use nude people as their canvases. This may seem like a new trend, but there have actually been plenty of shows that require their participants to be in the buff. So here’s a ranking of TV’s top ten naked reality programs — both the ones that made it to the small screen and the crazy ideas that never aired.
10. Fox’s untitled, possibly scrapped naked dating show
Never one to ignore an awful TV trend, Fox announced plans for its own dating naked show, in which contestants would date each other in front of a live studio audience. But after casting was finished, the plans were suddenly paused when Kevin Reilly left the network. If it does actually happen, it could surpass just about everything else on this list — an insider claimed there were “overtones of a live sex show,” which just sounds ridiculous.
9. Naked Vegas
Syfy’s Naked Vegas centers on a body painting business in Las Vegas. In each episode, the cast is faced with the task of creating fascinating art on nude bodies, usually to help promote a business’ opening. The art is great, but the program is boring.
8. The Nak’d Truth
For a show that never aired, there was much ado surrounding this project, specifically as it entered the casting stage. The Nak’d Truth was basically set up to be The Real World: Nudist Colony. If the show had worked out, it would’ve been an amazing wreck. Instead, it simply disappeared with no updates from any of the producers.
7. Skin Wars
Skin Wars premieres tonight, August 6, on GSN. It’s sort of a carbon copy of Naked Vegas but with the typical reality-competition aspect thrown in. Hosted by Rebecca Romijn, Skin Wars “seeks to find the most skillful, accomplished and versatile body painters in the country” and, as the press release hilariously boasts, “marks television’s first-ever body painting competition show.” Congrats, GSN! The competition — the contestants are fighting to win $100,000 cash — makes this show much better than Naked Vegas, but it’s still not too engaging.
6. The Naked Office
This UK reality show, which aired on Channel 4 in 2009, is the brainchild of business guru David Taylor. In The Naked Office, Taylor helps businesses boost their morale by implementing “Naked Fridays,” in which the employees show up to work in the nude. It’s the silliest idea of all the naked TV shows, but it’s so awkward to watch.
5. Dating Naked
Dating Naked, a perfect blend of embarrassing dating shows and faux-shocking nudity, premiered last month on VH1. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been keeping up with the program — it hasn’t gotten any better or worse but has stayed wonderfully middling — and that it’s great, mindless entertainment. To go a step further, VH1 just announced that it will air a Dating Naked wedding special where two couples who met on the show will get married — while naked, of course.
4. Adam zkt Eve
Adam zkt Eve, which roughly translates to Adam Looking For Eve, is the Dutch version of the Dating Naked. Once again, two contestants go on an awkward date while naked. To add to the drama, a third person is introduced halfway through the episode to shake things up. The real distinction between this and its American counterparts is that, due to the Netherlands’ lax TV restrictions, the entire program is uncensored.
3. Naked Castaway
Discovery Channel’s miniseries Naked Castaway is about survival. Starring — and entirely shot by — Ed Stafford, the first person to walk the length of the Amazon River. The series follows him for 60 days as he’s dropped on a desert island with no food, tools, film crew, or clothes. For a show that relied on the novelty of nudity, the end result was surprisingly riveting.
2. Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid is another nude survival show — how great is it to live in a world with more than one! — but focuses on multiple people. In each episode, two strangers are paired and stranded together with no food or clothes, and have to survive 21 days. It’s an intense watch, with or without the nudity.
1. Buying Naked
It’s weird to say that there is a “best” naked reality show, yet Buying Naked is pretty good! This TLC show is about a real estate agent who works with nudists trying to find a home in clothing-optional communities. It’s strange, funny, and the right amount of awkward. It’s also oddly informative if you’re ever looking to become a nudist and need to know which houses best suit your lifestyle (hint: avoid sharp corners).