• Hollywood’s New Trend: Naked Dating

    by  • May 7, 2014 • Broadcast Decency, Sex, Sexualization • 8 Comments

    Nudity has long been a staple on premium cable networks. But now, “naked dating” programs are poised to become the next big thing on basic cable – and even broadcast – TV.pctimg168

    It’s not news that dramas on premium cable networks like HBO or Showtime – from the earliest days of The Hitchhiker to recent programs like Californication and Game of Thrones – feature nudity…LOTS of nudity. This is so true that one recent Hollywood representative went so far as to state that cable TV has a “mandate for nudity.”

    Premium cable is one thing. To see such programs, viewers need not only to subscribe to cable or satellite TV, they must choose to pay an additional fee on top of the basic package, just for the privilege of seeing the shows they want. But basic cable – that received by everyone with a cable or other pay-TV subscription, and featuring channels like USA or Animal Planet – has largely been free of nudity. 

    Until now.

    Sadly, it was the previously highbrow and family-friendly Discovery Channel which began the trend last year, with its series Naked and Afraid. In this so-called “reality” program, two strangers (of the opposite sex, naturally) were marooned together on a deserted island or other harsh environment, where they had to fight to survive…without clothes. This unnecessarily prurient element detracted from the supposed purpose of the show, but did result in Discovery – perhaps in the first time in its existence – being perceived as “edgy,” the goal of all entertainment industry executives.

    Not long thereafter,  the former music network VH1 jumped on the bandwagon and announced it would air Naked Dating, a “provocative” show featuring a naked man and woman “stripped of their pretenses” at a “remote, exotic location.” Both contestants are urged to “date” multiple other nude people in every episode.

     With Naked Dating on basic cable, the floodgates have opened. According to The Wrap, “broadcast and cable programming executives have [ said] they’re being flooded with pitches for naked dating shows…One executive told [said] he has already seen ‘a dozen naked dating pitches’ cross his desk this year.” And executives for the TLC network (already home to such programs as Sex Sent Me to the ER) told The Wrap they have received similar pitches, including a nude matchmaker show, and a show exploring nudist colonies.

    Worst of all, the Fox broadcasting network (not Fox News) – which is not a cable or satellite network, but which uses the publicly-owned airwaves — is also considering a “naked dating” show, in which contestants would stand naked and choose each other to go on dates. No doubt Fox would schedule this program to run immediately after the family hit American Idol, as they did with the execrable The Moment of Truth some years ago.

    Needless to say, this is not a development to which most families would subscribe. Nobody in the TV viewing audience is crying out for dozens of shows featuring nudity. (Those few who do want it presumably already subscribe to the Playboy Channel or a similar network.)

    Yet as always, the media will have its way. Fox broadcasting could be in serious legal trouble if they go ahead with their show; broadcasters are specifically banned from showing “sexual or excretory” content during the daytime and prime-time hours. On basic cable, there are no such legal barriers…and unfortunately, cable and satellite subscribers can be (and currently are) forced to subsidize hundreds of programs on dozens of channels they never watch, don’t want, and find offensive. Leave it to VH1 and the other cable networks to force still more on the viewing public.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    8 Responses to Hollywood’s New Trend: Naked Dating

    1. Warner Miller
      May 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm


    2. Joyce Gilliland
      May 9, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Nudity does not belong on TV or in public. It is for private only. NO EXCEPTIONS. even when you put nudity in programs such as documentaries of anatomy it is not necessary. We need to keep some things private and nudity/sex needs to be private. Nudity is for the sanctity of marriage.

      • May 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

        The issues that we are dealing with today clearly shows how far down the gutter we have gone in our modern culture. Since we live in a perverted culture and since many of the people who have the power to decide what will air on television are either money hungry or perverted themselves, the kind of filth that is being proposed to air on television does not surprise me. This should strengthen the resolve all of us Christians and moral-abiding citizens to say enough is enough. This can not happen on our watch. We must guard our heart, minds and eyes as well as those of our children so we can maintain lives of integrity. The only place where God condones nudity is within the sanctity of marriage. Let us take a righteous stand and trust that as we act that God will intervene on our behalf because He is all about living a life of purity.

        Victor Torres


      • Marq Potter
        May 12, 2014 at 9:40 am

        I totally agree Mr. Cathey.

    3. James Cathey
      May 9, 2014 at 4:00 am

      I really can’t put it into words. We as a country has reached about as low as we can fall. We have reached a point that we have to be watchful for the ads on between the show break away time. We have a 12-8-7- year olds in our home. Ads you place on the screen are unfit for them ( or any one for that matter ) to view. Sex and nudity is not what belongs in our home and We sure don’t want to pay for it to be on and air for our family. We are going to cancel our Direct TV. We are tired of being a monitor every time any of us want to watch TV. I am going to contact every one on our list and as them to join us in our fight against slime on our screen! I am in a power chair most of the time so it ” was ” it was a good way to pass time! We can no longer watch such harmful viewing! You are what to watch!
      James Cathey

    4. Greg
      May 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      We have long awaited the sleazy programs to publicly address their deficiencies. Maybe this is their way of baring their shortcomings.

    5. James
      May 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      What is so offensive about the human body? You say your organization is about protecting children but is there any proof nonsexual nudity can harm a child? No, of course not or else Europe and many other cultures would be screwed. Most other western countries consider American culture view of this unhealthy. Though I will give your group credit at least you do go after Hollywood for the increasingly graphic violence on TV. I don’t have issues with violence on TV but they treat it like it is nothing, air it at anytime of the day and don’t rate it properly so they deserve to be criticized for it.

    6. Dana
      May 8, 2014 at 7:35 am

      It kills me when a former quality channel like VH1–VIDEO HITS ONE–hops on the “naked” bandwagon.

      I have nothing against nudity and such per se. I just wish it didn’t have to be on EVERY (other) show they’re cranking out nowadays just because “it’s cheaper and makes money”–especially on cable stations no longer remaining true to their names.

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