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‘Off the Grid’ Shows, Off the Hook Numbers

Programmers at Discovery Channel, History and Animal Planet undoubtedly agree: Viewers were enthralled by “off-the-grid” docuseries this summer, according to a Ratings Intelligence analysis of Nielsen data.

Discovery’s Naked and Afraid XL finished as one of the 10 highest-rated primetime cable series of the third quarter, and was the second-highest-rated cable series to premiere during Q3. (AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead was No. 1).

Not only did XL out-perform the original Naked and Afraid this summer in the key demos and in average total viewers, but it also out-performed fellow Discovery series and cable powerhouse Alaskan Bush People. Naked and Afraid XL was the network’s highest-rated series of the summer. Needless to say, Discovery has a hit among both men and women.

Four of the 25 most-watched cable series of the quarter fell into the “off-the-grid” category: Naked and Afraid, Naked and Afraid XL, and History’s duo of Mountain Men and new hit series Alone.

The Last Alaskans averaged more than 1.5 million viewers on a live-plus-3-day basis in its rookie season on Animal Planet. That’s the highest total viewer average of any Animal Planet series this year.

Based on ratings hauled in by these “off-the-grid” series, expect this genre to stick around for a while.