Running Wild with Bear Grylls TV Poster Image

Running Wild with Bear Grylls



Celebs learn survival skills in tense, exhilarating series.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Grylls is much admired for his skills in living off the land, which sends a message of respect for the environment and harmony with nature. Strength, perseverance, and smarts also are admired on this show.

Positive role models

The celebs who come to have adventures with Grylls are game and do their best. Grylls himself is a strong, smart, brave outdoorsman with plenty of survival and teaching skills.


Participants are often in some kind of danger: clinging to the side of a mountain, parachuting, rope-climbing over steep, high and slippery cliffs. The camera emphasizes heights and danger. Dead animals are seen and killed for food on-screen. 

Not applicable

Infrequent language: "I don't know why the hell I'm doing this."


Participants are celebrities; their projects may be plugged or at least mentioned. Some of these projects may not be appropriate for young kids.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that in Running Wild with Bear Grylls the famed outdoorsman/survivalist leads celebrities on vigorous natural quests. There's very little iffy content, but younger or sensitive kids may be scared by stunts such as rappelling down very steep, slippery slopes, jumping out of planes and helicopters, and crossing deep gulches on a rope. Those with a fear of heights may find many of Grylls-and-company's activities to be nail-bitingly scary. There also are gross-out moments, as when Grylls and a friend find a ripe groundhog corpse in a river and slice it open. 

What's the story?

It seems like Average Jane and Joe viewers aren't alone in envying nature superhero Bear Grylls for his survivalist skills: Celebrities, too, have watched his shows and wanted to play (fight, climb, kill, camp) along. In RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS, an hour-long series, famous people from Zac Efron to Channing Tatum to Tom Arnold do just that. Each week, a different celebrity takes a two-day adventure with Grylls, always getting from one point to another in the most adventurous way possible. You wouldn't want to try these stunts at home, but they're a lot of fun to watch on TV.

Is it any good?


You probably already know if you're the kind of person who will enjoy Running Wild with Bear Grylls, and that answer is best predicated on whether you enjoyed Grylls' other one-lone-man-against-cruel-nature shows, such sa Man vs. Wild. The chief appeal is Grylls' go-for-broke spirit. A 150-foot waterfall stands between you and the thing you want to get to? Wrap a rope around your body and lower yourself down! Can't find any food? Dig yourself up some healthy worm protein! 

Adding in a queasy, nervous celebrity gives the whole undertaking more cringe appeal. Grylls has no trouble tucking into a pot of worms, but the look on Zac Efron's face is worth it. Viewers who don't enjoy watching others in physical jeopardy (albeit well-planned and picturesque jeopardy) will be turned off by the derring-do; those with a sporty or survivalist bent themselves will probably want to watch for a bit of wish fulfillment. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the adventures Bear Grylls and his guests go on look fun and exciting or scary and miserable. Are they supposed to look like fun? Why, or why not?

  • Shows in which people are put into difficult situations and then watched as they struggle are common on television. Why? What's interesting about these situations? Are they particularly pleasant to watch from the perspective of a comfy couch?

  • Did watching any of Bear Grylls' celebrity guests make you respect or like them more or less? Do you think this was the reaction the celebrity was hoping for when he or she agreed to appear?

TV details

Cast:Bear Grylls, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Running Wild with Bear Grylls was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement