Worst-Case Scenario



Urban survival series is both dramatic and educational.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series offers step-by-step instructions how to get out of life-threatening situations, and/or to help other people, starting with calling 911.

Positive role models

Despite his flair for the dramatic, Grylls educates people on how to save their lives and the lives of others. Parents should take care to discuss why -- even if Grylls is a role model -- why they shouldn't copy his behavior.


The series contains images of people trapped in burning and/or sinking cars, capsized boats, and other potentially fatal situations. People are shown on fire, drowning, screaming in pain, and/or unconscious.

Not applicable

Occasional bad words like “s--t” are fully bleeped. These words are usually uttered when someone is injured and screams out in pain.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series -- which features information on how to survive life-threatening situations in urban environments -- contains lots of violent images (car crashes, explosions, capsizing boats) as well as images of people in pain, on fire, drowning, and/ unconscious, but most of these images are offered in an educational context. Occasional curses like “s- -t” (uttered out of pain) are bleeped. Younger and/more sensitive viewers may find the show a little overwhelming. Kids should be warned that the recreations/stunts featured are extremely dangerous and should NOT be attempted.

What's the story?

WORST-CASE SCENARIO is an educational reality show that offers step-by-step instructions how to survive life-threatening situations in urban environments. Hosted by survivalist Bear Grylls, the series features dramatic re-creations of car explosions, boating accidents, and other potentially fatal situations to demonstrate the actions that people should take to survive them. Trivia questions about how to get out of some non-fatal situations (like separating fingers after accidentally gluing them together) are also answered. The show also allows viewers to see the real dangers the host and crew face when staging the dramatic re-creations at the end of the program.

Is it any good?


The series uses spectacular images of accidents, collisions, and other treacherous situations to create teachable moments designed to help people survive unexpected disasters and/or violent events. Grylls offers explanations of the specific hazards associated with each event, and offers practical advice about what to do and what to avoid when trying to help themselves and/or other people. Also helpful is the repetition of key steps at the end of each demonstration.

There’s a lot to be learned here, but younger and/or more sensitive viewers may find some of these scenes a bit frightening. But for those who can handle it, the show offers a wealth of practical information designed to save lives. And no matter what your idea of a worst-case scenario is, the show’s message about avoiding panic, being prepared, and using common sense whenever confronted with a bad situation will be helpful in any situation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what to do when confronted with a worst-case scenario. How can some of these scenarios be avoided? Does your family have an emergency plan for specific situations, like a house fire or an earthquake? Parents: How can you discuss some of these things with your kids without frightening them? Kids: Can you think of some scenarios that you think your family needs to talk more about in order to feel more prepared for it?

  • What kind of training does Grylls have that makes it safe for him to re-create these dangerous events? Does watching the show make you feel like copying what you see? What aspects of the re-creations do you think happen offscreen?

TV details

Cast:Bear Grylls
Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

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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.

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Parent Written byMrBoo July 18, 2010
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old July 1, 2010

a little overdramatic

but good.


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