Will 2012 Be The Golden Age Of Survival Shows?

There has been no shortage of survival-themed television programming in recent years, and that trend looks to be continuing in 2012. So get your popcorn, settle into your favorite chair, and prepare to be disgusted, angered, amazed and occasionally stupefied.

A time-tested crowd pleaser, CBS's Survivor is gearing up for its twenty-fourth season. What you may not know about Survivor is that it has spawned more than 16 other Survivor programs overseas. So if you lived in South Africa, you'd be watching a whole different Survivor show. These shows are more about drama and head games than they are about survival, but let's face the facts: 24 seasons plus more than a dozen spin-offs is pretty impressive.

The Discovery channel, however, is not to be outdone. In the past couple of years, Discovery seems to have cornered the survival reality-TV market.

Discovery's successful Bear Grylls vehicle, Man vs. Wild, just finished airing its eighth season. Their newer show Man, Woman, Wild, just finished its second season. It's likely that these shows will be back for more in the coming year.

We do know that another popular Discovery show has already been picked up for this year. Dual Survival is preparing to shoot their third season, starting late January or February. There are numerous stories on the web that one of the two stars of this show will be replaced. We'll have to wait to see if these claims are legitimate.

And if all those shows aren't enough to slake your survival TV thirst, the History Channel is sure to air more programs about aliens building pyramids and the Mayan doomsday (which hasn't happened yet, but is still somehow historical, apparently).

On a more realistic front, rumors throughout the survival industry suggest that there will be a new wilderness survival show from Discovery UK, as well as a domestic Discovery documentary series on "preppers". I can't wait…

Got a favorite survival TV show? Loathe them all? Let us know in the comments.