Press release from History, Sept. 27, 2019:
HISTORY’s new unscripted series “Kings of Pain” follows wildlife biologist Adam Thorn and professional animal handler Rob “Caveman” Alleva as they get bit and stung by some of the most dangerous animals and vicious stinging insects in the world – from a reticulated python to a rove beetle – to create a complete and comprehensive pain index that will ultimately help save lives. The eight-episode, one-hour series premieres Tuesday, November 12 at 10PM ET/PT on HISTORY.
In 1983 entomologist Dr. Justin O. Schmidt began ranking stinging insects on a scale from 1-4, putting himself in harm’s way for science creating the Schmidt sting pain index and authoring the book The Sting of The Wild. Now Thorn and Alleva are taking Schmidt’s pain index even further adding venomous bites and more deadly creatures and ranking them on a 30-point scale with new categories including intensity, duration and damage. Their goal is to create history’s ultimate and fully comprehensive guide to measuring pain. In addition, they will be consulting with Schmidt as they build this new pain index that is completely new to science to be used as an educational tool showcasing which creatures humans should avoid and what to do in the event they do get bitten or stung.
“Insect and other venoms work magic, and, in a sense, pain makes the world go around as it lets all organisms know that something is wrong or dangerous and needs to be acted upon,” said Schmidt. “Rob and Adam are taking the concept of pain and my original pain scale to a higher realm with some of the most impressive stinging and pain-inducing animals we’ve ever seen. In the process, they are advancing our knowledge of pain and the human experience and ultimately we are going to learn so much from this.”
“While the premise of this series may seem crazy, Adam and Rob are wildlife experts on a very important mission,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General Manager for HISTORY. “While most people would flee, Adam and Rob go to great lengths safely scouring remote jungles and secluded beaches to test their pain limits in the name of science. We hope ‘Kings of Pain’ will keep viewers at the edge of their seats during every scream, wince and puncture wound that brings our guys closer to updating history’s ultimate pain index.”
Each episode will chronicle Thorn and Alleva as they track the animal in its natural habitat, safely trap it and then execute the bite or sting on each other, followed by their ranking of the pain results. An onsite medic is present who monitors the health and well-being of both men and describes to viewers exactly what physical and physiological effects each bite and/or sting is creating within their bodies. Along their journey, viewers will also be learning about the history of each animal featured and its often-uncomfortable relationship with humans. Deadly wildlife featured over this eight-episode season include the Nile monitor lizard, executioner wasp, fire urchin, rove beetle, lionfish, scorpion fish, bullet ant, piranha, tarantula hawk, giant Asian centipede and the reticulated python – to name a few. Audiences will also get the chance to travel the world from the remote jungles of Bolivia, the Amazon and Indonesia to the beaches of Bali, South Africa, Mexico and Baja California.
“Kings Of Pain” is produced for HISTORY by Propagate Content. Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, David Carr, Brett-Patrick Jenkins and Laurie Girion are executive producers for Propagate Content. Eli Lehrer, Mary E. Donahue and Max Micallef serve as executive producers for HISTORY.