Survival is one of television's longest-running and most successful nature documentary series. Originally produced by Anglia Television for ITV in the United Kingdom, it was created by Aubrey Buxton, a founder director of Anglia TV, and first broadcast in 1961. Survival films and film-makers won more than 250 awards worldwide, including four Emmy Awards and a BAFTA.
The original series ran for 40 years during which nearly 1000 shows were produced. It was one of the UK's most lucrative television exports, with sales to 112 countries; the highest overseas sales of any British documentary programme. It became the first British programme sold to China, the first to be broadcast simultaneously across the continent of North America and its camera teams were the first to shoot a major wildlife series in the former Soviet Union. It gained a Queen's Awards for Export Achievement in 1974.
Early programmes were all half-hours, but the one-hour Survival Special became ITV’s flagship wildlife documentary for three decades, often attracting audiences of more than 10 million. Series were also made for Channel 4, for CITV and for regional transmission. Survival achieved great popularity in the USA, where a syndicated half-hour series, The World of Survival, ran for 12 years, and numerous one-hour films were aired by broadcasters including NBC, CBS and PBS.