Life Below Zero: Next Generation season 4’s new and returning cast members (2024)

National Geographic Channel’s hit franchise reality show Life Below Zero is returning this fall with new seasons of both the original show and Life Below Zero: Next Generation, and the schedule has been set for their returns, with both sharing the same premiere date.

Life Below Zero: Next Generation is changing its cast for its fourth season by adding two new cast members. Last season, it dropped Michael Manzo and added a new family.

Life Below Zero season 16—which is also being referred to as season 18, though on Disney+ the show has just 17 seasons listed—features the same cast members as last season.

Behind the scenes of Life Below Zero are some currently Emmy-nominated crew members: The show was nominated for three 2021 Emmys, in cinematography, editing, and sound mixing, and won two Emmys. Over its life, Life Below Zero has been nominated for 14 Emmys and won five times.

Life Below Zero’s 2021 cast

All of the seven primary cast members for Life Below Zero season 16/18 are returning to be filmed during the Alaskan winter in remote areas of Alaska.

Here are their NatGeo bios, which outline what will be happening to them this season:

Sue Aikens

Sue Aikens lives 500 miles from the nearest city and 80 miles from the closest road with 83 grizzly bears as her neighbors. She is the sole owner and operator of Kavik River Camp, a base of refuge on the North Slope that she calls home. Sue is tough as nails, having survived a near-deadly grizzly bear attack but lived to tell the tale. Sue recognizes she lives in bear country; they are not in hers. In addition to her business in Kavik, she also recently purchased property of her own, a remote cabin in Chena where she spends several months out of the year. Although it is closer to the road system, Sue faces the challenges of new terrain and new threats in Chena. As she gets older, she learns the limitations of her aging body as the obstacles seem to mount. She is never one to back away from a challenge and there are always challenges in the tundra. She must always think ahead as the constant question of “what if” looms overhead. This season, Sue prepares for those worse-case scenarios by getting back to basics. She tests her ingenuity and resolve as she outfits herself with primitive tools of survival, navigates the ever-changing landscape and copes with the uncertainty of life after Kavik.

Ricko DeWilde

Ricko DeWilde was born and raised in the Alaskan bush, away from any form of civilization for 18 years. He is a native Athabascan and was brought up with his 13 brothers and sisters in a remote cabin his family built, 40 miles from the nearest village. After a rough transition from the village to civilization, Ricko eventually moved back to the wilderness where he feels most at home and prides himself as a family man with five kids of his own. He divides his time between a home in Fairbanks and a connection to his past at his family’s cabin in Huslia, where he must rely on his own knowledge of the land to survive. When he’s away from society, Ricko practices native traditions and ways of hunting and fishing that were passed down from a generation of elders. He is purely a subsistence hunter and takes only what he and his family need from the land. His life motto: “Every day, you work to survive.” This season, Ricko imparts his wisdom on his youngest children, teaching them how to live off the land and the importance of respecting the land at the same time. The kids learn how to hunt and trap as they strengthen the bond with their father as well as their heritage.

The Hailstones

Chip and Agnes Hailstone live on the Kobuk River in the North West of Alaska, where they have raised their seven children. Agnes is native Inupiaq and works daily with her daughters and grandson to pass down her native culture. Both Chip and Agnes teach their daughters and grandchildren traditional and modern ways of hunting and gathering on native lands so that they will be able to provide for themselves and their future families. Part of living off the land is being ready, going with nature’s flow, weather and available materials. The Hailstones move seasonally to track down the best hunt, setting up tents in the snow or on the ice, each of them playing an active role in keeping the family alive: hunting, fishing, skinning, tanning and crafting the animal remains to trade and barter. Many of Chip and Agnes’ skills have been passed down to their children and grandchildren, giving them the ability to survive and continue to live using Inupiaq traditions. They hunt bear, caribou, bison, wolf, fox, wolverine, walrus, fish, waterfowl and seal. They use the entire animal they harvest including the skin, teeth and bones to make arts and crafts to sell. This season, the Hailstones will focus on showing their youngest children, Carol and Qutan, how to subsist on their own so that they too will be able to provide for their own families when the time comes.

Andy Bassich and Denise Becker

Andy Bassich and Denise Becker live on the Yukon River, where the only way in or out is by boat or snow machine. Andy moved to Alaska from Washington, D.C., to explore this area, which he knew little about. When Andy first arrived, this was raw land. He built his life from scratch, from a vision he had. To live and survive in the Alaskan bush, Andy learned to make something out of the raw materials provided to him in this environment. Andy hunts, harvests, grows and brews 80% of what he eats and drinks – moose, black bear, caribou, salmon, mountains of vegetables, and beer, of course. Andy’s nickname is MacGyver; his survival knowledge is largely self-taught, and he will turn his hand to anything, whether it is making his own bullets and knives or building his own house. Andy’s girlfriend, Denise Becker, is a native of Saskatchewan and a trauma nurse in Florida. As she continues to grow as a person and bush survivalist, she is now adding valuable skills and input to Andy’s life. Although she is still out of her element at times, she has settled in nicely to Andy’s way of life and continues to learn from Andy’s teachings. Although she has a long way to go to master life along the Yukon River, she believes that she is now finally at home in Calico Bluff. Both hard workers and independent thinkers, Andy and Denise rely on one another, which proves to be one of their biggest assets in their quest for an independent lifestyle. This season, they will look to improve aspects of their lifestyle so that they will hopefully secure their legacies in Alaska and be able to one day sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Jessie Holmes

Jessie Holmes lives in Brushkana, Alaska, along the waterways with his trusted team of sled dogs that he has bred, raised and trained on his own. He left his home of Alabama at age 16, making his way to Alaska by jumping freight trains. In the years he’s been in the bush, Jessie has acquired many skills from Alaskan “old-timers” including carpentry, which has enabled him not only to sustain a remote lifestyle but also make a living building boats, sleds and cabins as a means of survival. Jessie strives to carry on Alaskan traditions, particularly as an avid dog musher with his sights on winning the Iditarod. However, although he originally purchased land in Brushkana for the region’s optimal dog training conditions, now that he is settling in, Jessie is beginning to think of himself as more of a survivalist than simply a dog musher. This season, Jessie continues to build on his property in Brushkana, exploring new areas of the landscape in hopes of living the life he always dreamed of: a man in the wild, surviving and thriving with his best friends by his side. This is the first real home Jessie has ever had, and he won’t be satisfied until he knows everything there is to know about how to survive in its terrain.

Life Below Zero: Next Generation season 4’s cast

Life Below Zero: Next Generation season 4’s new and returning cast members (1)

Season two—or the second half of season one, depending upon how you’re counting—of Life Below Zero: Next Generation aired in 2021 and featuredJohnny Rolfe, Michael Manzo, Alex Javor, Kaleb and Brittany Rowland, and Chris and Jessi Morse.

It dropped Michael Manzo as a cast member for season three, and added a new family of five: the Roach family, which includes three kids ages 5, 7, and 9.

For season four, which premieres Jan. 18, 2022, airing Tuesdays at 8, the show has added two new cast members: Robert and RJ Miller, a father-son duo; Robert’s also has a wife and daughter.

Here are Life Below Zero: Next Generation’s season 4 cast members, and their NatGeo bios:

The Rowlands

Kaleb Rowland grew up in McCarthy, Alaska. The picturesque hamlet and old mining town sits on the South side of Kennecott Glacier, a stunning location rich with history and resources abound. When Kaleb was 19, he moved to Fairbanks to pursue a job as a commercial fisherman but quickly grew tired of the city lights and growing population, and moved back to his hometown where he met his wife, Brittany, in 2011. After getting married the next year on the Fourth of July, the couple made the decision to stay in McCarthy to raise their two young children – Gilbert, 6, and Elovie, 4. The couple has five acres of land where they are slowly building their ideal family compound. To provide his family, Kaleb works as pilot, builder and jack-of-all-trades. McCarthy is his home and his heart, and he works tirelessly to preserve the town by selflessly helping neighbors with building projects, hauling junk away and fixing cars. Brittany, who was born in Fairbanks and lived in Anchorage, admits she’s much more of a city gal but understands Kaleb must live this lifestyle in order to be happy and wants their children to grow up with the lessons and one-of-a-kind experiences McCarthy gave him as a child. Both Kaleb and Brittany want to teach their children the necessary skills so they are able to one day be self-sustaining individuals. Together the family hunts bear, moose and caribou, traps for beaver, and fishes for salmon. Brittany and Kaleb are steadfast in their plan to continue to build onto their compound in order to secure generations of Rowlands to come.

Alex Javor

Army veteran Alex Javor, originally from Alabama, moved to Alaska six years ago after watching an episode of Life Below Zero and heard the wilds of Alaska calling, making it his ultimate dream to live a subsistence lifestyle in the remote expanse only Alaska can give. From 2013 to 2015, that dream was briefly a reality when he bought a piece of land in Bear Creek, Alaska, and successfully built a small cabin and lived off the land. He was instantly hooked with the freedom this lifestyle provided him.

After over a year of trying to survive off the land in Bear Creek, essential resources have finally run dry for Alex Javor. Before it’s too late, it is critical he use this time to move to a new, more remote location near Deadman Lake. This will not be an easy task, as Alex is starting from zero again. In order to restart his bush living, he must build a new shelter, gather wood and water, and hope to harvest fresh fish and meat. Alex has been working for years to build and hone the skills necessary for a venture like this, and now is the time to test his mettle.

The Roach Family

Chevie Roach, 37, and wife Sonta Hamilton, 34, both born and raised in Alaska, live in Shageluck, Alaska, with their three children: Emery, 5; Ryder, 7; and Sydney, 9. Chevie was born in Fairbanks, grew up in Tok and moved to Shageluck after meeting Sonta. Sonta was born and raised in Shageluck. Her parents still live there today. The couple are heavily involved in the community – Chevie is the mayor and Sonta is the schoolteacher. Chevie also runs a local store which he built himself named The Flyaway. Prior to this, Chevie was a tribal officer. Shageluck is a remote town of 80 people; the only way in or out is by boat or plane. Shageluk is an Athabascan village located on the east bank of the Innoko River, approximately 20 miles east of Anvik and 34 miles northeast of Holy Cross. The Roach family relies on subsistence activities to survive – they fish for king salmon, dog salmon and white fish in June/July. August is fall chum and silver salmon. They hunt ducks, geese, moose and black bears in the fall; and wolverine, wolves, lynx, martin, mink, otter, beaver and fox in the winter. Come spring, they hunt black bear, geese, ducks and mallards.

Chris and Jessi Morse

Native Alaskans Chris and Jessi Morse have been married for seven years. The couple, which met in school, has spent much of their time in a cabin on the outskirts of Fairbanks, Alaska. With businesses popping up around them at record speeds and the inability to hunt, fish and live life on their own terms, their ultimate goal is to move permanently 100 miles away to their very remote cabin along the Cosna River. Realizing how expensive and challenging it is to live a complete off-grid lifestyle, the couple works various 9-to-5 jobs in the City of Fairbanks to save up and move out to their cabin and leave city life behind – for good. They reject conforming to societal norms where wealth is measured by your car or the clothes you wear. For them, wealth is determined by the fulfillment and happiness they get from living in the wild and the river cabin is exactly that. In 1974, Chris’ father spent a year building the homestead – one main cabin, a guest cabin and a bathhouse. Chris spent much of his childhood there and is now looking to continue those traditions and skills as an adult. Once at the cabin completely removed from civilization, Chris and Jessi will hunt bear, moose and caribou, trap beaver, and fish for salmon, whitefish and pike. As this cabin has only served the couple as a temporary respite from the city, this full-time move is a big step in their need to declare complete independence from the ties of the modern world. Chris and Jessi will struggle and experience growing pains in order to survive their first year out in the bush.

Johnny Rolfe

Originally from Chesterton Indiana, Johnny Rolfe, 36, and his dog Java live a semi-nomadic lifestyle completely off the grid with no modern utilities such as running water or electricity. He spends his spring and summer in Fritz Creek where he subsides off bear, salmon, halibut, clams, and other sea life as well as local plants and mushrooms. In the fall and winter months he can be found 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the harsh Brooks Range competing with wolves, wolverine and grizzly bears as they fight for the same food source-caribou.

Johnny fell in love with Alaska when he was just 8 years old while looking at a National Parks book he found in his parents basem*nt. Since then, he did everything he could to make his dream a reality. But with that comes new challenges he’s never faced in the lower 48, including a grizzly bear coming into his camp and stealing his winters’ supply of caribou meat. Johnny’s goal when moving to Alaska was to never buy meat again.

He prides himself on living as minimally as possible and spending money on only what he needs. If Johnny wants something he will find a way to make it himself, an accomplished builder, Johnny is able to MacGyver anything using only primitive tools and what he can source from the land. His restless soul keeps him on the move, always looking for new land to explore and hunt and new bodies of water to fish which satisfies his pioneer spirit as well as his subsistence ways.

Robert & RJ Miller

Father-son duo, Robert, 49, and RJ, 25, have Tlingit Native heritage and live in Sitka, Alaska. Robert is a hard-working Alaskan who is a Fisheries Biologist for the U.S. Forest Service restoring salmon habitats and who has his own business hand-making and selling garments out of furs he harvests. RJ makes his money as a charter boat captain. For both, their main passion remains living a subsistence lifestyle. Robert and his wife Alycia met online, and she moved to Alaska ten years ago, after they fell in love. The couple have a 9-year-old daughter named Eva who loves coming with dad and RJ on camping trips. For Robert, wealth is being able to share food with the community, and Robert and RJ take pride in hunting to provide food for those who aren’t able to hunt, including their elders. They’ll spend weeks on end camping and boating 50 miles outside of Sitka to fulfill their subsistence needs. They must always be on the lookout; Sitka has the highest density of brown bears in the world.

This story was updated in January 2022 with Life Below Zero: The Next Generation’s new cast, and related details.

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Life Below Zero: Next Generation season 4’s new and returning cast members (2024)


What happened to Chris and Jessi on Life Below Zero? ›

Chris and Jessi lived @ the Cosna until 2022 when a huge wildfire came through and took 30,000 acres of subsistence land. They fought through a burned forest, overflow, glare ice, high winds, and freezing weather, not sure if the cabin was still standing or what shape the Homestead was in.

Are Chip and Agnes Hailstone still married? ›

Born on June 14th, 1972, Agnes Hailstones is 48 years old. She has been married to Chip for more than 25 years now.

Who is the wealthiest person on Life Below Zero? ›

How much does Life Below Zero pay? Each member of the Life Below Zero cast has a very different net worth. At the top are Sue Aiken and Jesse Holmes, who are worth an estimated $500,000. Next up is Andy Bassich, who has a net worth of $250,000.

What happened to Andy Bassich on Life Below Zero? ›

Andy Bassich's Life-Threatening Hip Injury

He endured a severe hip injury that required immediate medical attention. Thankfully, he was airlifted to an Anchorage hospital where he underwent surgery and is now on the road to a full recovery.

Did Andy's wife leave him on Life Below Zero? ›

In the year 2015, Kate and Andy called it quits. There was the final edition of divorce a little later. And Kate left him and moved away. She left the show after the divorce, following which the show Life Below Zero died.

What is Jessie Holmes from Life Below Zero doing now? ›

A subsistence resident of Nenana, Jessie currently works as a carpenter and TV personality, appearing in Life below Zero, a documentary television show about the daily lives of people living in remote Alaska. He lists his hobbies as running ultra-marathons, hunting and fishing.

Why did Sue leave Kavik? ›

The 55-year-old also explains she would never be allowed to own the land in Kavik. "I only own the improvements," Sue explained. "The government has the right to kick me off at any point, with no notice if they decided they need the land more than I do. I'm going to start working on my backup plan.

Is Life Below Zero coming back in 2024? ›

Life Below Zero Season 22 Fight the Freeze: Beyond the Tundra Airs January 9 2024 on National Geographic - IMDb.

Who got divorced on Life Below Zero? ›

Andy Bassich – lives on the Yukon River near Eagle, Alaska, with his 25 sled dogs. He came to Alaska after moving from Washington, D.C., with his wife, Kate Bassich. Andy and Kate divorced in 2016.

Why did Kate Bassich leave Life Below Zero? ›

Kate made her last appearance in the episode "Out of Control," but what has she been up to since her departure? Kate officially divorced Andy in 2016, and following their split, she alleged that Andy physically and mentally abused her during their marriage.

What happened to Sue's granddaughter on Life Below Zero? ›

As Sue revealed in a recent episode, her granddaughter Drew McClurg recently died. Sue discussed how important her family is to her in the episode, and seemed genuinely shaken by losing her granddaughter. The exact details around Drew's death aren't available, so we don't know for sure how she died.

Who is the new woman with Andy on Life Below Zero? ›

Here are all the details that you need to know about Andy Bassich and his girlfriend Denise Becker on Life Below Zero; read along to know.

Where does Sue Aikens live now? ›

Sue Aikens' profile summary
NameSue Aikens
ResidenceAlaska, United States
CareerTelevision personality and entrepreneur
17 more rows
Jun 17, 2022

Does Andy on Life Below Zero have a girlfriend? ›

'Life Below Zero' Stars Andy Bassich and His Girlfriend Denise Are Living Their Best Lives. Now that Life Below Zero is officially streaming on Disney Plus, fans of the Alaskan survival show have some questions about some of their favorite residents of rural Alaska.

Is Jesse still on Life Below Zero? ›

“That's what he said.” In the years since, Holmes has continued to appear on “Life Below Zero” and competing in the Iditarod every year. In addition, Holmes is also an ultramarathon runner, usually running between 16 races a year. However, Holmes said his true passion is his dogs.

Does Andy on Life Below Zero have a new girlfriend? ›

Advertisem*nt. Life Below Zero stars Andy Bassich and Denise Becker have been together for a while after they started dating sometime in 2017.

How much does Chris and Jesse make on Life Below Zero? ›

What are cast members on 'Life Below Zero' paid? According to TVStarBio, the cast members of Life Below Zero make roughly $4,500 per episode.

Is Jesse married a Life Below Zero? ›

Therefore, Life Below Zero's Jessie Holmes' wife is nonexistent for now. He has kept his private life of the media for years. However, it is known that he was in a relationship with an unidentified woman when he was based in Eagle. Although he intended to marry her, she left him for another person.

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