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Gold Rush (titled Gold Rush: Alaska for the first season) is a reality television series that airs on Discovery and its affiliates worldwide. The series follows the placer gold mining efforts of various family-run mining companies mostly in the Klondike region of Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, although the prospecting efforts of Todd Hoffman's 316 Mining company have ranged across both South America and western North America.Contents
The first season (show named Gold Rush: Alaska) featured six men from Sandy, Oregon, a small town 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Portland, who, due to the economic downturn, have lost their jobs. They decided on an all-stakes gamble – travel to Porcupine Creek, Alaska and prospect for gold. Most of the people on the show have little or no previous placer gold mining experience and must learn on the job.Season 2
In season 2, (show renamed to Gold Rush) Todd misses a lease payment on Porcupine Creek and "Dakota" Fred Hurt buys the claim from owner Earl Foster, not needing to honor the lease due to the missed payment. The season explores the Hoffman crew's new mine at Quartz Creek, in the Klondike region of Dawson City, Yukon, Canada as well as "Dakota" Fred's operation at the site of the original Hoffman mine, Porcupine Creek, and Parker Schnabel's attempts to mine his grandfather's property at Big Nugget Mine.
Hurt Crew, Porcupine Creek: 80.4 oz (2,280 g) $125,000
Schnabel Crew, Big Nugget Mine: 34 oz (960 g) $55,000
Hoffman Crew, Quartz Creek: 93.5 oz (2,650 g) $150,000
The third season began in October 2012. The Hoffman crew returned to the Klondike to once again mine the Quartz Creek site but also brought on additional crewmen to simultaneously work another site in the area. But, with Hoffman having delays and equipment trouble at his site, they decided to merge. Parker Schnabel returned to the Big Nugget Mine site with larger and more efficient equipment, while "Dakota" Fred Hurt and his crew returned to the Porcupine Creek site.
The Hoffman crew mined 803oz. of gold earning them over $1.28 million. Parker and Dakota Fred mined 191oz. and 163oz, respectively, worth over a quarter million dollars each. This was a large success in comparison to the first season, where nobody recovered more than 50oz. of gold.Season 4
The fourth season began airing August 2013 and started with a pre-season episode called "The Dirt" featuring interviews with all of the teams featured in season three. "Gold Rush: Guyana South America" features the Hoffman crew in South America, Parker Schnabel guest-mining on new land with mentor Tony Beets in Dawson City, and "Dakota" Fred Hurt and his son Dustin mining at Cahoon Creek, a hard-to-reach, post-glacial area mined only with pickaxes in the late 1800s.
The real Season 4 premiere was October 25, 2013.
The Hoffman crew mined barely 2 ounces of gold and were forced to pack up and leave their Guyana mining operation; the Dakota boys mined 280 oz.; Parker and his crew mined 836 ounces by the end of the season. He then stayed and continued mining with Rick and picked up an additional 193, bringing his season total to 1,029 ounces. Parker's $1.4 million haul not only broke Todd Hoffman's single-season record of 803 oz., but also eclipsed Hoffman's entire four-season total.Season 5
The two-hour Gold Rush Season 5 premiere kicked off Friday, October 17, 2014, at 9 PM ET/PT with The Dirt airing beforehand at 8 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel.
By season's end, Parker mined 2,538 ounces totaling just under $3 million and the Hoffmans mined 1,349 ounces totaling just over $1.6 million.Season 6
The two-hour Gold Rush Season 6 premiere started in the US on October 16, 2015, at 9 PM ET/PT with The Dirt airing beforehand at 8 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel, while the UK premiere was on October 20, 2015. By the season's end, Tony's dredge pulls out 737 ounces, Parker managed to mine 3,372 ounces worth almost $3.5 million, while the Hoffmans mined 3,032 ounces worth just over $3 million.Season 7
Season 7 premiered on October 14, 2016. By the end of season 7, Todd's mining effort in Oregon had failed, although he finished the summer at a Fairplay, Colorado mine with a break-even total just over 1100 ounces. Tony Beets and family finished with just over 2100 ounces using a refurbished gold mining dredge. Parker Schnabel and his crew finished with just over 4300 ounces, worth just over 5 million dollars.Season 8
Season 8 premiered on October 13, 2017. The season finds the Hoffman and Schnabel crews wagering 100 ounces of gold to the company that mines the most gold, with both vying for a 5,000 ounce season goal. Meanwhile, Tony Beets is disassembling, transporting, and reassembling another vintage dredge, resurrecting a method of placer mining that has not been in common use in Dawson City for half a century. It was announced on Gold Rush Live that Season 8 would be the last season on the show for the Hoffman family.Season 9
Season 9 debuted on October 11, 2018, with an Episode 0 entitled "The Story So Far". Episode 1, "Declaration of Independence", aired the following day and focused on Rick Ness, who is now operating independently from Parker Schnabel, along with Tony Beets and his family. The season is due to have 20 episodes, with the final one airing in March 2019. mid season update Ness team is on track for 1000 OZ Parker and company is ~ half way 6000 OZ total Tony is lagging behind, less than 3000 OZOther programming Aftershows and specials
Numerous "aftershows" and specials have been produced that document behind-the-scenes action, additional footage, as well as interviews with miners and crew.Gold Rush: The Jungle
Between the second and third seasons, Todd Hoffman and several crew members traveled to a remote site in Guyana in South America to determine the feasibility of opening up an operation there during the Klondike offseasons. The trip was covered in a single one-hour episode. Although they did discover gold on the claim site, it was not of a sufficient quantity to cover the high expenses of mining the remote site which was accessible only by hiking through a trackless jungle after a harrowing river passage. While the Hoffman crew does go to Guyana for season 4 a year later, given the low probability of profitability, Hoffman chose not to pursue the venture for season 3. The episode ended with doubt about whether they would return.Gold Rush: South America
Between the third and the fourth seasons, Todd Hoffman and several crew members traveled to South America to prospect for gold in Peru, Chile, and Guyana. This was covered in several episodes, in a summer season for Gold Rush.Gold Rush: White Water
A spin-off series from Gold Rush, Gold Rush: White Water follows the "Dakota Boys"—"Dakota" Fred and his son Dustin—as they mine McKinley Creek in Haines Borough, Alaska, using an unconventional dredging method, diving into collection pools at the base of high country waterfalls. The first season consisted of eight episodes, airing in 2018 between January 19 and March 16. A second season began with a debut episode on January 4, 2019.Episodes Main article: List of Gold Rush episodes Cast
Current Cast:Seasons Name Details 2 – present Parker Schnabel (age 24) Parker was given the Big Nugget mine in season 2 when his grandfather, John Schnabel, decided to step down. He guest-starred and appeared to give advice in Season One. 2 – present Rick Ness Parker's right hand man. Left Parker at the end of Season 8 to go out on his own. Mine boss in Season 9. 2 – present Roger Schnabel Recurring guest star, part-owner of Big Nugget mine, father of Parker Schnabel, son of John Schnabel. 1 – present Fred Dodge Recurring guest star, helped the Hoffman Crew re-assemble their wash plant in Season 1. He returned to the Klondike in Season 2 to give the Hoffmans better gold recovery tools. He also went to Guyana with the crew in Season 4. 2 – present Tony Beets (age 62) Dutch-Canadian gold miner and owner of the Tamarack Mine, one of the most successful mining operations in the Klondike. He also owns and leased out the Scribner Creek claim that Parker Schnabel mined in season 4. Beets will have his own crew for season 5, working on moving a 75-year-old Dredge from Clear Creek to his claim over 150 miles away in the Indian River 1 – present Chris Doumitt (age 59) Originally he was only meant to come to Alaska for ten days — to help build a cabin for Greg Remsburg and his family. But gold mining quickly got under his skin and he ended up staying for five months and becoming a key member of the team. He calls himself a "pumpologist". Chris retired from the Hoffman crew after season 3. As from season 4 he worked for Parker Schnabel.
Former Cast:Seasons Name Details 1–8 Todd Hoffman (age 49) Inspired by his father's gold mining adventures in the 1980s. 1–8 Jack Hoffman (age 71) Father of Todd, he previously mined for gold in Alaska 25 years ago, and joins the crew for a second chance to live his dream. 1 Jimmy Dorsey A Realtor and self-confessed adrenaline junkie. After an off-camera physical altercation with Greg Remsburg, he left the mining crew in season one. He has claimed at least parts of the show are scripted. 1–2 James Harness The crew mechanic, he prided himself on being able to repair nearly anything. However, a car wreck left him with metal pins in his ankle and a severe spinal injury which, due to lack of finances, he could not afford to have surgically repaired. A Baltimore medical center donated a medical procedure to correct his back problem, which resulted in the need for yearly injections. During season 2 when operations were halted due to dirty water, Todd asked him to build a water filter. Instead, he left the camp to spend a week with his girlfriend in a motel. At the end of the season, the crew fired him, blaming him for missing their 100-ounce target. James died in June 2014 at age 57, reportedly of a stroke. 1 Earle Foster Recurring guest star in season 1, owner of Jim Nail Placer Mine in season 1; cameo appearances in season 2 and 3. Foster died on April 23, 2013, aged 86. 1,5 Michael Halstead In the first season "Pastor Mike" was billed as the crew pastor. Mike was pastor of the Harvest Christian Church in Troutdale, Oregon at the time. He had done charity work in Mexico in the past and had met Jack Hoffman twenty years ago on one of those trips. Jack introduced Mike to elk hunting and the two of them shared an enthusiasm for outdoor adventures, often going on trips together. He took part in a few episodes in the first half of season one, but went home for an unknown reason and was never mentioned again. Reappears in the beginning of season 5 to counsel Todd Hoffman who has been battling depression from the aftermath of season 4. 3 Wayne "Nugget Brain" Peterson Joining the Dakota Boys for part of Season 3, Wayne was an experienced miner who has been working claims since 1983. He was fired by Dakota Fred due to his use of Oxycodone (with prescription) to treat a back problem. 3 Jason Otteson Main investor for Hoffman/Turin crew for season 3. Set a 350-ounce ultimatum and, when it was not met, he suggested to Todd that he should cut some crew. He was never seen or mentioned again. 1–4 "Dakota" Fred Hurt (age 70) After advising the Hoffman crew in the last half of season 1, Dakota Fred returns for season 2 to purchase the Jim Nail Placer mine to mine himself with his own crew. Fred, Dustin, and Melody left the show after season 4. Gold Rush: White Water, debuting in January 2018, follows Fred and his son Dustin as they search for gold in McKinley Creek. 2–4 Dustin Hurt (age 34) Dustin is "Dakota" Fred's son. He worked at the Jim Nail Placer mine in Season Two. Left the show after season 4. Gold Rush: White Water focuses on Dustin and his father. 3–4 Melody Tallis (age 51) Joining the Dakota Boys in Season 3, Melody is an experienced miner who has been working claims across Alaska since 2002. Left the show after season 4, along with the Dakota Fred and Dustin, although during Season 5 she can be seen working loaders and monitors in the background of shots covering Tony Beets, and also worked with Freddy Dodge at Carmacks. 1 – 5 Greg Remsburg (age 41) Greg left the Hoffman crew after season 3 for undisclosed reasons; however, he returned to work with Parker Schnabel in season 4 in the Klondike. Left the show after season 5. 2 – 7 Dave Turin (age 52) A guest star for several episodes of season 1, he comes on full-time for season 2. He is an experienced quarry foreman. Todd convinces him to chase his gold mining dream, join the group, and take some time off from his family's business. After a season 7 filled with frustration and Dave's involvement in a fist fight, on the March 17 episode Dave's retirement was announced. Though in the 8th season on Gold Rush special episode "Dozer Dave" Turin announced his wish to get together his own "Turin Crew" to mine together involving his family members from his Oregon based quarry. He specifically named a desire to mine with his father as a repayment for trusting him throughout the years during Gold Rush. It is not yet clear or announced if this mining team has formed or if it will be documented on the show this season or in future seasons. 1 – 6 John Schnabel (age 96) Recurring guest star, owner of Big Nugget mine and grandfather of Parker Schnabel and Payson Schnabel. He died in his sleep on March 18, 2016. 2 – Gary Grogan Recurring guest star, employee at Big Nugget mine. Locations
As of its first-season finale, Gold Rush: Alaska was the most-watched Friday night program in all of US television among males aged 18 to 49 and women aged 25 to 54. For 13 consecutive weeks in its second season, Gold Rush continued to hold Friday's top rating in the demographic of men aged 18 to 49. With Gold Rush leading the way, Discovery wrapped a dominant first quarter in key male demographics, including a stranglehold among the rankings for top unscripted cable programs.
For the December 28, 2015, to March 27, 2016, ratings period, Discovery stood number one among non-sports cable networks in its target demographic of men aged 25 to 54. It claimed eight of the top ten reality shows in this group, including the top three — Gold Rush (1.89 million), Fast N' Loud (1.20 million) and Alaskan Bush People (1.18 million). Discovery also dominated the cable unscripted rankers in other male categories. It claimed seven of the top ten in men aged 18 to 49 and five of the top ten in the younger men aged 18 to 34 demographic, with Gold Rush on top in both.See also