‘Gold Rush’ Producer Talks How They Develop Storylines for Season

by Thad Mitchell

The plot of the hit Discovery Channel reality series “Gold Rush” is quite a simple one in theory: find as much gold as you can.

But fans of the show know that finding the precious metal under frozen ground is not as easy as it sounds. “Gold Rush” takes an inside look at the lucrative but treacherous gold mining industry and the people dedicated to it. Much has changed in the gold-digging industry over the last century-plus. Gold can no longer be found by sifting dirty, running water through a sifter pan. If you want to find even a little bit of gold, you must move thousands of tons of earth out of the way. Even after doing so there is no guarantee that you’re going to find the shiny yellow metal. Crews can go a long time without finding even a trace of gold. But, the cast of “Gold Rush” knows they can strike it rich overnight with a little bit of hard work and a touch of luck.

The gold mining process also makes for a very interesting television that “Gold Rush” fans can’t get enough of. In a 2017 interview with Reality Blurred, “Gold Rush” producer Ed Gorsuch speaks on how storylines are developed. Despite being a reality show, the filming crew does have to plan out storylines for each season and each episode.

“That is the challenge: How do we make what we do interesting?” he says in the interview “How do we make the stories of guys who dig in the ground and wash rocks and look for little bits of metal? How do we make that interesting year after year, and come up with a story that people want to see?”

‘Gold Rush’ Viewership, Popularity on the Rise

It is rare these days to see a television show with a double-digit number of seasons to its name. But “Gold Rush” just wrapped up its 12th season and plans on coming back for more. A big credit for that goes to Gorsuch and his filming team.

But the stars of “Gold Rush” are the miners themselves and the series goes where the workers take them.

“The characters and their dynamics matters,” Gorsuch proclaims. “We have to care about the gold, too. Why do I care if this character wants to get x amount of gold? What’s the personal investment for this? I’m always amazed that people are as invested in the characters and their struggles as they are. That’s very fulfilling to see. I’ve traveled with Parker quite a bit through airports through the States, and he always gets recognized.”

“Gold Rush” has certainly made its characters famous — and rich. They hope to keep the momentum going for a few more seasons and judging by its viewership — that is a safe bet.