December 11, 2012 9:32am PT by Michael O'Connell
Discovery Producing Scripted Gold Mining Miniseries
Discovery is hoping to strike gold twice.
The network announced Tuesday that it's producing its first-ever scripted miniseries, with a premise quite familiar to current ratings champ Gold Rush.
Scott Free Television and Entertainment One (eOne) will produce Klondike (working title) with Discovery, based on Charlotte Gray's novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike.
STORY: Discovery's 'Gold Rush' Outperforms Every Friday Series on Broadcast Nets
The move comes after a similar scripted venture for History, Hatfields & McCoys, which brought record ratings to that network.
“We’ve been developing scripted for some time but wanted to find the perfect fit. When we read Gold Diggers, we knew we finally found it,” said Discovery and TLC Networks group president Eileen O’Neill. “Discovery created and owns the ‘gold’ narrative with several of our hit series, and we’re elated to partner with Scott Free Television and eOne Television on a subject we know so well as our first scripted project.”
The book tells the story of six strangers fighting for survival (and riches) in a small frontier town during the 1890s gold rush.
"Klondike was the last great gold rush, one which triggered a flood of prospectors ill-equipped, emotionally or otherwise, for the extreme and grueling conditions of the remote Yukon wilderness," said Scott Free's Ridley Scott. "The personal adventures are as epic as the landscape, where ambition, greed, sex and murder, as well as their extraordinary efforts to literally strike it rich, are all chronicled by a young Jack London himself."
“EOne is delighted to be working with Discovery as they make their foray into scripted television as well as join forces for the first time ever with Scott Free and continue our relationship with Nomadic Pictures,” said eOne Television CEO John Morayniss. “We're looking forward to sharing this innovative adaptation of a well-known era and sharing this epic miniseries with audiences around the world."
Production begins in March in Alberta, Canada.
Discovery recently saw record ratings for the unscripted series Gold Rush, which now has beat all broadcast network competition the past two Fridays.