February 15, 2012 10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Discovery Renews 'Gold Rush' for Third Season (Exclusive)
Discovery is upping its investment in the Gold market.
The cable network has renewed its Friday night hit Gold Rush for a third season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
The unscripted series, which revolves around a group of formerly unemployed guys as they continue to mine for gold, has been a ratings breakout for the network. Its most recent airing ranked as the No. 1 program across all of primetime in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic (2.1), topping scripted broadcast fare including CBS' Blue Bloods (1.8) and ABC's Shark Tank (1.83) and collecting 4.85 million total viewers.
In its six offerings so far this season, Gold Rush has also ranked as the top program in its Friday at 9 p.m. slot in the male 25-54 and 18-49 demos and averaging a 2.23 in the adults 18-49 demo. In addition, the series has served as a valuable launching pad for freshman unscripted entry Bering Sea Gold, with the Thom Beers' Original Productions series ranking as Friday's No. 2 offering in total viewers and 18-49, paving the way for a potential renewal as well.
The 1-2 punch of the gold-themed series has propelled Discovery to the No. 1 network on television on Friday nights among men 25-54 demo.
The news comes a day after the network ordered another male-skewing effort in Machines of Glory, a three-part series in which crews of machine operators battle to be crowned kings and queens of the construction job site. Hosted by Johnny Littlefield (Dude Room), the series bows in March.