12:00pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Gold Rush' Live Finale Preview: 'There's Going to Be Some Crazy Stuff'
Gold Rush's season-three finale will feature lots of revelations -- including who hit the mother lode -- along with something never before seen on television.
"There's going to be some crazy stuff," star Todd Hoffman tells The Hollywood Reporter.
As THR exclusively reported, the network has set a special two-hour live event for 8 p.m. ET/PT on Friday and plans to announce the fourth-season renewal during the finale. Gold Rush Live, which is taking place in Oregon, marks the first live special for Discovery's top-rated series.
Executive producer Christo Doyle tells THR that several questions will be answered during Friday's finale, including: Does Hoffman reach his 1,000-ounce goal? Does Parker Schnabel redeem himself? Does Fred Hurt find a pot of gold at the bottom of the glory hole?
"What's shocking for me is that all three crews have a big announcement of what they're doing next season," Doyle says. "And we'll reveal the gold totals and what the guys are doing next year, what kind of crazy plans they have."
For his part, Hoffman reveals that he was at an "undisclosed location for a month doing something" that was "crazy unbelievable," but declines to say more, promising that will be addressed in the finale.
"We're going to lay a little bit of the groundwork for what we're doing next year," he adds. "If you're a Gold Rush fan, you're not going to want to miss it."
Doyle says that the finale's taped segments will air throughout the live event, but with the gold reveals removed.
"At the end of the show, we're releasing what each crew got in the last cleanout and revealing who hit the mother lode," he says. "There also will be a cool smelting process going on throughout the course of the show, a guy smelting gold from the last cleanup. He'll be piling the gold on the table in front of me, and then we'll divvy up the gold."
Hoffman, meanwhile, adds that there will be "something done mechanically that's never been seen on TV before." Asked later if Hoffman likely had been referring to the smelting, Doyle quips: "Maybe, but you never know what Todd is going to do live. Maybe he'll do something that goes off script."
Doyle, who will host the live event, says all three camps of miners will be present, along with mine boss Tony Beets, and that the finale also will mark Hoffman and Hurt's first face-to-face sit-down in some time.
Doyle also reveals that Hoffman was unhappy with some comments he made on an episode of The Dirt earlier this season, and that will be addressed in Friday's finale. "There will be some uncomfortable conversations," he says.
The exec producer, who says the live finale was spurred by the fact that this season featured "two or three times as much gold as we've ever had," adds that even he doesn't know entirely what to expect in Friday's show.
"We have a game plan, but these guys are such big, tough, volatile characters, and a lot of things could go down," he says. "We do have security in case things go south -- not to mention we have a lot of gold here."
For his part, Hoffman says he will try to take the high road during the finale, no matter what happens.
"I don't know if somebody will go off the reservation or what curve-balls they will try to throw at me, but I'm going to try to keep things as positive as I can," he said. "I know all the teams will be there, and there is bad blood between us. But I'm going to take the high road, and if I offended anybody, try to mend fences."
Still, he adds, going on live TV "is scary. I'm a little freaked out."