In December, we told you about Discover Channel’s “Gold Rush” had become the hottest show on the network. It follows a group of miners who’ve bet their livelihoods on finding gold in the wilds of Alaska.
Now Discovery is out with “Backyard Oil,” which follows almost the exact same premise as “Gold Rush,” with oil replacing gold and Kentucky replacing Alaska.
And after one episode, it looks just as good.
Unlike some of the gold rushers, most of the oilmen (and women) seem to already be financially stable, with the narrative focusing more on a day in the life of a driller than watching someone turn into an overnight millionaire.
But the stars of “Oil” are just as insane as “Gold” — and will tell you as much.
We recently spoke with Jimmy Reliford, who for nearly 40 years has run a successful drilling business out of Adair County, Kentucky.
“My name is J.R. Ewing and I’m an oil man from Dallas,” he boasts in the first episode.
He told us he was instantly hooked into the business when, in 1974, the first three wells he ever dug proved gushers — they’re still producing today. “It’s like Paul Harvey — ‘Now you know the rest of the story,’ ” he said.
Reliford Drilling Co. has been the go-to shop for drilling wells in the area ever since.
We didn’t ask him how much he’s got to his name, but we didn’t have to — here he is posing with one of his latest toys:
DiscoveryReliford says shooting the show has been “a really big time” and that any and all audiences will find it entertaining.
The oil fields being tapped are conventional, meaning they’re not part of the shale boom other parts of the country are seeing. But Reliford says he favours of all drilling. “We need to hit all the oil we can here in the U.S.” he said.
The show airs Tuesdays, 10 Eastern. Here’s a clip: