One Of The Highest Rated Shows On Cable Is Basically Proof That The Gold Bubble Will Collapse

discovery channel gold rush

Photo: Discovery Channel

If you’ve never heard of Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush,” which airs each Friday, you’re missing out.Now in its third season, the program tracks four mining companies as they dig for “pay dirt” in Alaska.

But if you haven’t been tuning in, don’t worry — lots of other folks have. Ratings are going BANANAS.

The episode that aired the week of Nov. 19 was the fifth-rated show on cable — handily beating Lifetime’s “Liz and Dick” with 4.7 million viewers according to Nielsen.

And according to, it is far and away the highest-rated show on Discovery.

It’s all very reminiscent of 2008 — near the peak of the oil bubble — when TV was filled with showed about independent explorers drilling for oil. Then of course that busted. Popular fascinations with commodities occurr near the top.

The episode that had so many people watching was captivating.

Company 1 is led by Dave Turin, a civil engineer from Oregon

Dave's team bought a brand new soil processor and expects it to make them more competitive than the other teams

The Hoffman crew is the father-and-son team of Jack ...

... and Todd

The Hoffmans are in big trouble: They're way behind the other companies because they're missing a part, and one of their investors, Jason Otteson, is NOT happy

But we join them just as it breaks down — an axle has malfunctioned, causing the tread to de-track

Meanwhile, Dave Turin's cleanworks has run into problems of its own: One of its motors has overheated and crashed

Finally, the fourth team, led by 17-year-old Parker Schnabel has been forced to abandon mining entirely for bridge building because their debts are too high.

Schnabel's team is being financed by his grandfather, John

The crane Schnabel is using doesn't have enough torque to place the bridge properly

Which severely stresses out Schnabel's crew, including this guy, who ends up getting pissed at everyone including Discovery's cameraman

Schnabel has to drive a second crane across the water to make the project work. It's a dicey move.

Everyone's freaking out

Especially since the hothead is in the driver's seat

But the gambit works!

Indeed, this appears to be the principle arc of most of the shows. Discovery does an amazing job of building high drama into seemingly mundane malfunctions. Turin's team is able to repair the broken motor in fairly short order.

However, the episode ends with some very mixed gold yield results. While everything looks good for Hunt's team — 1.5 ounces ...

Turin's team looks dangerously short — less than a full ounce

You can watch clips showing what will happened next

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