Discovery Tops Friday Nights With Gold Rush

Ratings are everything in television. They determine scheduling, budget, advertising and, ultimately, the life-span of a show. That being the case, it is fairly safe to say that Gold Rush has cemented its place in the Discovery Channel firmament, having topped ratings for male viewers for the second consecutive week.

As reported in Discovery Channel’s most recent press release, Gold Rush specifically rated top in all of television for men aged 25 – 54, and men aged 18 – 49, helping make Discovery Channel the number one network for men on Friday evening.

“Driven by Gold Rush programming and Edge Of Alaska, Discovery Channel was the #1 network in all of television on Friday night among men 18-49 delivery, no exclusions.”

With a total of 4 million viewers, the number tuning in to Gold Rush was almost twice that for Edge Of Alaska – which follows it in the schedules – and twice as many as those that tuned in for its lead-in show, The Dirt, which precedes it. Looking at the performance of Gold Rush in those terms, it is clear that the series is part of the elite group of Discovery’s flagship shows, which includes Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch and Shark Week programming.

For almost thirty years, Discovery Channel has cornered the market in documentary television programming, popular scientific entertainment and reality television – and this programming goal has ensured the network’s continued popularity. The most recent set of ratings figures provides fascinating insight into the viewing habits of its audiences, however, and particularly highlights the significance of Discovery’s programming for male viewers in the reality genre. These aspirational shows – featuring ambitious individuals taking charge of their own lives and undertaking extreme occupations – clearly appeal most keenly and successfully to a very specific, albeit large, demographic.

Spurred on by this ratings success, Discovery Channel has released a further two sneak peeks for the next Gold Rush episode, and they perfectly illustrate the dramatic roller-coaster ride that is associated with following several different gold-mining crews in one show – while one experiences success and relief, another finds things taking a much darker turn. The official synopsis for the new episode is as follows:

“Cursed Cut: Partners Dave Turin and Todd Hoffman fall out over how to mine frozen ground. Tony Beets’ daughter Monica gets a conveyor stuck in a river and Parker Schnabel’s hopes are drowned by a flooded cut, a waterlogged pump and a severed pipe.”

The hit show Gold Rush continues on Friday 21st November 2014, at 9pm ET/PT.