No decision has been made as yet regarding the further production of Gold Rush: Alaska Season 8

Discovery Channel

Gold Rush, originally titled Gold Rush: Alaska, is currently in its 7th season on Discovery. This show covers six men from a small town in Sandy, Oregon. After the economy causes them all to lose their jobs, they decide to take a massive risk and relocate to Alaska and the Yukon Territory to try their hands at mining for gold after leasing a gold claim in the frozen north. None of the men have any mining experience, so they are forced to learn the ins and outs of this business the hard way.

At the start of this latest season, Todd takes the biggest gamble of his career so far, skipping out on guaranteed gold in the Klondike to take his chances elsewhere. At the same time, Tony begins aggressively expanding his empire, buying a massive second dredge to try and increase operations. Things have also become much more difficult for Parker. Having to start this season without his grandfather, who was also his mentor, by his side, he is forced into a confrontation with Tony over unpaid royalties, before getting a surprising offer that could change the course of his entire season.

Gold Rush has played well with critics, with a 7.2/10 on IMDb. The idea of striking out on one’s own to try and find a better life has always been a trope that plays well with American audiences, and to see people actually do it in real life is interesting. The second factor behind its success is the subject matter. Much of the original purpose of reality shows was to provide insight into the lifestyles of people that mainstream media rarely portrays. Many consider gold prospecting to be a thing of the past, so this is a great angle that doesn’t run the risk of being oversaturated.

However, as the show goes on, more and more viewers have begun to wonder exactly how much of the show is real in its presentation, and how much has been edited or scripted to play a certain way. This may play into its recent ratings trouble.

In terms of ratings, the seventh season actually shows a pronounced dip in viewers, with only 2.853 million compared to 4.369 at the close of the last season. This latest season has only just started, so we will have to see if this is just a freak occurrence or has severe tidings for the success of the show. This is a far change from its origins, where it was at one point the most-watched Friday night program in all of US television among males 18–49 and 25–54. Despite a rough patch, Discovery still has to keep the initial huge success of Gold Rush in mind. As a result, it is likely to stay for another season in hopes of recapturing the ratings magic it once had.

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