Discovery Channel has become the latest U.S. non-fiction network to venture into the scripted space, commissioning Scott Free and eOne Television to make a miniseries chronicling the Yukon Gold Rush era.
The series, tentatively titled Klondike, will be Discovery’s first scripted miniseries, and promises to bring to life a tale about “six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike.”
Based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike, the series will be a coproduction between Discovery, Entertainment One Television (eOne) and Nomadic Pictures, in association with Scott Free Television.
“We’ve been developing scripted for some time, but wanted to find the perfect fit,” said Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC Networks. “When we read Gold Diggers, we knew we finally found it.
“Discovery created and owns the ‘gold’ narrative with several of our hit series and we’re elated to partner with Scott Free Television and eOne Television on a subject we know so well as our first, scripted project.”
“EOne is delighted to be working with Discovery as they make their foray into scripted television as well as join forces for the first time ever with Scott Free and continue our relationship with Nomadic Pictures,” added John Morayniss, CEO of eOne Television. “We’re looking forward to sharing this innovative adaptation of a well-known era, and sharing this epic mini-series with audiences around the world.”
“Klondike was the last great gold rush; one which triggered a flood of prospectors ill-equipped, emotionally or otherwise, for the extreme and grueling conditions of the remote Yukon wilderness,” said Ridley Scott, who serves as one of the miniseries’ exec producers via Scott Free.
Other exec producers include Paul Scheuring, who serves as primary writer and EP; David W. Zucker; John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg for eOne; and Eileen O’Neill and Dolores Gavin for Discovery. Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes are coproducers for Nomadic, and Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz are also writing episodes as consulting producers.
EOne Television will handle international distribution for the series, which begins production in March on location in Alberta, Canada. The series will be produced with assistance of the Government of Alberta’s Alberta Film Development Program.