Discovery Channel is going into the scripted biz. The cabler is working with Scott Free TV (The Good Wife) and writer Paul Scheuring (Prison Break) on its first-ever scripted miniseries titled Klondike, which is based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike. The tome is aboutsix strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town.
Scheuring will serve as executive producer, along with Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker. “We’ve been developing scripted for some time, but wanted to find the perfect fit. When we read Gold Diggers, we knew we finally found it,” said Eileen O’Neill, Group President of Discovery and TLC Networks, in a statement. “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.”
Added Scott in a statement, “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. The personal adventures are as epic as the landscape, where ambition, greed, sex and murder, as well as their extraordinary efforts to literally strike it rich, are all chronicled by a young Jack London himself.”
Here’s the official logline from Discovery: Klondike follows the lives of two childhood best friends, Bill and Epstein, in the late 1890s as they undertake the next, gold rush capital in the untamed Yukon Territory. This man-versus-nature tale places our heroes in a land full of undiscovered wealth, but ravaged by harsh conditions, unpredictable weather and desperate, dangerous characters including greedy businessmen, seductive courtesans and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their people and land by opportunistic entrepreneurs.
Production begins in March on location in Alberta, Canada.