It’s the end of an era for one of the most popular reality shows in cable television history. The Discovery Channel teased last night’s episode of Gold Rush: Live by saying it would feature an announcement that would change Gold Rush forever — and they weren’t kidding. Original star Todd Hoffman announced that he and his family are leaving the show.
Here’s a clip:
— Gold Rush (@Gold_Rush) February 17, 2018
After revealing to Gold Rush: Live host Matt Rogers that the announcement was hard to do — especially on live TV, Todd began to talk about what it was like nine years ago — just before the first season of Gold Rush. “It was tough, you know? We lost a lot of money, a lot of my friends were leaving their homes.” But that’s when Todd encountered some divine interference.
“I believe God gave me a vision for Gold Rush,” Todd says. He says that people can laugh at that if they want, but the dream gave him hope and something to latch onto. “We’re not gold miners, as you know, and away we went to Alaska! And you know what? America joined in. I believe that, you know, we played a small part in giving hope back to America with this journey.”
And then the announcement:
You’ve watched my kids grow up, you’ve watched me go to the jungle, and you’ve watched me get gold and lose gold, and…it’s been tough. But, you know, like any chapter in someone’s life, before you can get a new chapter to start, a chapter has to end. And so, what I have to say is that my father Jack, and my son Hunter, and Team Hoffman — we’re not gonna be back on Gold Rush. Maybe never again.
So I wanted to take this time and — Discovery’s been gracious enough to let me do this, you know, with another brother. [Todd gets a little choked up.] I’ll try not to cry, but…yeah, it’s, uh, tough, you know? It’s been a big part of my life.
It’s not included in the clip above, but Todd goes on to explain that being on the show has been tough on his family because it requires that he be away from home 6-7 months out of the year. He does state “I am not done mining” before talking about his production company ZÜM Media, which focuses on family-oriented programming and claims to already have 20 projects in various stages of development. It’s unclear if one of those projects is his doomsday prepper show Family Fortress, which he issued a casting call for way back in late 2015.
In addition to his production work, Todd also hopes to focus on his singing. “I’m leaving Gold Rush,” Todd wrote on Facebook. “I’m so blessed by God. My next chapter is singing and producing TV for the family. Oh my heart hurts tonight.”
Todd had his fair share of detractors, but I don’t think anyone could argue that he and Jack and their crew were a huge part of the show’s success — in part because people could identify with their inexperience and it allowed them to latch onto the dream Todd talked about above. And I think the crew’s inexperience — especially Todd’s leadership — kept some folks tuning in simply because they enjoyed shaking their damn heads every week. If the show had started off featuring a cast of established, successful miners who knew what they were doing, there’s no way we’d still be talking about it.
It was hinted that there would be a new mining boss next season, but no indication of who that may be. Could it be Dakota Fred Hurt? The network welcomed him back with his own gold mining series this season, so perhaps Fred will rejoin the Gold Rush cast? Or maybe they will go with Rick Ness or Monica Beets? Or perhaps someone who has never been on the show? I suppose we will all have to wait and see.
Congratulations to Todd and his family on their success with Gold Rush, and I wish them the best in their next endeavors. Let’s just hope he’s a better producer and singer than he was a gold miner.
Here are a couple tweets in response to Todd’s announcement from show creator Christo Doyle and rival Parker Schnabel’s crew chief Rick Ness:
#GoldRushLIVE Best of luck in the future Todd Hoffman and family.
— Rick Ness (@GoldrushRick) February 17, 2018
All I can say is thank you. We had epic battles but are now friends. Your crazy dream made @Gold_Rush happen and your no guts no glory story touched a lot of people. I wish you nothing but the best.
Question is…now will you shave the signature beard? https://t.co/Zpbc921xNe
— Christo Doyle (@ChristoDoyle) February 17, 2018
We were wondering that too Christo, and it motivated me to go through the Starcasm archives and dig up the photo we did that showed what Todd Hoffman would look like without his trademark beard:
Oh, and Christo may have dropped a little hint that he and Todd are partnering up again! “Christo, you think you two would ever work together again?” a Twitter user asked him, adding: “You both seemed to have a great rapore with each other.” Christo responded to the question with a question of his own: “How do you know we aren’t already?”
Hmmm… Perhaps they are working on Mad Todd: Furry Road?
While you ponder over what a new Toff Hoffman and Christo Doyle project might be, I will let Todd sing us all back home with his rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “Sound of Silence:”