Mark Burnett producing online series Gold Rush for AOL

Shortly after Yahoo! announced that it would develop and broadcast The Runner, AOL announced a partnership with Mark Burnett, who will produce an online-only series for AOL’s web site.

The show, Gold Rush, seems to combine The Runner with NBC’s forthcoming Treasure Hunters, as it “will track real-life challengers searching for hidden treasure across the United States.” According to a press release, “clues, expected to be extremely challenging, will be placed throughout the AOL network, including websites such as AOL.com, AIM.com Moviefone.com and MapQuest.com.”

In one of those written-by-a-publicist quotes, Burnett says, “The world is changing and the Internet is about to become the next broadcast network. With the volume of people able to watch content on their computers between 9am to 5pm, it could very well become the new primetime. The immediate future will take advantage of content that utilizes television, print and the Internet in concert. AOL and I are embracing this immediate future through ‘Gold Rush.'”

No debut date has been set for the series. Variety reports that “Yahoo! has been developing its own treasure-hunting project for the past year,” so with AOL’s and NBC’s versions, we could soon have three treasure-hunting shows.

Mark Burnett Productions and AOL to Produce ‘Gold Rush!’ [AOL press release]
Tussle over treasure [Variety]

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.