Gold Rush made $25 million and cost $10 million; Mark Burnett wants to patent its formula

AOL and Mark Burnett’s Gold Rush, which concludes this week online and on TV, “cost $10 million to make and took in $25 million in advertising,” according to a story in Newsweek.

The magazine also reveals that creator Mark Burnett “says he plans to seek a patent on the underlying ‘format’ of ‘Gold Rush.'” He says he will, however, let others use it for a fee. “I came up with something unique, and I intend to protect it. But I am willing to license the idea to many other people,” he said.

The show has been a success for AOL and its advertisers; Newsweek reports that “WaMu, formerly Washington Mutual, had a 21 percent jump in new free checking accounts in the third quarter”; its president cites participation in the show as the reason.

Besides that news, Newsweek spends the rest of the article giving Burnett a 1,119 word hand job, showering him and the series with praise in the form of rich, unnecessary adjectives. Johnnie L. Roberts writes that the online game/reality show “a major triumph” and is “another home run for reality-TV king Mark Burnett.” The show “managed to sprinkle gold dust on the third-quarter earnings of AOL,” he writes, and is “notable for a number of firsts,” is “remarkable for holding audiences’ attention,” and “has also taken product placement to new extremes” with “advertainment.” Since we’re making up words, here’s an example of advernews: Newsweek: Hello, You’ve Got Game Show! by Johnnie L. Roberts.

Hello, You’ve Got Game Show! [Newsweek]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

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.