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.

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