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Bering Sea Gold’s record ratings show our fascination with Alaska, boats, fishing, plus swamps, monsters, and more

Discovery’s debut Friday of Bering Sea Gold, the new reality series from Thom Beers that follows people searching for gold in Alaska waters, was the network’s most-watched series debut ever. An average of 3.66 million people watched, according to the network, and it set records for the network among households, adults 18 to 49, and adults and men ages 25 to 54.

The series’ popularity indicates, on some level, that we still have a fascination with Alaska, the state that has hosted a number of reality series–just as Louisiana has. Since network executives are inherently insecure, the popularity of one show often means a bunch of similar shows crop up on other networks.

That kind of duplication is nothing new, nor is merging two popular formats into a new one, but a fascinating Venn diagram put together by Vulture has illustrated the relationship between a number of popular topics: Texas, cake, weddings, “wars,” monsters, Alaska, Louisiana, boats and fishing, swamps, and repo/pawning/towing.

It’s far from a perfect representation, and to make it work, there are some glaring omissions (like River Monsters or Whale Wars, which should overlap with “Wars” and boats/fishing, but those circles are too far apart to make that happen). And there are plenty of other topics and trends that could be included, from New Jersey to restaurants. But it’s still an awesome and informative visual.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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