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‘Klondike’ Delivers Discovery’s Biggest Monday Ever With 3.4 Million Viewers

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 12:54pm PST

KlondikeDiscovery Channel‘s first-ever miniseries Klondike clocked 3.4 million viewers Monday — the network’s largest ever Monday primetime audience. It also delivered the network’s most-watched Monday among men 18+ and the highest-rated Monday in more than a decade in the 25-54 demo. Featuring a cast including Richard Madden, Abbie Cornish, Tim Roth and Sam Shepard, Part 1 of Klondike repeats tonight at 7 PM, followed by the premiere of Part 2 at 9. The third and final installment of the miniseries premieres tomorrow at 9 PM. Read More »

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TCA: “I Was Out Of Work” Sam Shepard Says Of Taking ‘Klondike’ Role

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 11:04am PST

TCADeadline__140109155905“It’s another piece of American madness,” Sam Shepard said today of Discovery‘s first scripted project, Klondike.  “You know, another chunk of insanity that we carry around with us, regardless of whether it’s involved in technology or involved in trapping beavers.” 2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 1In December, Discovery announced its miniseries about the Klondike Gold Rush of 1895, co-produced by Scott Free Television, eOne and Nomadic Pictures and based on Canadian journalist Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike. The script, written by Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring, tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike. Chris Cooper, cast in February as Father Judge — who has come to Klondike to atone for his violent past on a mission to save souls — exited in March after suffering a minor heart attack.  Shepard replaced him.

discoverychannel1__130822172412-275x132One TV critic wanted to know if Scheuring was intimidated writing for actor-playwright Shepard.  “I wrote it before I knew he was going to be Judge – it’s easy to write in a vacuum.” he responded. That said, Shepard “was willing to collaborate; he had his thoughts,” he continued, adding quickly, “It’s obviously an honor – he’s Sam Shepard!” Shepard didn’t think much of a question about the difference between wearing the “writer hat” and the “actor hat.”  “Hats look exactly the same. There’s no difference between The Writing Hat and The Acting Hat,” he said dismissively.

A question about his “motivation” for taking on this role, and whether his motivation for accepting roles has changed over his long career, didn’t play too well either. “Yeah. I was out of work…the landlord was going to kick me out,” he responded. Read More »

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Sam Shepard To Star In Discovery Channel’s ‘Klondike’ Miniseries

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 8:25am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sam Shepard has joined the cast of Discovery Channel’s miniseries Klondike, which marks the channel’s first scripted project. Shepard replaces Chris Cooper, who pulled out last week to attend to a personal matter. Based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike, the mini tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike. Shepard will play Father Judge, who has come to Klondike to atone for his violent past on a mission to save souls. Scott Free Prods, Discovery Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures produce the mini, which is in production in Alberta, Canada. ICM Partners-repped Shepard will next be seen in the movies Mud, August: Osage County and Out Of The Furnace.

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Chris Cooper Departs Discovery Channel’s ‘Klondike’ Miniseries

By | Wednesday March 27, 2013 @ 9:31am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Chris Cooper Spider-Man 2Chris Cooper has exited Discovery Channel‘s miniseries Klondike due to a personal matter that has unexpectedly arisen. The Oscar winner was the first actor cast in the mini, produced by Scott Free Prods, Discovery Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures. Based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike, the mini tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike. Cooper was to play Father Judge, who has come to Klondike to atone for his violent past on a mission to save souls. The role will now be recast. “I have nothing but respect and admiration for Discovery, Ridley Scott and the very talented cast and crew for bringing this compelling project called Klondike to life and for inviting me to be a part of it,” Cooper said. “It is with regret that I am unable to continue, but I look forward to another opportunity to hopefully work with Discovery in the future.” Read More »

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Discovery Channel’s ‘Klondike’ Miniseries Assembles Cast

By | Friday March 8, 2013 @ 1:39pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel is putting the finishing touches on the cast for its first original scripted program, six-hour miniseries Klondike. I’ve learned that Game Of ThronesRichard Madden, Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud), Abbie Cornish (RoboCop), Ian Hart (Luck), Johnny Simmons (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Conor Leslie (Chained), Tim Roth and Tim Blake Nelson are set or in negotiations to join Chris Cooper in the project, produced by Scott Free Prods., Discovery Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures. Assembling a cast of established actors for Klondike was important for Discovery as it enters the scripted arena. Based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike, the mini tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike. Read More »

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Chris Cooper To Star In Discovery Channel’s ‘Klondike’ Miniseries

By | Friday February 8, 2013 @ 12:59pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Following in the footsteps of History, which made a splashy entrance into scripted programming with the blockbuster miniseries Hatfields & McCoys starring Kevin Costner, Discovery Channel too has tapped an Oscar winner for its first scripted effort, miniseries Klondike. Chris Cooper will co-star in Klondike, produced by Scott Free Prods., Discovery Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures. Based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike, the mini tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike. Cooper will play Father Judge, who has come to Klondike to atone for his violent past on a mission to save souls. Paul Scheuring (Prison Break) is the primary writer and will serve as Executive Producer, along with Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker; as well as John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg for eOne; Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes will serve as co-producers for Nomadic. Production begins in March 2013 in Alberta, Canada. Cooper won an Oscar in 2002 for Adaptation.

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Discovery Channel Greenlights ‘Klondike’ Miniseries To Enter Scripted Programming

By | Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 8:41am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The gold mining gang from Discovery Channel‘s hit docu series Gold Rush is trying its luck in the Klondike this season, after the the series hit another ratings high on Friday. The cable network is staying in the iconic Arctic area with its first scripted program — a miniseries about the Klondike Gold Rush of 1895 co-produced by Scott Free Television, Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures. Discovery has given the green light to the mini, tentatively titled Klondike, which is based on Canadian journalist Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich In The Klondike. Written by Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring, Klondike tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike. It follows two childhood best friends, Bill and Epstein, in the late 1890s as they head to the gold rush capital in the untamed Yukon Territory. In that land full of undiscovered wealth, they must navigate harsh conditions, unpredictable weather and desperate, dangerous characters including greedy businessmen, seductive courtesans and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their people and land by opportunistic entrepreneurs. “Klondike was the last great gold rush; one which triggered a flood of prospectors ill-equipped, emotionally or otherwise, for the extreme and grueling conditions of the remote Yukon wilderness,” said Ridley Scott. “The personal adventures are as epic as the landscape, where ambition, greed, sex and murder, as well as their extraordinary efforts to literally strike it rich, are all chronicled by a young Jack London himself.”

Epic period miniseries like Klondike already provided a successful entry into scripted programming for two other basic cable networks — AMC with Broken Trail, which was co-produced by Nomadic, and History, which like Discovery is best known for its stable of blue-collar docu reality series, with Hatfield & McCoys. With Klondike, Discovery is branching out from unscripted programming while staying in its signature “gold rush” arena, which has provided the setting for several of its reality series including Gold Rush, Bering Sea Gold and Jungle Gold. “We’ve been developing scripted for some time but wanted to find the perfect fit. When we read Gold Diggers, we knew we finally found it,” said Eileen O’Neill, Group President of Discovery and TLC Networks, “Discovery created and owns the ‘gold’ narrative with several of our hit series and we’re elated to partner with Scott Free Television and eOne Television on a subject we know so well as our first, scripted project.” Read More »

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