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Discovery Channel's 'Gold Rush: Alaska' Returns 1/7

Discovery Channel's 'Gold Rush: Alaska' Returns 1/7

Discovery Channel's GOLD RUSH: ALASKA continues to stake its claim on Fridays, with the December 17 premiere episode delivering 2.91 million viewers (P2+). The series, which follows a group of six rookie gold miners from Oregon who risk it all by trying to strike it rich in Alaska, is now the #1 new original series on cable.*

GOLD RUSH: ALASKA will return January 7 and air for seven consecutive weeks on Fridays at 10PM ET/PT through February 18. (Viewers who missed the first three December episodes will have a chance to catch up from 7-10PM on Friday, January 7.)

New 2011 episodes see extensive drama for the miners, and the future at Porcupine Creek is on the line. Winter weather is closing in harkening the end of mining season, and Jack and Todd Hoffman are tapped out of cash. Equipment failures abound, and team mechanic James Harness has to be rescued from a pit when his chronic back pain causes him to collapse. Without the prospect of hitting gold in the foreseeable future, tensions flare among the greenhorns.

Drama builds through the January 21 premiere, when the rookies stop the wash plant and begin cleanout mode to recover every grain of gold they've secured. Jimmy Dorsey is put in charge of the new wave table to separate the precious gold from the buckets of black sand, but as he struggles to get it working, gold is flushed away. Fists fly. Will the families be sent packing back to Oregon?

Full episode descriptions follow for January 2011 premieres.

The Ultimate Price (1/7): It's been six weeks since Todd and Jack Hoffman and their crew of rookie miners started building camp in the wilderness of Alaska. The team has been constructing a wash plant from second hand equipment and homemade gear to process gold from dirt, but just as they are about to run the equipment for the first time, they are forced to shut down. A visit from Alaska's Department of Fish and Game reveals a code violation, and they must close their vital water supply to the mine. Without water they're out of business, so the crew works to improvise a solution fast. Their triumph is short lived when they finally solve the water problem as disaster strikes. Todd Hoffman's daughter, Olivia, suffers a seizure and stops breathing. The future of the entire operation hangs on her survival.

The Pain Barrier (1/14): Todd Hoffman pushes his men and their machines to the limit as the crew finally gets the mining operation into gear. Unfortunately, the rock shaker tears apart, bringing the entire operation to a halt ? again. The fix costs the team thousands of dollars in steel and far more in lost income as they spend a week repairing instead of mining. Team mechanic, James Harness, has to be rescued from a pit when his chronic back pain causes him to collapse; while realtor Jimmy Dorsey drives a wedge between himself and the rest of the crew when he takes on an side job to earn some cash. The Hoffmans reach deep within to get the machines and their crew back on track, and the rookies finally run dirt late into the night resulting in the most gold in their pans since arriving at Porcupine Creek.


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