'Gold Rush: South America': Todd Hoffman checks in from the jungle
On Friday, Aug. 2, Discovery continues to mine its gold-mining franchises with the premiere of "Gold Rush: South America," in which the miners that America has come to know and love in Alaska and northern Canada seek new ventures to pursue their goals.
The limited summer series follows all three familiar crew leaders -- Todd Hoffman, Dakota Fred Hurt and young Parker Schnabel -- as they go to extremes to continue their dreams.
Preceding it is an episode of the behind-the-scenes series "Gold Rush: The Dirt," with "Gold Rush" executive producer Christo Doyle, which picks up where the last season of "Gold Rush" left off. Doyle talks to the miners and production crew, to preview "Gold Rush: South America."
Another installment of "The Dirt," airing on Aug. 30, looks back at "GR: SA" and previews the next season of "Gold Rush."
Off all the miners in "GD: SA," Hoffman goes the farthest, assembling his skeleton crew -- including dad, Jack, and Dave Turin -- to begin his quest in Peru. In episodes two and three, the crew moves on to Chile and Guyana, venturing along the way into the Andes Mountains and the Amazon River Valley.
Unable to place a phone call from his remote location, Hoffman took time to answer some email questions, exclusive to Zap2it:
Zap2it: How did you come to the decision to look towards South America?
Hoffman: There is still lots of ground to work for gold in SA. I was looking for a place to mine year-round. Mining for only a few months doesn't work. I wanted to see how these other countries do it.
Zap2it: How did you find the spot you've been mining?
Hoffman: I found this spot because I made some great connections into the country through some Canadians. I make deals and connections. I'm not a great miner; I'm a great deal-maker. Without deals, mines don't happen.
Zap2it: What sort of dangers -- mental, physical or spiritual -- have you faced?
Hoffman: Away from my family for long periods of time. Almost robbed at gunpoint after a car chase. Huge tree almost fell on me. The biggest thing is missing my children. I'm such a great and active Dad, that it has made it hard.
Zap2it: How many times were you tempted to quit?
Hoffman: I almost quit the other day, but I'm not wired that way. I start something, I finish it. Discovery and my team are counting on me, and so I come through every year.
Zap2it: The price of gold is not what it was when 'Gold Rush' started -- how much of an impact has that had on you and your team?
Hoffman: I can't say too much about that, but I have gone on a slightly different path than I have taken in the seasons before, in this respect. It's kind of a huge focus on the show, so I need to be careful what I say. You're going to have to watch and see!
Zap2it: What's the most surprising thing you've learned in this new adventure?
Hoffman: I have learned that I can survive and build something from scratch and watch it grow.
Zap2it: Where are you right now?
Hoffman: I'm laying in a building that I call The Ark. It was built from scratch. It's 180 feet long and houses a lot of animals. LOL.
Zap2it: Could you ever have imagined this is where you'd wind up?
Hoffman: I have wanted to see the secrets that SA can offer. I think you're going to be a bit surprised on how this season turns out.
I can leave you with one statement.
There is much more than gold in South America.