Planet Green New Docu-series BOOMTOWN Chronicles a Small Town's Struggle with a Sudden Oil Boom
--BOOMTOWN Premieres on Planet Green Saturday, January 29, at 10 PM (ET) --
SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 10, 2010 -- The tiny town of Parshall, N.D., is isolated, windswept and frigid, like most northwestern American communities. With a population of 1,073, Parshall holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in North Dakota (-60 degrees Fahrenheit). The economy of this small community, like so many other similar towns across America, has been in steep decline for many years. As manufacturing and farming jobs have moved overseas, town residents have sought greener pastures and a better life. But recently, something amazing happened: Below the wheat fields and the grocery store and the high school football field, surveyors discovered oil - barrels upon barrels of thick, unrefined, highly sought-after crude oil. Planet Green's original docu-series BOOMTOWN, airing Saturdays at 10 PM (ET) beginning on January 29, tells the tale of this struggling American town in the midst of a profound reversal of fortune.
BOOMTOWN is an unconventional case study of how the domestic oil and gas industries are exploring every option here on U.S. soil - but at what cost? In an illustration of what's happening in small towns across America, practically overnight, many of Parshall's residents and landowners are transformed from ordinary folks into millionaires. But not everyone gets rich quick, and not everyone thinks this new development will end well for the residents of the town.
In the first episode of BOOMTOWN, viewers are introduced to Parshall's mayor and only grocery store owner, Richard, who has struggled for years to keep his store afloat to support his family. He's leased his land to an oil company and it looks like he may become one of the lucky ones. However, for every new millionaire, there's someone who won't benefit at all from the oil boom. Town rancher Donny has wells being drilled all over his property, but he owns only the surface rights to his land, which means he gets the inconvenience, but not the money from the oil. To others, the oil only means more traffic, noise and pollution.
Equal parts "Fargo" and "There Will Be Blood," BOOMTOWN is set against the stark North Dakota landscape, which, until the discovery of oil, saw the town of Parshall practically vanish off the map. With mounting pressure for the United States to find alternative energy sources, BOOMTOWN chronicles the events in Parshall as they unfold over the course of a year, providing viewers with unprecedented access to one of the biggest stories of our time.
BOOMTOWN is a five-episode series produced for Planet Green by Left/Right. Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, Rachel Libert, Josh Braun and Susannah Ludwig are executive producers; Rachel Libert is director. Rachel Smith is executive producer for Planet Green.
About Planet Green:
Planet Green is the multiplatform media destination for people looking for something new. Launched on June 4, 2008, Planet Green is following the evolving conversation about sustainability and is the entertainment brand that champions the visionaries who move our world forward in small and large ways. Planet Green and its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer unique, insightful and inspiring content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green's original programming, digital tools and content will entertain, educate and activate.
Left/Right creates unscripted television and film projects that illuminate the drama and comedy of real life: We tell stories that are honest and startling, revealing and entertaining, dramatic and cinematic. We do so by blending the conventions of documentary filmmaking with the look and feel of scripted television. In short: You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll watch. Other television credits for Left/Right include "This American Life" (Showtime), "Nine by Design" (Bravo) and "Growing Up Gotti" (A&E).