The Weather Channel Finds a Gem with "Prospectors"
New Original Series Follows Miners Out to Strike It Rich
ATLANTA (September 21, 2012) - The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC) announced today that it has greenlit "Prospectors" (working title), which follows a group of miners searching for the rarest gems in order to strike it rich. However, they risk life and limb daily as they face extreme climates, weather and other perilous conditions in every step of their pursuit. Produced by High Noon Entertainment ("Hurricane Hunters," "Cake Boss"), "Prospectors" features 9x 30-minute episodes and will premiere in 2013.
"I can't imagine anyone facing the kind of danger the group in 'Prospectors' faces on a daily basis, yet this gang simply can't resist the call of the fortune awaiting them," said Michael Dingley, senior vice president, content and development, The Weather Channel Companies. "It's a thrilling, and sometimes terrifying, journey to watch them pursue their riches at all costs."
Just like their predecessors 150 years ago, the small, ragtag gang in "Prospectors" has one goal: find their fortune. Based in Colorado, they brave the continent's most extreme mountain environments in search of the planet's most precious gems, such as topaz, aquamarine and rhodochrosite. Rarer than diamonds, more valuable than gold and far more difficult to mine, one of these fist-sized gems can bring $3 million or more. The prospectors use picks, sledgehammers and dynamite to send Volkswagen-sized boulders spinning out of control down the 60 percent grade mountainside. They open holes, looking for veins of brilliant red, blue and green crystals. And the right pocket, extracted correctly, can bring a million dollar payday or more.
But the process is brutal. This is some of the most dangerous mining in the world, because while Colorado is home to North America's richest, most abundant gem fields, they're also at the highest elevations. At 14,000 feet above sea level, there's 50 percent less oxygen, and weather is always more extreme, with twice as many lightning strikes, hurricane force winds, and vicious storms that move in without warning. And if the weather doesn't get the prospectors, the thieves might.
"Prospectors" joins the growing slate of original series for The Weather Channel, including "Coast Guard Alaska," "Iron Men," "Lifeguard!," "Ice Pilots," "Hurricane Hunters," "Hawaii Air Rescue," "Coast Guard Florida" (Oct. 10) and "Plane Xtreme" (Oct. 15), as well as the "Braving the Elements" docu-series anthology, which includes "Turbine Cowboys," "Pyros," "Iceberg Hunters," and "Reef Wranglers" (formerly Reefmakers - Oct. 23). Additionally, the network recently announced "Tipping Points," a tent pole series premiering Oct. 2013, which will explore the Earth's changing climate system.
About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel(R) television network; The Weather Channel digital properties; Weather Underground; and WSI and Weather Central, which make up its professional division. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan(R), a 24-hour all-local weather network and The Weather Channel Radio Network. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 30 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, and Weather Central, headquartered in Madison, WI, provide professional weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. Online weather service Weather Underground is based in Ann Arbor, MI, and San Francisco, and has developed the world's largest network of personal weather stations. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.