Television Business International

Discovery moves into scripted with Ridley Scott’s Klondike

US cable network Discovery is moving into scripted television for the first time with a series from Ridley Scott and Entertainment One.

The broadcaster has ordered mini-series Klondike based on Charlotte Gray’s novel Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich. The show has been ordered to take advantage of the success of gold themed programming on the channel including Gold Rush and Gold Rush Alaska.

Klondike will be produced by Entertainment One (eOne) Television, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Television, which produces series including The Good Wife, Nomadic Pictures and Discovery. It will be written by Prison Break’s Paul Scheuring.

The book tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike.

Production will begin in March 2013 and the show will be distributed internationally by eOne.

“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.”

“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.”

“eOne is delighted to be working with Discovery as they make their foray into scripted television as well as join forces for the first time ever with Scott Free and continue our relationship with Nomadic Pictures,” said John Morayniss, CEO, eOne Television. “We’re looking forward to sharing this innovative adaptation of a well-known era, and sharing this epic mini-series with audiences around the world.”