Treasure Hunting Shows

Is America’s Backyard Gold Dave Turin’s Fool’s Errand?

America’s Backyard Gold has seen Dave Turin return to prospecting, but the show may not be worth its weight in gold.

For years, fans of the Gold Rush series have watched as its stars did the seemingly impossible by finding gold in some of America’s most remote locations.

But now, former Gold Rush star, Dave Turin, is out to prove that prospecting for gold is an accessible activity practiced by dozens of families in the Unites States – right in their backyards.

What is America’s Backyard Gold?

The new spin-off, America’s Backyard Gold, follows Turin as he travels all over the United States to investigate the large cashes of gold which are reportedly just waiting underneath the surface of areas like California, Georgia, Alabama and Oregon.

Think Parker’s Trail, but with only America-based travel, and much less gold.

However, while the promise of America’s Backyard Gold has been exciting enough to rip Turin from his semi-retired state, we cannot help but wonder whether this latest Gold Rush spin-off may have been doomed before it even started.

America’s Backyard Gold so far

If you would like to judge Turin’s new show for yourself, the first season of America’s Backyard Gold airs live on Discovery Channel, on Fridays, at 9/8c.

The America’s Backyard Gold episodes that have aired thus far are as follows:

Episode Initial air date
1.     “Rivers of Easy Gold” March 15, 2024
2.     “There’s Gold in Them Thar Georgia Hills” March 22, 2024
3.     “Big Dollar Beaches” March 29, 2024
4.     “Wild West Gold” April 5, 2024
5.     “Desert Gold Boom” April 12, 2024
6.     “Carolina Rare Gold” April 19, 2024

Fourth time’s the charm?

No gold miner would ever find pay dirt if they gave up after the first try, but the same cannot necessarily be said for reality television stars.

America’s Backyard Gold will be Turin’s fourth attempt at making it work on the small screen – and while the network certainly believes in his star-power enough to keep green-lighting new shows, there is simply no denying that the failures of his previous attempts do cast a rather dark shadow over this new series.

Turin’s departure from the original Gold Rush series caused quite the stir, as his departure was preceded by a heated physical altercation with an old cast mate.

And while no one has ever confirmed it, the rumors have always insinuated that Dave’s other solo-show, Dave Turin’s Lost Mine, ended because of poor ratings.

Spoiler alert: America’s gold is not actually about gold

In all fairness, there is some prospecting shown throughout the first few episodes of America’s Backyard Gold (and even some real gold).

But Turin himself has admitted that the focus of the show is not so much on the gold as it is on the stories of the people trying to find the gold.

The reality star told The Oregonian “I wanted to do a show about meeting people, and learning new techniques. This show is history, it’s human interest, it’s traveling America.”

So far, the show’s first season has shared geography lessons about how the quartz veins filled with gold formed underneath California, a brief history of the Dahlonega gold rush, desert prospecting tips and a bunch of rather interesting backyard prospecting techniques.

But fans who tune in expecting to see the $3 trillion worth of gold that is mentioned in the show’s opening credits will be quite disappointed in the show.

The curse of the Gold Rush spin-off

Despite what online critics have had to say about Turin and his new show, it is worth noting that America’s Backyard Gold would not be the first Gold Rush spin-off that failed to live up to the glory of the original show.

Gold Rush’s most recent 13th and 14th seasons were still bringing in more than 1.9 million weekly viewers.

But many of its spin-offs, including Gold Rush: The Jungle, Gold Rush: South America, and Turin’s other spin-off Dave Turin’s Lost Mine, have all failed to live up to the hype.

Other spin-offs like Hoffman Family Gold, Winter’s Fortune and Freddy & Juan’s Mine Rescue are still waiting on an official renewal.

And, in the end, it seems like no matter what the powers-that-be do – including moving away from the show’s usual America’s Backyard Gold format – will ever be able to live up to the giant that is the original Gold Rush.

In fact, this may be true even in the minds of the show’s stars, since even Turin’s bio on Facebook still mentions that he is from “Discovery Channel’s hit TV show, Gold Rush, but fails to mention the new show in which he stars.

Also read: