Christo Doyle is the series Executive Producer and Host of “The Dirt,” the GOLD RUSH pre-show. He talked with Male Standard about what goes into producing a hit TV show. See why he often asks himself, “What kind of man to do I want to be?” Read as he shares insight on what it takes to be successful.
Entering its 5th season on Discovery Channel, the series is popular as ever and ranks as the #1-rated show on Discovery. Make sure to catch the season premier of GOLD RUSH this Friday, October 17, on Discovery.Christo Doyle
Q. What goes into producing a show that becomes number 1?
A. I spend a tremendous amount of time working on Gold Rush. We’re doing about 24 hours of Gold Rush this season and then if you add in the Dirt shows that I do it gets up to 35. So it’s 35 hours of Gold Rush programming. It takes a lot of time but not nearly as much as it takes the production company that’s out in the field. They’re in the middle of it. It’s a tremendous job with over 100 people.
Q. How many hours go into creating just one episode?
A. I think every episode fluctuates. Some of these crews can give us a portion of an episode in 5-7 days. Others can take 2 weeks just depending on what they’re doing. I’d say the average is anywhere from 50-100 hours per hour of television.
Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. I manage other shows too, but when Gold Rush really gets into the swing of things, I’m watching rough cuts and fine cuts. Basically all aspects of the show. When I’m not doing that, I have meetings with the guys in the field and the guys in London.
It’s a fun show to work on. It’s still the number 1 show on Friday nights among men on cable and it often beats all the shows on network so it’s done very well.
Q. Why do think it’s become such a popular show?
A. You know. It ticks pretty much all the boxes for shows that work on the Discovery Channel. First of all, it’s aspirational. It has great characters. Tells a great story. It’s man vs. nature. It’s man vs. man. It has a treasure hunt aspect and I think it kind of awakens the little boy in all of us. There’s a part of all of us that would love to be doing what these guys are doing. It’s a lost part of the world. It’s the last frontier which is exciting.
Q. It’s the fifth season, how do you keep the show exciting? What are some things we can expect this season that raise the stakes even higher.
A. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for the show than this season. We have new miners, new claims and new ways to pull gold out of the ground. This season I’m excited to say, we have more gold than we’ve ever had before.
This season has twists and turns and things that have never happened in Gold Rush before.
Q. Tell me a little about the pre-show. How’s that working in terms of viewership and you stepping in front of the camera?
A. Well first of all. It’s the strangest development in my career. I’m a producer. I’ve always been behind the camera. We did a little after show when Gold Rush was starting to work. We showed what couldn’t make it onto the show. That started to do very well online. We put it together, put it on the air and it ended up getting really great numbers.
There’s a 360 degree angle I have of the show that has ended up being very interesting to the audience. There’s a dynamic there. There’s a backstory that goes on with these guys. There’s things that don’t make it onto the show. Like what’s a day truly like for these guys. When people feel like they’ve really gotten to know these guys they just can’t get enough. The Dirt airs at 8 o’clock. It basically warms up the night. It warms up the time slot and we’ve got more viewers ready to watch Gold Rush by the end of that hour.
Q. How was that transition? Do you see yourself doing more on camera stuff?
A. I’m enjoying it while it lasts. I don’t see myself as a future TV guy. It’s fun. It wasn’t that fun to start with. I’m gonna be honest. It was stressful and made me a little bit nervous. But now I’m much more at ease. I have more fun doing it and I don’t get as stressed. It’s a good time but I don’t expect it to last beyond the life of Gold Rush.
Q. What’s your Male Standard?
A. I ask myself often, “What kind of man do you want to be?” I think my brand is reflected in my shows. My shows are who I am. I hold my shows to a high standard because I want them to represent who I am.
Q. Do you have any advice for others who are trying to achieve big things in their lives.
A. I think it’s hard work. I think working very hard has gotten me to where I am. I know that’s cliche, but putting in long hours and having an incredible work ethic is going to take you far. I don’t finish my day until I get done what I needed to get done that day.
Thank you Christo for chatting with us. Make sure to catch the season premier of Gold Rush on Discovery this Friday October 17.