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Todd Hoffman quits Gold Rush: Could Hunter Hoffman step into his dad’s role?

Hunter Hoffman on Gold Rush
Hunter Hoffman on Gold Rush. Pic credit: Discovery

Last night, Gold Rush: Live revealed the big secret Discovery been keeping a very tight lid on — Todd Hoffman is leaving the show.

Building on his fame from the series and catapulted by the wildly successful reception to his singing voice, the Oregon native is striking out on his own.

Hoffman is the show’s Holy Roller, steeped in a devout Christian faith as he mentors his handsome son, Hunter, while at the same time being a good and obedient son to his dad Jack.

On Gold Rush Live, Todd said: “My father Jack, and my son Hunter and team Hoffman are…we’re not going to be back on Gold Rush — maybe never again.”

But could Hunter still elect to fill his boots at some point in the future?

In an earlier interview this season, I asked Hunter if he was being primed to take over.

Hunter said: “Yeah, I mean as you can see with this season and the few episodes that have come out, I’m kind of stepping up, taking charge, and kind of taking over my own piece of the company and the operation here. I’m also only 18 and have a lot to learn.

“The whole thing’s a learning experience for me. In every episode this season I learn and grow way more than the first. So yeah, I’m trying to grow and just step up and get more and more responsibility.”

His father Todd has been prospecting for gold in Alaska for near a decade. Often times he was the butt of Parker Schnabel’s jokes as Schnabel’s family was deeply rooted in Alaska and the gold mining industry. Hoffman…not so much.

The calling card each season for the Gold Rush series was to see the grandiose plans Hoffman laid out for his anticipated gold production and then contrasting it to the realities and costs of actual mining. These two things often never came close.

This divide is perfectly outlined in the fact that it was Hoffman who went to Guyana first to try his hand at gold mining. He left after the expenses became unjustifiable.

Now Schnabel has filmed a second season of his Parker’s Trail spin-off in Guyana, and the reports thus far are that they succeeded in finding significant, lucrative pay.

Emotional was the best way to describe how Hoffman shared the news he was bowing out after Season 8, but it doesn’t come as a surprise as he tipped this in our interview with him ahead of the season.

I Can Only Imagine

I was asked to sing for an online trailer for an incredible movie, "I Can Only Imagine," coming out March 16th. Please share this video with your friends and family. It's about the relationship between father and son.

Posted by Gold Rush Todd on Friday, February 16, 2018

When I asked Todd if he would walk away from being a miner, he foreshadowed his new career path and said: “Well, I don’t know if I have to walk away from being a gold miner because I have six months off. So maybe I can try it. Maybe I could do both. I don’t know.

“I’ve never done that before and I don’t know what that entails but I feel deep down like I can do it and I’ll be singing in arenas some day. As ridiculous as some people may think, I think I got a shot at it. A real shot and I’d like to explore and see where it goes.”

Hoffman has tied his producer wagon to Oregon-based ZUM Media’s Jose Behar. In our interview, Hoffman mentioned possible projects for their company, including a reality series that takes greenhorns and gives them the opportunity to learn about mining gold.

Hoffman told us: “Here’s what I think is going to happen…I think that there’s a fat kid with a gray beard, a chubby kid with a beard that’s been working on the show for three years, who gives an opportunity to a person out there that’s always wanted to mine — and I’m going to give them a chance to mine. I’m going to give a greenhorn a chance to make it.”

When asked if he was pitching this to Discovery, Hoffman said of the possible show: “That trumps everything. That trumps Parker [Schnabel] running around the jungle [Guyana]. That trumps me going around doing whatever. That trumps it because I want to give a hand up to all the fans, all these years that…I would love to try this.

“I don’t have the money to do the machines. I’d like to open up that door. I can’t say anything about it because I don’t have anything in writing but I tell you what, I think it’s a 90 percent chance it’s going to happen and I think people are going to see something they’ve never seen before — and that is an opportunity. A chance of a lifetime given to several greenhorns to actually live out their dream without dying and never having tried to live that dream.

“Picture this: Fifteen [Gold Rush] fans with their bags, and there’s a pile of equipment. They’re standing on gold under their feet. What are you waiting for, guys? Because you’re going to take that gold home. Or you’re going to get fired trying. One of the two.

“I think that that would be the show, giving a hand up to those guys. I don’t think that you could beat that show on TV ever. Cable, Netflix, Amazon. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. That show there, I think it would the best show on television by far.”

Last night, Hoffman stated that he was still considering mining, saying he was “not done” yet.

Will you miss Hoffman on the show? Will Hunter take the reins and run with the Hoffman crew as his dad forges a new career as a producer and singer?

Gold Rush continues Friday nights on Discovery.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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