Planet Green has a new reality show called BOOMTOWN that promises to expose the real costs of oil production in America; environmental, economic, and personal.
The five-episode series takes place in Parshall, ND, a tiny town with a population of 1,073 where the economy has been in a steep decline for several years. But lying just below the farmlands, local stores, and football field, surveyors found huge reserves of unrefined, highly prized crude oil. Practically overnight ordinary citizens became millionaires. But not everyone gets rich quick, and many think that this new development is only the beginning of the end for the town.
In the first episode, we meet Richard, Parshall’s mayor and only grocery store owner who has struggled for years to keep his store open and provide for his family. With the discovery of oil he decides to lease his land and it looks like he may have a reversal of fortune. But for every lucky one there’s someone who doesn’t reap the monetary benefits. Like Donny, a rancher who has also leased out his property but as a result of only owning the surface rights to his land, actually gets no money and only the inconvenience of drilling.
According to the eco-friendly channel the show will expose the seedy underbelly of the oil industry, highlighting the lengths that oil barons and land holders will go to in order to cash in on this black gold. Viewers will see the community of Parshall wrestle with the choice of sacrificing the welfare of their town for the promise of fortune. In addition the reality show will look at the environmental costs and the effect that drilling oil will have in the long term.
According to a Planet Green press release, “With mounting pressure for the United States to find alternative energy sources, BOOMTOWN chronicles the events in Parshall as they unfold over the course of a year, providing viewers with unprecedented access to one of the biggest stories of our time.”
The series is set to air Saturday nights starting January 29th, and in the wake of the BP Gulf Oil Spill and the fact that the top searched phrases in 2010 all involved terms related to oil spill, this seems like a timely and much needed addition to the TV lineup.
We’re excited to watch!