AOL

September 12, 2006 11:07 ET

Mark Burnett and AOL Premiere Gold Rush on AOL.COM Wednesday, September 13

LOS ANGELES & DULLES, VA.--(Collegiate Presswire - September 12, 2006) - Gold Rush, the landmark interactive reality game from Mark Burnett and AOL where players can literally turn their pop culture smarts into gold, will launch Wednesday, September 13 on AOL.COM/GOLDRUSH (www.aol.com/goldrush).

Hosted by pop culture connoisseur Mark Steines, co-anchor of TV's leading entertainment news program Entertainment Tonight, Gold Rush combines the excitement of online game play with offline clues to create a new kind of hybrid interactive broadband experience.

With $2.2 million in gold at stake, players will have a chance to test their own pop culture expertise in 13 rounds of game play. The first three players to complete each round successfully are whisked away to a special location where they will compete head-to-head in reality TV-style pop culture tournaments called "Gold Competitions." The victor of each "Gold Competition" wins $100,000 in gold. For the Finale Round the first 12 winners will return, joined by six new contestants, to compete in the ultimate pop culture contest for $1 million.

Clues to help players solve many of the pop culture challenges will be found embedded in CBS Television Network programs, in popular magazines, and throughout AOL.com on websites such as MapQuest and Moviefone, as well as AOL News and AOL Music.

For additional help, Gold Rush players will also have access to their own online network of "Gold Buddies" to help them solve the game's various pop culture questions. For players who make it to a "Gold Competition," he/she can contact up to five of their "Gold Buddies" for advice and assistance during the round finale.

"Gold Rush ties the worlds of television and online together - for the first time brings the spontaneity of reality television together with the immediacy of the online space," said Mark Burnett. "With Gold Rush, unlike my other shows, you don't need to eat bugs, win a fight, belt out a rock song, or outlast your competitors in the boardroom to win. Instead, what you already know can make you rich."

The game boasts five blue chip sponsors: Best Buy, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola Zero, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and WaMu. Each sponsor will be integrated into online game play as well as offline "Gold Competitions." Producers will work intimately with each sponsor to craft highly creative integrations that achieve their marketing objectives and infuse their brands into the core entertainment experience.

"The strong response we've seen to Gold Rush from leading advertisers is a testament to the combination of Mark Burnett's talent and creativity and AOL's impressive audience reach and proven ability to deliver innovative new forms of online programming," added Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President, AOL. "Considering that pop culture is a universal language, we're sure that our audience will find Gold Rush a compelling, fun and entertaining experience - whether they play the game themselves or just watch all of the action unfold."

To keep up-to-date on the latest game news, the Gold Rush website will feature a "glog" (game log), where Mark Steines and guest celebrities will regularly post relevant news and views, as well as announce the launch of new challenges and rounds. Players can have "glog" updates emailed directly to them online or texted to their mobile devices.

Registration is open at AOL.COM/GOLDRUSH (www.aol.com/goldrush).

About Mark Burnett

Mark Burnett is the leading producer of reality content for both primetime television and the internet. Mark Burnett has revolutionized television with hits such as Eco-Challenge, Survivor, The Apprentice, The Contender, Rock Star, Martha Stewart in syndication and On the Lot. Mark Burnett has also partnered with AOL on the eagerly anticipated adventure Gold Rush, the first-ever unscripted project to be produced exclusively for the internet. Mark Burnett has also successfully reintroduced product placement as an integral part of each of his shows and his companies have garnered a total of 43 Emmy nominations since 2001. Mark Burnett was listed as the #1 Most Valuable Player by TV Guide and in Time Magazine's Top 100 most influential people in the world today.

About AOL

AOL and its subsidiaries operate a leading network of Web brands and the largest Internet access subscription service in the United States. Web brands include the AOL.com® website, AIM®, MapQuest® and Netscape®. AOL offers a range of digital services in the areas of education, safety and security, communications and music. The company also has operations in Europe and Canada. AOL LLC is a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and is based in Dulles, Virginia.

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