Is 'Blood & Oil' Based On A True Story?

It's time to say hello to fall, and welcome to the new batch of fall TV shows, each one vying to make a mark in the crowded television landscape. ABC's strongest contender is the new show Blood & Oil , which has a few good things going for it, the first being the stellar cast. Don Johnson is returning to our TV screens as the villainous oil tycoon (is there any other kind?) Hap Briggs. As a devoted Nash Bridges fan, this bit of casting brings me endless joy. There is also Chace Crawford (the former Nate Archibald) and Red Band Society's Rebecca Rittenhouse starring as Billy and Cody Lefever. They are a very attractive, but down on their luck, couple who travel to "The Bakken," a part of North Dakota that that is the epicenter of the largest oil boom of all time. There, they go up against Hap and put everything they have into trying to make their fortune in oil. It has all of the components for delicious soap opera, so the fact that Blood and Oil is based off of a true story just makes the whole thing that much more intriguing.

Not only is it true, but this all happened recently. A 2006 oil boom put North Dakota on the map as the place to move to get rich quick. While this show is a dramatization of the events that took place (and are still occurring), there are some very real parallels to the Gold Rush of 1849. Let's take a look at how the two mirror one another.

Sweeping Drama

With all that money in the mix these were both dramatic times, and there is a reason so many movies and shows are set during the Gold Rush.

People Came From All Over

When gold was found in California people came from all over the United States, and other countries, to try and mine it and make their own fortune. In that same way, North Dakota is now filled with people who have traveled from different parts of the country, increasing the population and driving up the cost of living.

Gambler's Paradise

It doesn't matter what century you're in: The type of people attracted to this type of adventure and treasure hunting are the same. They're gamblers, putting it all on the line to make a fortune.

Quick Money

At the very beginning of the Gold Rush people could literally find gold in the streets, and it's that same sense of easy money that turned The Bakken into such a boom-town. I have to guess, based on how things went during the Gold Rush, that this easy access to oil won't last.


Lawlessness, gang-rivalries, and mass murder followed in the wake of the Gold Rush. And, while I cannot say for sure that's where Blood & Oil is heading, heartbreak seems inevitable — but I can't wait to see it all play out.

Images: Kurt Iswarienkio/ABC; giphy (5)