American Digger: Spike TV Reality Series Debuts March 20th

American Digger TV showSpike TV Has announced that they’ll be unveiling their newest reality series, American Digger, on Tuesday, March 20 at 10pm.

The new TV show follows Ric Savage, the former professional wrestler as he searches for historical treasures in ordinary places. The cable channel has ordered 13 episodes for the first season. If Spike TV runs them uninterrupted, the first season finale should air on July 12th.

Here’s the press release:


Unscripted Series Travels Around The Country Uncovering Hidden Treasure Found In The Backyards Of Everyday Americans

Series Following Former Professional Wrestler, Ric Savage And His Team Of Relic Hunters Premieres Tuesday, March 20 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT

New York, NY, February 15, 2012 – Spike TV ventures around the country in search of historical treasure buried in the backyards of unsuspecting citizens in the new unscripted original series, “American Digger.” Premiering Tuesday, March 20 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT, “American Digger” follows the American Savage team, led by former professional wrestler-turned-modern- day relic hunter Ric Savage as they scour target-rich areas, such as battlefields and historic sites, in hopes of striking it rich by unearthing and selling rare pieces of American history.

In the US, there are millions of historical relics buried in backyards just waiting to be discovered and turned into profit. “American Digger” hopes to claim a piece of that pie as the series travels to a different city each week, including Detroit, MI, Brooklyn, NY, Chicago, IL and Jamestown, VA searching for high-value artifacts and relics, some of which have been untouched for centuries. After pinpointing historical locations such as Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields, Savage’s first task is to convince reluctant homeowners to let his team dig up their property using state-of-the-art metal detectors and heavy-duty excavation equipment. The team will then sell any artifacts found for a substantial profit by consulting experts and scouring the antique and collectible markets, but not before negotiating a deal to divide the revenue with the property owners.

Throughout the series, items with great historical and cultural significance will be found, including a late 17th century British Carronade naval cannon, a 5 million year old Megalodon shark’s tooth and a 19th century Kentucky long rifle.

American Savage, based in Mechanicsville, VA, is the top artifact recovery company in the country, digging as much as half a million dollars worth of historical artifacts out of US soil each year. The team is comprised of recovery expert Rue Shumate, battlefield historian Bob Buttafuso, Savage’s wife Rita who manages the business and their 25-year old son Giuseppe, who provides tech support and is the “muscle” of the operation.

Born and raised in western North Carolina, Savage is a former professional wrestler turned artifact recovery expert, hunting relics from America’s past with the help of his all-star team, American Savage. “Heavy Metal” Ric Savage had a prolific seven year career in the sport, competing in nearly every wrestling organization, among them the WCW (World Championship Wrestling), the ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) and the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance). Following his retirement from professional wrestling in 1997, Savage returned to his other passion, the Civil War era, by getting his start in relic hunting. His first major find, a hunk of shrapnel he found at the site of the Battle of Cold Harbor, VA, prompted him to form American Savage and continue his pursuit of history and riches. Since its inception, American Savage has recovered a wide range of valuable items, including hundreds of Civil War bullets, dozens of Civil War artillery shell fragments, multiple Native American arrow and axe heads, a set of prehistoric shark teeth and a Civil War era beer bottle.

“American Digger” is a 13 half-hour episode series created and produced by Gurney Productions (“Auction Hunters”), owned by Scott and Deirdre Gurney. Sharon Levy is Spike TV’s Executive Vice President, Original Series, Tim Duffy is Senior Vice President of Original Series for Spike TV and Justin Lacob is Director, Original Series.

Spike TV is available in 99.8 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is

What do you think? Will you be checking out American Digger?

13 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Jen says

    I love the show!!!! I like finding old stuff, but by me watching the show it’s not going to make me go out and dig on others land. It’s entertainment, showing us folk what it out there.

  2. sfc ret says

    i love history, i love the thought of getting rich by finding sonthing like an old coin. I hunt for things myself, but it is ones responsibilty to hunt right with out damageing any old sits.

  3. Dan says

    As a metal detecting enthusiast and historian for the past 20 years I actually will admit that I am just as frustrated with these recent shows. I hope that there will be no alienation of the “good” folks in this matter. I would suggest reaching out to the relic hunting community for additional support. The major websites are already condemning the first show. I have thought for years that there has to be some middle ground for those of us who conduct ourselves with moral fiber and those who make an educational career out of it. Each year I do recover items, I do not sell them, my wife displays them in her classroom after they have been documented and preserved. Her students get to hold and feel history in a way most don’t. They receive a lector from me on the history and context of the items. Other items are donated to local museums that are struggling to collect items from local history.

    These shows are painful for me to see, as I know what the outcome holds – and increased level of people mimicking what they see on television and a public outcry for metal detecting reform. For years there have been large populations of people who are honest and carry themselves with integrity. Like anthropologists and archaeologists – we have bad apples. I hope you will find additional support from those like you and like me.


  4. Caitlyn says

    This show is a disgrace! What a horrible horrible thing to promote. This is irresponsible looting and it will only encourage this kind of thing acrosss the US.

  5. nobody says

    Aside from the whole premise of the show being foolish and destructive, the announcement of the show is advertising falsely. It would never be legal for them to dig at Jamestown, Virginia for one. Jamestown is not a modern town and the whole of Jamestown Island is jointly owned by Preservation Virginia who sponsors the well known Jamestown Rediscovery archaeological research project, and the National Park Service owns the rest of it. Unless these guys want to find themselves in Federal Prison, (yes, really) they won’t be attempting to dig at Jamestown. The nearby “Jamestown Settlement” living history museum is State owned as well.

  6. David Finch says

    Dear lord, what a horrible idea. A lot of collectors and avocationalists are responsible, but a great number of others are not. This is going to encourage looting.

  7. says

    Will they show buyers lining up to pay top dollar for dug bottles and spent musket balls? Because then we will know for certain its a complete work of fiction. Finding stuff is hard, selling it for a decent price is near impossible. Rob Campbell – Dumpdiggers

  8. Thomas G says

    This Show will ruin the hobby for everyone! This is going to be the end of this hobby for most relic hunters. Property owners are going to be under the impression that we are all out to “make money” and they are all going to want a cut, but for many of us, this is not a money making hobby, we are collectors, I have never sold anything that I have recovered. It has its own sentimental value to us collectors. Now it will be even harder to get permission. Harder to enjoy the hobby because everyone will expect a handout. This show is bad news

  9. get real says

    They are not destroying historical sights! If you can read,they are going on private property digging treasure that otherwise would never be found or will disappear due to corrosion and rust. 99% of relics are dug by private people. If you wait for archeologist to find them they would never be found. Thank god somebody is finding these relics and putting them into the hands of people who will appreciate them instead of in a basement of some museum.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK DIGGERS!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Bradley Arten says

    THIS IS AWFUL!! Destroying our historical sites?? You call that GOOD TV? This is going to start a wave of viewers who will venture to the historical site near them so they can dig, dig, dig and find treasure. This show should be STOPPED before it is too late.

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