History Channel this morning made it official, announcing one more person “must die” History Channelif there’s to be happy resolution to its new docu-series The Curse Of Oak Island, premiering on January 5 at 10 PM.

“7 MUST DIE BEFORE THE SECRET IS REVEALED…TWO BROTHERS TAKE ON A LEGENDARY TREASURE HUNT,” History said giddily in its announcement. It’s an unusual marketing campaign.

The maybe booby-trapped island on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada, is possibly hiding what might be “the greatest treasure in history,” as History calls the loot. Later in today’s announcement History clarified that when it says “seven must die,”  it actually means there’s this “prophecy” that says seven people will die before the treasure is found, and that six have died in various accidents already.”

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History cannot tell viewers what, if anything, is buried on the island, but is no doubt hoping it’s not Shakespeare’s Lost Folios, as some have speculated, which could dampen ratings. Priceless religious artifact brought over by the Knights Templar would be better, but neither holds a candle to pirate treasure.

“The brothers need to find the truth before they either run out of money” – with History behind it, not likely — “or one of them falls prey to the tragic curse that has already claimed six lives,” the network prattled on happily.

From History’s announcement:

It all began in the late 1700’s, when three teenaged boys were drawn to a strange, man-made hole that would become known as the “Money Pit.”  As the boys began to dig, they ran into layers of logs every few feet, possibly put there to keep the hole from collapsing and revealing its location. As the story goes, the deeper people dug, the stranger things got. A gold chain, tools, nails, and lots of coconut fibers (the nearest coconut tree is some 1500 miles away) were found, as well as a mysterious and now-missing stone with strange, symbols. Decoded, it allegedly read “Forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried.” But the searchers may have unwittingly sprung a trap. The hole filled with water. The leading theory it was fed by a series of intricate underground booby traps linked to the sea.
Rick and Marty Lagina are two Michigan brothers who grew up in a working-class family that believed in the American dream. Rick became a postal worker, while his younger brother Marty earned a small fortune in the energy business. At an early age, Rick read an article about Oak Island and became obsessed with the legend. Knowing what it meant to his brother, when Marty made his fortune he decided to buy the rights to much of the island so they can try and solve the mystery together.