It’s smooth sailing ahead for ‘Deadliest Catch.’
Three holdout captains – Sig Hansen and the Hillstrand brothers, Johnathan and Andy – have patched up their differences with Discovery Channel, coming to an unspecified agreement Friday afternoon to rejoin the cold water crab-fishing reality series when production resumes later this month on the high-rated show’s seventh season.
“We’re happy we worked everything out with Discovery,” the three skippers said in a prepared statement. “A deal’s a deal. We’re heading up to Dutch Harbor to start filming the new season of ‘Deadliest Catch,’ and hopefully it will be the best one yet.”
The Hillstrands issued a separate statement that included an update on their ‘Deadliest Catch’ spinoff series, ‘Hillstranded’: “Everyone worked really hard on putting together ‘Hillstranded’ and we’re looking forward to wrapping that up. It’s something new that we hope people will enjoy.”
The dispute between Hansen, the Hillstrands and Discovery had to do, apparently, with the Hillstrands’ wavering commitment to the production of their own show. Last month, Discovery sued the Hillstrands for $3 million, accusing them of breaching an agreement they’d made to participate in the filming of the offshoot. The suit charged that the Hillstrands showed up for part of the filming, but then declined to show up when it became time to complete the project.
Their statement Friday evidently means they eventually returned to complete production of ‘Hillstranded,’ which must have satisfied Discovery.
For his part, Hansen announced in the wake of the lawsuit that he too would bow out of the next production cycle on ‘Deadliest Catch,’ acting in solidarity with his fellow captains. Now that the Hillstrands are back on board, Hansen is too.
What happened here? Well, it’s certainly possible that in the tight-knit fraternity of Alaska fishing boat captains, Hansen’s intention to sit out the seventh season of ‘Deadliest Catch’ represented nothing more than loyalty to his Hillstrand brethren. But at least one media outlet – TheDailyBeast.com – speculated in a story earlier today that the holdout may have been staged for another reason traditional in showbiz: money.
Discovery reps couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday.
The lawsuit and subsequent holdout capped a dramatic couple of months for ‘Deadliest Catch,’ which dealt with the death of one of their skippers, fan favorite Phil Harris, earlier this year. His stroke and subsequent death was a prominent storyline during the sixth season that ended this past summer, driving ‘Deadliest Catch’ to record highs in the ratings.
So how about it, ‘Deadliest Catch’ fans? Are you glad Sig and the Hillstrands are back at their respective helms?