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Discovery Channel Sues 'Deadliest Catch' Stars for $3 Million

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 21st 2010 12:00PM
Discovery Channel sues 'Deadliest Catch' stars Jonathan and Andy HillstrandAnyone waiting for a 'Deadliest Catch' spinoff series from Jonathan and Andy Hillstrand might want to adjust their expectations. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Discovery Channel is suing the brothers for $3 million, claiming they never completed work on the spinoff show, called 'Hillstranded,' they had agreed to film.

The Discovery Channel argues that the Hillstrands completed two weeks of principal photography for a show about their lives in Alaska, then refused to sit for interviews necessary to complete the project.

In a THR follow-up article, a lawyer for the brothers said in a statement, "The recent actions of Discovery Communications are an astonishing and shameful instance of arrogance and greed run amok ... Three million dollars is exponentially greater than any compensation ever paid to the 'Deadliest Catch' captains, and yet this is the figure Discovery is trying to extort from these men."

The lawyer alleges that the brothers will likely have to declare bankruptcy, fire their crews and sell their boats to pay for the lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes after an enormously successful season of 'Deadliest Catch' that included the death of Captain Phil Harris. According to TVByTheNumbers.com, that episode averages 8.5 million viewers, third highest for any Discovery Channel broadcast, and anchored strong ratings for the series in general.

The Discovery Channel argues the spinoff would have gotten high ratings, and there's no doubt the company was counting on buzz from the latest season of 'Deadliest Catch' to propel 'Hillstranded.'

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Joey Bell

What happen to living up to ur word. Sorry its business and u can't just stop doing some u agreed to do. That's why there is contracts. If I stopped paying my mortgage the bank takes my house. U cost a tv network millions in advertisements there going to get that money one way or another if they have to sue then they will. Just do ur job ur getting paid for and u won't have a problem. If u don't want to do it again then don't sign a contract stating u will do it.

April 05 2011 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I, too, hope it gets resolved, because without Phil, Sig or the Hillstrands, I will find another station.

September 29 2010 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
J. D.

OHHHHH, Discovery Channel, nothing like
stepping on your own D_CK!

September 29 2010 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is sad and I have to say, if the Hillstrands and Sig are off of Deadliest Catch, I won't watch it anymore.

September 29 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Between the loss of Phil Harris, Discovery's treatment of any fansites, and this new issue with the Hillstrands, I get the feeling there won't be many, if any more seasons of my favorite show. This is too bad. Maybe another station will pick up the group and call it by a different name, but I'm sure Discovery has made certain that won't ever happen.
I have lost all patience with a channel I used to respect and follow for quality programming on a regular basis. Between TLC and Discovery, I have lost almost all desire to tune in, if things continue in this manner, it won't be almost anymore.
I get the feeling I'm not alone in these sentiments. DISCOVERY?! Are You Listening?.. You should be!!!!

September 21 2010 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Deadliest Catch, and particularly the Time Bandit crew. But if Andy and Jonathan didn't fulfill their end of the contract (which is what I've read), they can't really complain about the lawsuit. How hard would it be to sit for a day in a studio for interviews? I hope they get it worked out, because I'd hate to see things change even more. Phil is enough of a loss!

September 21 2010 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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