All is well in Dutch Harbor. Deadliest Catch will have all its familiar captains back.
Late last week, disgruntled crab boat captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand of Time Bandit and Sig Hansen of Northwestern announced that they had mended fences with Discovery, and would be returning to Deadliest Catch for a seventh season. In late September, the Hillstrand brothers had said that they would not be continuing with the series, due to having been sued by Discovery after they refused to finish work on a planned special. Hansen followed by saying he would likewise jump ship in solidarity with the Hillstrands. King crab season begins this week for the crab boats of the Bering Sea.
The trio released a joint statement which read, "We're happy we worked everything out with Discovery. 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 added that they were "looking forward" to finishing filming for the special, called Hillstranded. No terms of the deal were released, although attorney Jeff Cohen, who represents all three captains, told the Hollywood Reporter that both his side and Discovery were pleased with the outcome.
It seems fair to assume that "worked everything out" means that Discovery dropped its suit against the now cooperative Hillstrands, and that all three men got a raise to continue with the show. And given that the brothers never did give a reason why they stopped work on the special, one can also infer that the entire controversy has basically been one big negotiating ploy. Hansen and the Hillstrands have additional power now as the most familiar faces on Deadliest Catch, following the February death of Cornelia Marie captain Phil Harris, and apparently worked together to flex their muscles. The last few weeks showed that these blue collar guys can play a little corporate hardball.