“Hell’s Kitchen” producer A. Smith and Co. is swimming with sharks for its next series.
The company is developing the project “Shark Boat,” which revolves around the only company in America that allows people to free dive with sharks.
Docu-series is set inside Hawaii Shark Encounters, run by world-class free diver Stefanie Brendl. Show will focus on the struggles that Brendl and her staff face as they attempt to stay in business following the death of her boyfriend and business partner.
Brendl and Jimmy Hall launched Hawaii Shark Encounters in 2002; Hall, a Discovery Channel personality, died in May 2007 after a base jumping accident.
Show would follow Brendl as she takes divers outside of the cage to swim with sharks, as well as the interaction among her staff.
Hawaii Shark Encounters (which operates at least three miles off Hawaii shores) and another company have received scrutiny from some Hawaii lawmakers, who have expressed concern that the companies feed the sharks in order to attract them — something the companies have denied.
According to the Honolulu Advertiser, a recent study by Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology researchers also said the shark-cage dive tours pose little risk to public safety.
A. Smith founder Arthur Smith will exec produce with Kent Weed; Frank Sinton is also an EP. A. Smith’s other credits include “Kitchen Nightmares” and “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” as well as next month’s “Crash Course.”