Producer snatches rights to reality show
crew of pilots and mechanics who find ways to take these planes, as well as support teams. Popovich has spent time in jail when his repo jobs have gone awry; he is also no stranger to being held at gunpoint by security teams anxious to hold on to the planes on their watch. Piligian had been negotiating a deal with Popovich for months, but the Salon story — which came out earlier this month — nearly derailed the whole arrangement. After the story went online, Popovich received inquiries and pitches from virtually every nonscripted producer in town. “That threw a monkey wrench into things,” Piligian said. “Why couldn’t this story have waited one more week? We (had nearly closed) with him. Then every other producer tried to make a deal, but (Popovich was) incredibly honorable. This could have gone a totally different way. But we’re a blue-collar production company, and they appreciated that.” Piligian will exec produce the project, along with Popovich and Bill Rancic. Rancic, the season one winner of “The Apprentice,” had earlier befriended Popovich and was advising him on the show. Rancic originally created the show with Popovich, and Piligian later came on board. Piligian’s credits also include “Ghost Hunters,” “The Ultimate Fighter,” “Sandhogs,” “Extreme Loggers” and “American Chopper.”
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