Discovery Channel has filed a $3 million breach-of-contract suit against “Deadliest Catch” stars Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand, charging that the two crab fishermen failed to complete a planned special chronicling their adventures in Alaska.
But the Hillstrands’ attorney issued a statement taking aim at Discovery and its CEO David Zaslav, charging that the suit was an “astonishing instance of arrogance and greed run amok.”
Discovery’s suit, filed in Montgomery County, Md., last week, claims that the Hillstrands agreed to do a special called “Hillstranded” but failed to show up to shoot pickup shots and final interviews earlier this month after a rough cut was completed. The producer of the special was informed on Aug. 30 that all contact with the Hillstrands from that point forward should be with their attorney, the suit contends.
“The budget for creating, filming and editing the program was established in significant part on the expectation that the result would be a two-hour television special that told the Hillstrands’ story of adventure in their own, unique voice,” the suit stated.
The Hillstrands’ attorney, Jeff Cohen of Cohen Gardner, said in a statement, “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.”
He also represents another “Deadliest Catch” star, Capt. Sig Hansen, and he said that Discovery is making “hundreds of millions or dollars from broadcasting the dangerous exploits of our clients.”