You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nat Geo adds controversial show

Reality series focuses on life of tuna fishermen

National Geographic Channel could be courting controversy with a new show called “Wicked Tuna” — a reality series about the hardscrabble life of commercial fishermen in the Boston suburb of Gloucester, Mass.

The fish these folks are after is the Atlantic bluefin tuna — a critter that just barely avoided the federal government’s “endangered” classification in 2011, to the dismay of environmental groups.

Nat Geo says the fishing is highly regulated and sustainable, but the second claim is still hotly disputed. “Wicked Tuna” will follow the good ships Tuna.com, the Bounty Hunter, Hard Merchandise and Odysea as they attempt to nab the elusive fish with only hand-held angling gear and harpoons in accordance with Massachusetts law.

In November, a Massachusetts fishing crew accidentally bagged an 881-pound bluefin in a trawling net — one of the biggest fish catches ever recorded (the fish was confiscated by the state environmental police).

The series is produced by Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios, the shingle behind “Dirty Jobs” and “Top Shot.” Piligian and Mike Nichols produce.

Nat Geo’s other series announced at TCA on Friday is “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?,” produced by “Deadliest Catch” and “Ice Road Truckers” shingle Original Prods. In “Boy Scout,” adults compete for merit badgets with teenage scouts, following the rules set down in the BSA’s century-old handbook. That series has been picked up for six segs; no episode count was given for “Wicked Tuna.”

More TV

  • Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania,

    APOS: Online Video Headed for 15% Annual Growth, Disrupting Asia Markets

    A blistering 15% annual growth of online video will give the Asian video industry (TV, pay-TV, home entertainment and streaming) a growth rate nearly double that of North America for the next five years. According to a new report from Media Partners Asia, published on the eve of the APOS conference in Indonesia, Asia’s online [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    Writers Guild Says Over 7,000 Members Have Fired Agents

    Over 7,000 members of the Writers Guild of America have fired their talent agents, the Hollywood union said on Monday. As promised, the guild delivered a first round of termination letters to agents in a show of support for the WGA’s full-on war with the Association of Talent Agents. “Today the Guild delivered a first [...]

  • The Spanish Princess Starz

    TV Review: Starz's 'The Spanish Princess'

    With sumptuous costumes and a cast including a couple of familiar and beloved costume-drama players, Starz’s “The Spanish Princess,” about the travails of Catherine of Aragon, seems designed to appeal to lovers of broadly drawn historical romance. (It hits the air May 5 with a built-in fandom: Like past Starz miniseries including “The White Queen,” [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Jada Pinkett Smith's

    TV News Roundup: Amazon's 'Sneaky Pete' Releases Season 3 Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Amazon Prime Video releases a trailer for Season 3 of “Sneaky Pete,” and “Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett Smith sets a return date on Facebook Watch. FIRST LOOKS The official trailer for the third season of “Sneaky Pete” on Amazon Prime Video has been released, showing off the new [...]

  • Tammy Filler Nathan Najarian NBC

    E! Expands News Coverage, Brings 'Today' Vet Tammy Filler Aboard (EXCLUSIVE)

    E! is expanding its entertainment-news programming, with plans to add three more hours of coverage to its linear schedule in 2020, Variety has learned. To help spearhead the effort, the cable channel is bringing aboard Tammy Filler, a veteran producer on NBC’s “Today,” to lead creative and production for E! News. The expansion of news [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content