Deadliest Catch: now with just one boat

The Discovery Channel said yesterday that Deadliest Catch‘s seventh season will follow the Cornelia Marie and Josh and Jake Harris, the sons of its former captain, Phil Harris. This is an obvious emotional appeal to fans but still a not very reassuring response to the news that three captains quit the show, which makes the show effectively seem like it’s over, but making an announcement that just one boat will be filmed isn’t much reassurance.

Pathetically and disappointingly, this statement seems designed as a pure emotional appeal, using Phil Harris’ death last spring to remind fans of their connection to the series. In a press release quote, which we all know are super-authentic, Jake and Josh said at the exact same time, “Our Dad made a tremendous connection with so many fans and it is such a fitting tribute to his life that we, his sons, can remain fishing on the boat that he skippered for so many years.”

Other boats, perhaps including Keith Colburn’s Wizard, will likely be added to the roster, because I can’t quite imagine a season following a single crab fishing boat. But Discovery Channel’s press release only mentions the Cornelia Marie, even going so far as to mention its other crew: captain Derrick Ray, engineer Steve Ward, and deckhands Freddie Maughtai and Ryan Simpson.

Announcing a new season and not even mentioning other boats: not the way to make us think that Deadliest Catch is going to be the same series without Northwestern captain Sig Hansen and Time Bandit captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.