After quitting Deadliest Catch last week, Northwestern captain Sig Hansen and Time Bandit captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand have all rejoined the show after negotiating new contracts with Discovery. They announced they were leaving, citing the network’s lawsuit against the Hillstrands. So yes, the cynical response–that this was all a negotiation tactic–seems to be right.
The three captains said in a statement, “We’re happy we worked everything out with Discovery. A deal’s a deal. We’re heading up to Dutch Harbor to start filming the new season of ‘Deadliest Catch’ and hopefully it will be the best one yet.” The Hollywood Reporter says “[t]erms of the settlement are not being disclosed but Cohen said he was happy with the results of the negotiation, suggesting the captains are getting a pay raise. Also as part of the deal, the Hillstrands have agreed to finish work on ‘Hillstranded,’ the spinoff that prompted the standoff.”
Filming on the new season starts next week, and the show will air next spring, assuming anyone wants to watch a show where its stars screw with fans in order to negotiate salary increases for themselves. I’d never fault anyone for desiring or even demanding more money, especially the stars of a successful series, who deserve to profit when someone else is profiting from them. But quitting the show as a way to create fan outcry and get the network’s attention is a dick move and really disappointing.