Homer Alaska - News

Hillstrands, Time Bandit back on Deadliest Catch



Johnathan Hillstrand left, holds up the key to the city after Homer Mayor James Hornaday presented him the key on the deck of the F/V Time Bandit last March. Hornaday also presented the key to the city to Capt. Andy Hillstrand, far right. Lou Lovelace, second from right, manager of the Time Bandit Store, also was on hand.

Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand and Capt. Sig Hansen have agreed to return to "Deadliest Catch," the Discovery Channel series about crab fishing in Alaska. The Hillstrands and Hansen had announced earlier that the Hillstrands' boat, the F/V Time Bandit, and Hansen's boat, the F/V Northwestern, would not participate in "Deadliest Catch" this crab season. In a statement released Friday by the Discovery Channel, the captains announced they will join the show for filming. The Time Bandit is homeported in Homer.

"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," Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand said in the statement.

Discovery Communications, the parent company of the Discovery Channel, had filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Maryland last month alleging the Hillstrands had not fulfilled the conditions of another Discovery project, "Hillstranded." Filming had been done last summer, but Discovery charged the Hillstrands had not done other work to finish the show.

Although Maryland County Court online records show the case still open, Discovery and the Hillstrands negotiated a way to end the suit.

"They agreed to complete work on 'Hillstranded' which will resolve the lawsuit," said Joshua Weinberg, a Discover Communications spokesperson for "Deadliest Catch."

"Hillstranded" is a spin-off from "Deadliest Catch" about the Hillstrands' life outside of crab fishing. Parts of it were filmed in Homer and Alaska last summer. The limited special series airs next spring.

"Everyone worked really hard on putting together 'Hillstranded' and we're looking forward to wrapping that up," the Hillstrands said. "It's something new that we hope people will enjoy."

Jeff Cohen, the Los Angeles entertainment lawyer for the Hillstrands and Hansen, did not return a phone call seeking comment by press time.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.