Discovery Channel is spinning off its Deadliest Catch series, with a new series that explores the lives of Dungeness crab fishermen and their families in and around Newport, OR. Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove, which the network says is a working title, is set in one of the last remaining fishing towns along the edge of the Oregon coast, heading north to British Columbia – an area that has earned the dubious distinction of being crowned Graveyard of the Pacific. That’s owing to the unpredictable weather conditions, coastal features and currents that have caused a large number of shipwrecks over the years.
The new series, premiering in fall of 2016, will document how each year, boats line up and take off, signaling the start of Dungeness crab season. With millions of dollars up for grabs in one of the last derby-style fisheries in the world, the competition is won by being the fastest boat and the first back to the dock to sell.
Last month, the local Newport News-Times newspaper reported Deadliest Catch producers were “poised to feature five Yaquina Bay fishing vessels when the Dungeness crab season” opened in December and that the Port of Newport had granted a special use permit for Original Production LLC’s filming of what apparently was another show name being mulled, Deadliest Catch: Hell’s Dungeon.
Discovery Channel president Rich Ross likes spinoffs. Last spring, Discovery ordered an offshoot of its survival-in-the-buff series Naked And Afraid. In this past summer’s unveiling, Naked And Afraid XL outstripped E!’s highly hyped I am Cait in overall audience and in the 25-54 demo. This coming February, Street Outlaws New Orleans will spring from the loins of Discovery’s racing reality series Street Outlaws. Ross calls his latest spinoff a natural way to “extend with new storylines and characters” the network’s extremely well-received Deadliest Catch franchise.
The extension of the Deadliest Catch brand is a no-brainer. The mothership series has been a ratings and Emmy magnet for the network. In 2015, Deadliest Catch dominated the basic cable landscape on Tuesday nights in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos and with men in both demos. It averaged 3.6 million viewers this season, with 2.2 million of them in the 25-54 demo the basic cable network targets. Deadliest Catch won the Emmy for best reality series in 2011, and again in 2014 and 2015 when the category of eligibility was best unstructured reality series. Deadliest Catch also has been awarded an Emmy for best reality program cinematography every year since 2011.
Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove will be produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions; Philip D. Segal, Sarah Whalen and John Gray will exec produce, with Johnny Beechler as showrunner. For Discovery Channel, Joseph Boyle is EP.