Spike seals deal for show on Navy pirate hunters
By DAVID BAUDER
April 14, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) — Barely a day after the daring rescue of an American sea captain, cable TV's Spike announced a deal Monday to produce a show about U.S. Navy pirate hunters.
Two crews for 44 Blue Productions hope to be on board Navy vessels patrolling in the pirate-infested waters off the coast of Africa within two weeks. The company is aiming to have a series ready to put on the air by September, said Rasha Drachkovitch, 44 Blue's president and founder.
He'd been talking to the Navy about the idea for three months, but it was finished late last week while the standoff with pirates who had taken Capt. Richard Phillips hostage was going on.
"We had no idea if last week's events would actually kill the deal or seal the deal," said Sharon Levy, Spike's senior vice president for original series.
Drachkovitch said he thought the Navy would put the project on hold, yet instead the Phillips incident seemed to accelerate things. Commander Robert K. Anderson, Navy spokesman on the deal, said the agreement had essentially been made before the U.S. ship was attacked.
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Honestly, if they hadn't been convincing about having thought up the show months ago, I'd have hooted "exploitation." But as it is, all I can think is that there really are too damn many networks and yet there's STILL nothing good on 99 percent of them!