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ThE MaStEr

Discovery Communications has kissed and made up with the stars of its hit reality show Deadliest Catch after an acrimonious war-of-words, tying its trio of fishing boat captains to a new season of the show.

Captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand, and Captain Sig Hansen, have jointly announced they will return to the hit show, in a move that appears to suggest a settlement to Discovery's US$3m lawsuit against the Hillstrand brothers.

"We're happy we worked everything out with Discovery," the trio said. "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."

Discovery last month sued the Hillstrands after claiming the duo failed to finish work on Hillstranded, a planned spin-off, according to a court filing. The Hillstrands and Hansen responded by issuing a statement saying they would be unable to continue participating in the show, owing to the litigation.

The Hillstrands' lawyer, Jeff Cohen, described the Discovery lawsuit as "an astonishing and shameful instance of arrogance and greed run amok," adding: "While CEO David Zaslav reaps a US$33.9m bonanza in a single day in January 2010, his company attempts to bankrupt hardworking fishermen.

"US$3m is exponentially greater than any compensation ever paid to the Deadliest Catch captains and yet this is the figure Discovery is trying to extort from these men. Isn't there enough unemployment in America without forcing hard-working sea captains to declare bankruptcy, sell their boats and fire their crews?"

However, the parties have now come to an agreement to continue with the show, although details of the settlement have not been made public. It also appears that the spin-off show, Hillstranded, is back on track.

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


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