'Deadliest Catch' to chronicle Phil Harris' stroke, air tribute special
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/16/2010
Discovery Channel has announced it will pay tribute to Phil Harris, who died in February after suffering a stroke while captaining his Cornelia Marie crab fishing vessel, in a Deadliest Catch special that will air on Tuesday, July 20 at 10PM ET/PT.
The special -- dubbed Deadliest Catch: Captain Phil Harris Remembered -- will be the culmination of several sixth-season episodes that will document the time from Harris' initial stroke to his subsequent passing.
"Captain Phil was a father, fisherman, funny man and, most importantly for fans worldwide, a friend. We celebrate his life and all those he has touched through Deadliest Catch," said Discovery executive Clark Bunting.
"I wish this would never have been a storyline of the series, but I am proud of the heart and emotion we have worked so hard to put into these very special episodes as a tribute to Phil."
Deadliest Catch's sixth season -- which airs Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT -- will begin its Harris tribute on June 22 by airing footage of the 53-year-old suffering the January 29 stroke while the Cornelia Marie was docked and off-loading on Alaska's St. Paul Island.
The episode will also include footage of sons Josh and Jake and the rest of the Cornelia Marie crew seeking medical attention for Harris and praying for the best.
Deadliest Catch's June 29 episode will document the rest of the show's fleet learning the news -- including reactions from captains Sig Hansen (F/V Northwestern), Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand (F/V Time Bandit), and Keith Colburn (F/V Wizard).
The July 6 episode will follow Josh and Jake as they watch over their father -- who underwent 12 hours of surgery at an Anchorage hospital and was then put in a medically induced coma to reduce brain swelling. He subsequently exited the coma and began to show signs of recovery in the ICU.
Deadliest Catch's July 13 broadcast will document Harris' actual passing, while the reality series' After the Catch spinoff will then air its finale at 10PM ET/PT and show Harris being remembered at New Orleans' Blue Nile bar.
Deadliest Catch's regularly-scheduled sixth-season episode on July 20 will show footage of Hansen, Colburn and Johnathan and Andy learning about Harris' passing and coming to terms with it beforeDeadliest Catch: Captain Phil Harris Remembered airs at 10PM ET/PT.
The sixth-season finale will then air on July 27 as the fleet deals with the news of Harris' death while also trying to make their quotas at the end of the Opilio season.