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Spike TV orders new 'Pirate Hunters: USN' US Navy reality show pilot


By Christopher Rocchio, 04/13/2009 

Spike TV has announced it has ordered a pilot for Pirate Hunters: USN, a new reality series that will follow the US Navy's military operation aimed at ending the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Africa.

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The pilot is being produced by 44 Blue Productions and will follow two warships -- the USS San Antonio and USS Boxer -- as they patrol 1.1 million square miles of ocean for pirates who have recently been terrorizing the region.

"We are thrilled to be front and center with the Navy on such an important mission," said Spike TV executive Sharon Levy. "The access we have will really give our viewers the kind of heart-stopping action they have come to expect from Spike programming."

Spike TV's announcement came a day after the dramatic rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, who had been held hostage in a lifeboat for five days by Somali pirates. 

The incident occurred in the same region as where Pirate Hunters: USN intends to film its pilot and the USS Boxer was one of the warships that converged on the scene.

"We didn't know whether it would put the kibosh on things or accelerate things," 44 Blue president and founder Rasha Drachkovitch told Daily Variety in a Monday report.

"But the Navy reps told us, 'This is incredible timing for you guys. You're going to get a front-row seat in our response.'"

Drachkovitch -- who is scheduled to board the USS Boxer next week -- added that the growing threat of pirates in the region and the Navy's increased efforts to thwart them should make Pirate Hunters: USN muest-see-TV.

"They're changing the mission to be more proactive," he told Variety. "In some ways we're going to capture better action on film than had this not happened."

Drachkovitch will executive produce the pilot with Adam Friedman.

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