The recent dramatic increase in piracy off the coast of Africa has made news headlines around the world and now Spike TV has partnered with the Emmy Award-winning reality production house 44 Blue Productions (“The True Story of Black Hawk Down,” “Lockup”) and Adam Friedman (“Vertical Ascent”) for production on the pilot “Pirate Hunters: USN” (working title), an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the US Navy operation to end this deadly threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
“We are thrilled to be front and center with the Navy on such an important mission,” says Sharon Levy, senior vice president, original series for Spike. “The access we have will really give our viewers the kind of heart-stopping action they have come to expect from Spike programming.”
These often-violent hijackings off the coast of eastern Africa not only pose a grave threat to the lives of sailors taking cargo through the region, but are also starting to add an exorbitant amount to the cost of worldwide trade. Now, television viewers will be able to see this dramatic, tension-filled and high-stakes military mission first-hand.
“Piracy off the coast of Africa is a real and deadly threat,” said Rasha Drachkovitch, president and founder of 44 Blue Productions. “With ‘Pirate Hunters: USN,’ our goal is to capture that drama for the TV audience in order to highlight the heroic work undertaken by the US Navy every day in this fight against terrorism.”
The US Navy is allowing Spike and 44 Blue Productions in-depth access as they embark on their mission from the military base in the seaside nation of Djibouti (bordering Somalia and Ethiopia) and on the open water. Cameras will capture every element of life aboard two US warships, the USS San Antonio and USS Boxer, as they patrol 1.1 million square miles of ocean for the pirates who call this region home.
Drachkovitch and award-winning producer Adam Friedman will serve as executive producers. Sharon Levy and Tim Duffy are the executives in charge of production for the pilot for Spike TV.