TCA: National Geographic Channel Greenlights Boy Scout, Tuna Fishing Series

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National Geographic Channel has picked up two unscripted series exploring the worlds of Boy Scouts and tuna fishermen from prolific producers Thom Beers and Craig Piligian, respectively.

Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? from Beers' Original Productions (Deadliest Catch), will see adults civilians from all walks of life go head-to-head with Boy Scouts as they compete in challenges based on the Scouts' 100-year-old handbook as they bid for merit badges. Scouts ranging from 10-year-old Webelos to 17 and 18-year-old Eagles, chosen from guides across the country will be featured in the six-episdoe series set to bow this year.

“I was three badges short of my Eagle Scout badge, and I know I am not alone,” Beers said in a statement announcing the news Friday. “This series is going to allow people like me one more chance to achieve such an incredible milestone. Plus, it’s authentic, has a fun and interesting set of circumstances and underdog characters with a story to tell. And frankly, who doesn’t love the Boy Scouts?”  

Beers and Philip D. Segal will produce for Original Productions, while Richard Wells and Michael Cascio will oversee for National Geographic Channel.

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Wicked Tuna, meanwhile, hails from Piligian's Pilgrim Studios (Dirty Jobs) and will explore the business of bluefin tuna fishing in Gloucester, Mass., as crews set sail for the elusive fish that can fetch between $3,000 and $15,000 in peak season.

“Commercial tuna fishing is brutally competitive. With its limited season, the intelligence and prowess of the fish, and the sheer fact that they’re worth so much, the livelihood of each vessel’s crew can be made or broken in a month,” Piligian said. “Pairing that kind of pressure with the harsh environment of Gloucester makes this one of the most intense and compelling series Pilgrim has ever produced.”

Premiering in the spring, Piligian and Mike Nichols oversee for Pilgrim Studios, while Lynn Sadofsky and Cascio oversee for National Geographic Channel.

The series will join Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln on the cable network as it continues to expand its roster of original programming under new president Howard T. Owens.

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