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Deadliest Catch Captains Caught in $3 Million Catfight

Johnathan Hillstrand, Andy Hillstrand, Deadliest Catch Cameron Glendenning /Discovery Channel

This real enough for you?

Deadliest Catch captains (and brothers) Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand have been slapped with a giant suit from the Discovery Channel amid claims from the cable net that they breached their contract for a planned spinoff show.

And while the siblings certainly know from rough waters, they've never been up this type of creek without a paddle…

According to documents filed in Maryland, where Discovery is based, the bros were contracted to participate in a onetime special, the wittily titled Hillstranded, and while cameras rolled on the duo for two weeks in Alaskan waters, any reality show watcher worth their salt knows it ain't over 'til those awkward, often eye-roll-worthy one-on-one interviews and voiceovers are complete.

And that, apparently, is where the brothers fell short, failing to even agree to a time to shoot their bits, per court docs, leaving the network no choice but to file suit against them and seek some $3 million in damages for their refusal to cooperate.

Discovery said in a statement the network had tried "with little success" to resolve the dispute without resorting to litigation.

"We regret having to take this serious step, but we absolutely expect those we work with will honor their contractual obligations," the cable net said.

As for the Hillstrands, it remains unclear why they remain so reluctant to finish the one-off special, though their lawyer yesterday chose to eschew defense and launch into a full throttle offense instead.

"The recent actions of Discovery Communications are an astonishing and shameful instance of arrogance and greed run amok," lawyer Jeff Cohen told the Hollywood Reporter. "While CEO David Zaslav reaps a $33.9 million bonanza in a single day in January 2010, his company attempts to bankrupt hardworking fishermen.

"Three million dollars 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 hardworking sea captains to declare bankruptcy, sell their boats and fire their crews?"

Ah, the old everyman defense. Except that most everymen probably would've just finished out their contractual obligations.

The attorney didn't stop there, however, and instead continued to cast Discovery as a heartless corporation, invoking memories of the tragic death of Captain Phil Harris earlier this year.

"In light of all the tragedy witnessed by Captain Sig [Hansen], Captain John and Captain Andy this year, why can't Discovery let these working men move on with their lives?"

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