Spike TV is looking for plunder in the world of piracy -- the swashbuckling, ship-commandeering kind that made international headlines with Sunday's rescue of American sea captain Richard Phillips from his Somali captors.
The Viacom-owned cabler has greenlit a pilot for "Pirate Hunters: USN," a docu series from 44 Blue Prods. ("The True Story of Black Hawk Down") that will focus on the U.S. Navy's antipiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. That's the same region where Phillips was freed after a firefight between his captors and Navy snipers, ending a five-day hostage standoff.
The Maersk Alabama became the first vessel under U.S. control to be attacked by pirates in more than two centuries. In response to that incident, as well as the growing threat of pirates in the region, Drachkovitch said the Navy plans to step up its role in combating piracy.
"They're changing the mission to be more proactive," he said. "In some ways we're going to capture better action on film than had this not happened."
Producer 44 Blue will employ two crews of three people on the Boxer and the San Antonio.
Cameras will be on hand as the warships leave their military base in Djibouti (which borders Somalia and Ethiopia) and head out to patrol 1.1 million square miles of ocean.