Although nothing has been written in stone yet, Discovery Channel and exec producer Thom Beers are discussing plans to produce a tribute to Deadliest Catch star Capt. Phil Harris, who died Tuesday at the age of 53.
The special tribute is nothing surprising, though. Harris was a fan-favorite, having been part of Deadliest Catch since the first season of the series as the captain of the fishing vessel Cornelia Marie. Additionally, the sixth season of the show already finished filming so that means fans will still see Harris when Deadliest Catch returns in April.
"He'll be a big part of the season and the series," Beers told Variety. "But this is a huge loss to the series. The fate and the future of the Cornelia Marie and crew [are] up in the air. I'm flying up to meet with his sons and figure out what to do going forward."
Harris' sons, Jake and Josh, who both appear on Deadliest Catch, also serve as deckhands on the Cornelia Marie. According to Beers, Harris' relationship with his sons gave the show an emotional hook.
"What was fascinating for me was seeing this big rough-and-tumble guy reunited with his sons through work," Beers said. "He had to adjust to all of a sudden being a dad again. It was fun to see the trials and tribulations of raising these two boys in a work environment."
With Harris' demise, the future looks cloudy for Jake and Josh, and the rest of Harris' crew. And since Deadliest Catch also features several fishing boats, it means that the series would be able to continue even if the Cornelia Marie goes out of commission.