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Another reality-series participant arrested

[This post has been updated]

Neither Discovery Channel nor the producers of the cable network's popular series "Deadliest Catch" were involved in the hiring of Josh Warner as a deckhand on the show, a Discovery rep told The TV Column Monday.

Yes, in a rite of passage, Silver-Spring-based Discovery Channel has been added to the pantheon of TV networks that maybe need to re-think how they vet -- or do not vet -- reality-series participants.

A Joshua Tel Warner was arrested in East Peoria, Ill. on New Years Eve after a vehicle he was riding in was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, and cops discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon for alleged connection to three bank robberies, the Associated Press reports.

The cops say he's the same person as the Josh Warner who appeared as a greenhorn (aka newbie) deckhand on the king crab fishing boat Wizard in the '09 season of Discovery's Thom Beers-produced series, which follows fisherman harvesting Alaskan King Crabs in the Bering Sea near Alaska.

The warrant charges Warner with two bank robberies in 2009 - and one in '07, two years before his turn on "Deadliest Catch."

The job of hiring deckhands falls to the boat captains, the Discovery Channel rep says.

According to the TV station KMTR in Eugene, Ore., one of the '09 robberies occurred in April and the other in August, when "Deadliest Catch's" latest season had just finished. But, according to the Discovery rep, that season of "Catch" had actually been shot between mid-Ocrober and mid-December of 2008.

Warner's the guy who stood out as the greenhorn who got a rare thumbs-up from Captain Keith.

"I would say Josh is probably about as good as we've seen out here in a long time for a greenhorn," Captain Keith was heard to say on the show.

Josh, meanwhile, was seen during in an episode explaining in an on-camera interview, "When I first started, like, I was amped up - do a good job" or something like that. Actually, it doesn't matter what he said - the relevant information here is:
a) On-camera interview in 2008
and
b) Suspect in a 2007 bank robbery and two 2009 bank robberies.

"[Josh] stepped up and finished strong," Voiceover Guy said during one of the episodes, and Captain Keith is seen asking Warner to his cabin to ask him back:

"Do you want to come back?" Captain Keith asked Josh -- who said he did. Discovery has, in fact, ordered a sixth season of "Deadliest Catch" which, sadly, has already been shot and does not feature the return of Warner, the Discovery rep confides.

Bail on Warner had been set at $30,000, the AP says.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  January 4, 2010; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Comments

Lisa, "Voiceover Guy" on "Deadliest Catch" is none other than the amazing Mike Rowe!

Posted by: lydandy | January 4, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Lisa - your lead is not really fair to group this with other reality-show embarassments. Unlike most of the other assorted tripe on TV, "Deadliest Catch" is an actual reality show. Discovery no more picks the deckhands than CNN picks the members of Congress it covers. And, if you have watched the show, you would know that crabfisherman with past or current legal trouble is nothing new. It takes a special breed to work on an ice-civered deck at -20 and 40 foot waves, and often those people do not mix well with authority and convention. I feel bad for Josh (who seemed on the show like a good kid), but how is this Discovery's fault?

Posted by: rlr_ex_nova | January 4, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Lisa - your lead is not really fair to group this with other reality-show embarassments. Unlike most of the other assorted tripe on TV, "Deadliest Catch" is an actual reality show. Discovery no more picks the deckhands than CNN picks the members of Congress it covers. And, if you have watched the show, you would know that crabfisherman with past or current legal trouble is nothing new. It takes a special breed to work on an ice-civered deck at -20 and 40 foot waves, and often those people do not mix well with authority and convention. I feel bad for Josh (who seemed on the show like a good kid), but how is this Discovery's fault?

Posted by: rlr_ex_nova | January 4, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Discovery telecast the 2009 season of "Deadliest Catch" from mid-April to late July of that year, but it's unclear when the episodes were shot."

-- The crab season occurs inDecember and January - Check some facts!

Posted by: rlr_ex_nova | January 4, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

There really is no such thing as an "actual reality show" in the unvarnished sense. Every one of these programs, Deadliest Catch included, is at minimum edited for dramatic impact--notice they don't spend a lot of time showing guys sleeping in their bunks. As for feeling "bad for Josh," the guy was arrested for multiple counts of armed bank robbery! What I can't understand is how bail was set at only $30K--that's ridiculously low given the charges.

Posted by: jhpurdy | January 4, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

jhpurdy - I meant I feel "bad" in that he seemed to be a hard-working kid who has unfortunately gone on the wrong path. I don't know why anyone robs banks, since it's the crime with pretty much the highest solve rate, and I believe a federal offense if a nationally chartered bank. And, yes, certainly you are right about the editing - real life is mostly pretty boring, which is why I think the genre is mostly silly and often contrived - "Let's put a skinhead, a vegan and a homosexual in a small house and see how they get along!" No thanks. And, sadly, some of the guys on Deadliest Catch sometimes seem more interested in talking to the camera.

Posted by: rlr_ex_nova | January 4, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

How come when Charlie Sheen pulls a knife on his wife, no one writes about how the networks "need to re-think how they vet scripted-series actors"?

Posted by: tomtildrum | January 4, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

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