A Soap Opera on the High Seas

There are the hits: Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” (about crab fishermen in the Bering Sea), History’s “Ice Road Truckers” (about truck drivers in the Canadian Arctic) and “Ax Men” (about loggers), all of them  among the toprated programs in their networks’ histories. “Motorcycle Mania,” a special that Beers produced for Discovery in 2000, introduced the world to the bike builder Jesse James, proprietor of the now-multimillion-dollar West Coast Choppers brand and then-future-ex of Sandra Bullock. “Storage Wars” — which adapts the high-octane, competition-oriented format of Beers’s earlier hits to the less-rugged world of delinquent-storage-unit auctions — became A&E’s highest rated series ever last year.


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