Mining Reality Show in Works from ‘Deadliest Catch’ Team

by | October 14, 2010 at 9:41 AM | TV News

(Photo: Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(Photo: Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


With the rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners still playing in a loop on every news channel, Spike TV is prepped to announce a new reality series about, you guessed it, mining.

The network has ordered ‘Coal,’ from the producers of ‘Deadliest Catch,’ which will follow the dangerous underground job in West Virginia, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Despite the timing with the rescue, Spike executives note that their series has been in development for nearly a year. The network waited on their announcement a few weeks until the Chilean workers could be rescued.

“It didn’t take a tragedy, and then a miracle, to get us excited about this,” said Sharon Levy, executive VP original programming at the network.

She said the network was fans of producer Thom Beers and his Original Productions. “He said, ‘We’re working on this project called ‘Coal,’ and we said we’d take it,” Levy said.

‘Coal’ will follow Mike Crowder and Tom Roberts, co-owners of the Cobalt Mine is Westchester, W.Va. and their 40 employee mining team, as well as families and community members. It will show every major step in the coal mining process, including planting explosives to working in a traditional mine shaft.

“Generations of families have been mining coal in the United States for nearly 300 hundred years. Coal miners risk their lives in a way no one can imagine. We finally get to tell their stories,” Beers said.

Spike TV will premiere 10 episodes of the one-hour show beginning in April.

Meanwhile, the PBS science series ‘NOVA‘ has been filming the events in Chile at the San Jose mine since September 5 and yesterday announced ‘Emergency Mine Rescue’ would be ready to air on PBS stations Oct. 26.

‘NOVA’s Pioneer Productions crew gained special access and interviews to offer a detailed account of the rescue, including interviews with engineers, NASA experts and medical personnel.