When I talk about Shrimps I always think of Bubba from Forrest Gump, but that maybe is about to change, when the New History show Big Shrimpin´ premieres on November 17 10 PM.
For the shrimpers of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, mining the waters for tiny pieces of “saltwater gold” is a treacherous, 24/7 job. But there’s more to shrimping than bringing in the day’s haul. History is made daily as they fight to save a uniquely American way of life.
BIG SHRIMPIN’, a new 8-part series premiering Thursday, November 17, at 10 p.m. on HISTORY®, follows a group of longtime employees of Dominick Ficarino, owner of the most successful business in Bayou La Batre, Dominick’s Seafood. Over the course of several months, the captains and crews of three of Dominick’s boats show what it takes to shrimp and demonstrate how something so little can create such big problems. Working 40 days at a stretch and sometimes 48 hours straight, the crews battle unforgiving elements, equipment breakdowns, injuries, competing boats and even each other.
There is deep history within the tradition of American shrimping. Born and raised in the shrimping industry, Dominick’s fourth generation family business is determined to rebound from the widespread devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. At a time when close to 90% of the shrimp in America comes from outside the U.S., he’s fighting to keep the industry alive.
Dominick’s loyal crews are willing to risk it all to sustain their way of life and keep Bayou La Batre afloat. Captain Redbone, 35 years in the business, is the one Dominick depends on to haul in the most shrimp. At 32, Captain Bullfrog, the “shrimp whisperer,” is Dominick’s youngest captain. Captain Roundhead claims he was once the best in the biz, but he’s had some hard seasons and is looking for redemption. Away from home and family for months at a time, these pros never stop, never give in, and never give up.
BIG SHRIMPIN’ is produced for HISTORY by Pilgrim Studios. Craig Piligian and Eddie Rohwedder are Executive Producers and David Barsky is Co-Executive Producer for Pilgrim Studios. Susan Werbe is Executive Producer for HISTORY.
BIG SHRIMPIN’ will follow a collection of these characters are they battle each other, the weather and crew from other companies as they get ready for the Texas Open, the only area in the Gulf that closes its shrimping for a period of time each year. At the center is Dominic “The Dom,” the owner of a fleet of shrimp boats that ply the Gulf of Mexico. BIG SHRIMPIN’ focuses on three of his boats, one captained by a 35-year veteran who’s always been the top dog, another captained by Dom’s youngest helmer whose young turk crew believes they can get the biggest catch, and a father-son team who are trying to overcome some bad luck and get back on top. The competition is fierce among Dom’s boats, each crew working hard to bring in the biggest haul for the biggest payday. All feel the weight of making a living – for their town, their families, themselves, and an industry. Today, 90% of the shrimp eaten by Americans comes from countries other than the U.S.
Series premiere episode is called No Rest ‘Til Texas: Deep in the heart of America’s shrimping industry, the men of Bayou La Batre, Alabama prepare for the most important day of their season – the start of the Texas Open in the Gulf of Mexico. Dominick’s three captains, known as Bullfrog, Redbone and Roundhead, race to the starting line and the potential saltwater gold that waits them. The past seasons have been tough and the stakes are high. Captain Bullfrog is a shrimp whisperer, determined to outperform his mentor, Captain Redbone, the grizzled veteran who is not giving an inch. Captain Roundhead has had a hard couple of season and is looking for redemption. They each run into trouble along the way and the decisions they each make to solve their problems says a lot about who they are.
What do you think? Will you watch Big Shrimpin´on History? Let me know in the comments section.
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