Great Pacific, Bell Media enter production on “Highway Thru Hell” spin-off

Mud Mountain, produced for Bell Media's Discovery channel, will create 300 around jobs, many of them in rural B.C.
July 13, 2020

Cameras are rolling in British Columbia on the logging-focused factual series Mud Mountain (working title, 8 x 60 minutes), the second spin-off series from the Highway Thru Hell franchise.

Produced by Thunderbird-owned factual prodco Great Pacific Media and Bell Media Studios, the project is billed as taking place “just down the road from the Highway Thru Hell, where giant logs and bigger pay days beckon men to take huge risks.” The show follows two brothers, Craig and Brent Lebeau, who have separate businesses in B.C., as they are forced to bury the hatchet and team up.

The series will create 300 jobs, many of them in rural B.C., according to Thunderbird, whose president Mark Miller will serve as executive producer.

Thunderbird, which owns kids-focused Atomic Cartoons and factual-focused Great Pacific, has been able to retain a steady production pipeline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said the implementation of “strict health and safety cultures” has allowed it to remain fully operational during the pandemic, adding that these protocols and measures “were key to the safe development and production” of Mud Mountain.

Highway Thru Hell, which was recently greenlit for its ninth season, has been a consistent hit both in Canada and internationally, selling to more than 170 countries around the world. Heavy Rescue: 401, the property’s first spin-off, has also become a factual hit in its own right, pulling in an average audience of 481,000 viewers (2+) in its season three debut last year. Heavy Rescue: 401 was also recently renewed for a fifth season during Bell Media’s virtual upfront presentation.

Jeffrey Kinnon serves as producer on the series, with Bell Media execs Edwina Follows and Heather Williamson serving as production executives. Bell Media is handling international distribution.

From Playback Daily

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.