From 'Catch' to caught, there's something fishy about Josh

THE C-TEAM: Donald Trump with the cast of the next "Celebrity Apprentice."
THE C-TEAM: Donald Trump with the cast of the next "Celebrity Apprentice." (Mitch Haaseth/nbc Universal)

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By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We can now add Discovery Channel to the pantheon of networks that need to rethink how they vet -- or do not vet -- reality series participants.

Discovery says neither the network nor the show producers were involved in the hiring of an alleged bank robber on the Silver Spring-based network's most recent edition of the ocean-fishing show "Deadliest Catch."

Joshua Tel Warner was arrested in East Peoria, Ill., on New Year's Eve after a vehicle he was riding in was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, and cops discovered there was a warrant for his arrest in Oregon in connection with not one, not two, but three bank robberies, the Associated Press reports. Cops say he's the same Josh Warner who appeared as a greenhorn (a.k.a. newbie) deckhand on the fishing boat Wizard in the '09 season of Discovery's Thom Beers-produced reality series, which follows fishermen in the Bering Sea near Alaska.

The job of hiring deckhands on "Deadliest Catch" falls to the boat captains, a Discovery rep told The TV Column on Monday.

The warrant charges Warner with two bank robberies in 2009 -- and one in '07, before his turn on "Deadliest Catch." Footage for the fifth season was shot between mid-October and mid-December 2008.

According to the TV station KMTR in Eugene, Ore., one of the '09 robberies occurred in April and the other in August, right after "Deadliest Catch's" latest season had just finished.

Warner stood out on the show as having received a rare greenhorn 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 the season explaining in an on-camera interview, "When I first started, like, I was amped up -- do a good job."

Actually, it doesn't matter what he said -- the relevant information out is that he allegedly robbed a bank in 2007 and was showing his mug on national TV a year later.

Josh "stepped up and finished strong," Voice-over Guy said during one of the episodes that featured Warner, while Captain Keith thought so highly of Josh that he asked him to his cabin to invite him back on the show.

But, sadly, Warner does not appear in the upcoming sixth season of "Deadliest Catch," which has already been shot, the Discovery Channel rep said.

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