Long before Abby Sunderland set sail on her around-the-world attempt in January, Sunderland was approached by Magnetic Entertainment about the possibility of a reality show, he said. His wife, Marianne, was against it, he said, but they eventually agreed a show focusing on "inspiring kids doing inspirational things" was a story that needed to be told.

Sunderland's son, Zac, became the youngest person to sail around the world at age 17.

Magnetic did some initial filming but could not sell the show, said Sunderland, a shipbuilder. He also had a falling out with the partners over the angle they wanted to take, he said.

"They were assuming Abigail was going to die out there," he said. "They were relying on her dying, and so we cut the ties."

Oh, after it's over, he cuts the ties.......