KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knoxville-based writer Shannon Burke had wanted to write a treasure hunt-centered film with North Carolina natives Jonas and Josh Pate for nearly twenty years.

It took the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament title game to kickstart the project. 

“The year after Carolina won the championship we started talking – oh we should do something together – and we just started kicking ideas around one summer and they got more and more real. But we sort of the very basis of the idea was really a group of teens who are sort of loose ends on an island without power. We kept saying without power so they don’t have phones and it’s all golden like.”

Shannon Burke

The trio threw together a makeshift trailer and headed to Hollywood ready to pitch to buyers. 

“It’s forty minutes and it’s yes or no. Those six months you just worked is nothing, it’s done. It’s really like game time when you go in.” 

Netflix was in. The next year and a half was full of long days of writing, filming and producing leading up to the April 15 release on Netflix. 

“I’m so used to books where the book comes out and nothing happens. You know, maybe you get a review. This is totally different. The trailer dropped a week before and I clicked on like five minutes after it dropped at like 11 in the morning here and 50,000 people had already watched it.”

The series immediately found itself on the Netflix top ten trending list.

“We’re super excited and have a sort of a childish pleasure of wanting to see if it would go to number one. But we’re happy and hopefully, people like it. But we’ve worked on it for two years, 18 hours a day and suddenly it’s out there and there’s instant gratification and instant response from people which is fun and a little scary.”

“We were hired to write the first five episodes. It doesn’t mean they’re making the show but it means they had a pretty good feeling about it.”

Shannon Burke when asked about plans for a second season of Outer Banks