Leland Chapman and Duane Lee Chapman left Dog The Bounty Hunter while the show was taping its final season, leading fans to begin readying themselves for the inevitable end of the show. That end has now arrived.
Duane “Dog” Chapman might continue hunting down fugitives in the future, but he’ll do it off the airwaves. Dog The Bounty Hunter, the show that helped usher in an era of quasi-exploitative reality programming on A&E that now includes shows like Duck Dynasty and Swamp People, has been canceled. The show will complete its eighth season and then not return. The final run of episodes will air beginning next month.
Dog will be remembered for his bounty hunting ways–and the fact that he always tried to have a heart-to-heart chat with the “iceheads” he arrested, but many will also remember him for the racist comments he made a few years ago.
Dog and wife Beth Smith Chapman released a message in which they thanked fans for their support over the years. Son Leland retweeted the message, which read as follows:
“This has been a great ride for 8 seasons and we would not be where we are today but for our loyal and dedicated fans. We are about to start a new chapter, and an announcement will be made sooner rather than later. You can’t keep a good Dog down.”
It’s unclear what’s next for the Chapman family, but it’s likely that they will continue bounty hunting until they formalize plans for the next phase of their lives. Though the show may have dramatized some of their exploits, they are real bounty hunters and the criminals they chased were actually sought by law enforcement.
Perhaps Dog will go on to a career of motivational speaking. The pep talks he gave the criminals he caught were often the best part of the show.