The Real Reason Dog The Bounty Hunter's Show Was Canceled

Duane Lee "Dog" Chapman, famously known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, and his now late wife, Beth Chapman, rose to reality TV fame in 2004. That's when A&E started documenting the family's wild adventures as they hunted and captured fugitives between Dog's home state of Hawaii and native state of Colorado. The show, called Dog the Bounty Hunter, was massively successful and helped reshape the programming A&E offered from artsy biography series to documenting the most extraordinary folk A&E could find (per Variety).

With Dog's iconic long, flowing blonde hair paired with his black sunglasses that were almost never missing from his face; his wife's impressive ability to track and chase down bail-skippers in high heels; and the inspirational pep talks the family would share before venturing onto a new mission, the show was an A&E staple for eight years.

Fans were consequently caught off-guard when Dog the Bounty Hunter was suddenly canceled after a more than 200-episode run with the network, despite still having a large following. The end of the series did reveal some family drama, but there was more to the fall of the hit A&E show. Continue reading for more insight into why Dog's show was canceled.

Dog the Bounty Hunter's show was canceled due to irreconcilable differences

On the surface, there seemed to be no bad blood between Dog the Bounty Hunter and A&E, as the Chapman family released a positive statement upon the show's cancellation. "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," the statement read (via Channel Guide Magazine). On the flip side, A&E never released an official statement, but a source close to the show (per TMZ) claimed the network pulled the plug when "creative differences" could not be resolved.

The end of the show came after the Chapman family also had internal disputes. Dog's sons Duane Lee II and Leland left the series in 2011, and episodes showed the Chapman family attempting to reconcile their issues. However, Dog, Beth, and company were able to quickly fix any internal issues and give fans the action and realness they yearned for: a new show.

Dog the Bounty Hunter and his family landed two new shows

The part of the A&E breakup statement in which Dog the Bounty Hunter and his family promised a new chapter materialized into a new show on CMT. Dog, Beth, Leland, and in the last season, daughter Cecily appeared on Dog and Beth: On The Hunt for three seasons until ending in 2016. Filming stopped due to another set of complications: The bail industry was at risk, and they wanted to save it.

Beth Chapman, who at the time was the president of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States, told In Touch Weekly her concerns. "Our industry is under attack," she said. "There are bail reform movements springing up across the country that would end the cash bail systems. This would be a disaster." However, more complications were headed toward this bounty-hunting family.

After a very brief TV hiatus, Dog and Beth were welcomed into the homes of fans once again, but for a grim reason. The couple teamed up with A&E once again to document a new fight: Beth's battle with throat cancer. The network released an emotional two-hour special in 2017. Beth sadly passed two years later in Hawaii. In a tear-filled interview shortly after her death, Dog said he could never replace his partner-in-crime. "There is not another Beth. There'll never be another Beth. There ain't a girl built like another Beth," he told Entertainment Tonight.

What's next for Dog the Bounty Hunter?

Dog the Bounty Hunter signed onto a new deal called Dog's Most Wanted with WGN, which showed his last fugitive pursuits with Beth Chapman. The show ran for one season, but was canceled just as quickly as it landed in Dog's lap, according to The Sun. However, TMZ reported in February 2020 that it's just on a "hiatus."

The show's sudden pause came as new family turmoil hit the tabloids: Just seven months after Beth passed, Dog proposed to former friend Moon Angell on The Dr. Oz Show. His family and friends were allegedly concerned, and his daughter Lyssa slammed Angell in a series of tweets. "Any person who moves in on a man weeks after losing his wife, who you were supposed to be a 'friend' to, Is the lowest scum on the planet," she protested.  Dog has since proposed to a different woman, Francie Frane, a former rancher and hunter who lost her husband around the same time Beth passed.

Dog released a movie called Hunter's Creed, which followed his journey with faith and love after his wife's passing. Additionally, he accepted a deal with new streaming service Unleashed! (via Deadline). Dog's latest bounty hunting show is called Dog Unleashed and follows along as he takes a step back from chasing bail-skippers and hunts the most dangerous criminals in America. Dog has posted multiple times about this new venture, which debuts in January 2021, according to his Instagram post.