• "Dog The Bounty Hunter" ran for 8 seasons from 2003-2012 and was very successful during its time
• The show was cancelled due to creative differences between Duane Chapman and A&E, despite having stable ratings
• The show went on hiatus in 2007 due to Duane's racial slur controversy
• The show spawned 4 spin-offs and 1 episode special, with the last "Dog's Most Wanted" airing in 2019
• After the show ended, the Chapman family experienced various successes and controversies, with Duane recently being sued for contractual breach in 2021
It’s not a secret that reality TV is more well known for its drama and staged scenes than for its supposed ‘real’ factor. However, from time to time some shows keep loyal to their premises, presenting viewers with legitimate and genuine content.
Nonetheless, very few series touch subjects as serious as “Dog The Bounty Hunter” and its main star Dog Chapman do. The show had such a big impact, that many loyal fans still wonder what happened to it even after many years.
Are you ready to know why the series ended screening, and whatever happened to its cast? Keep with us to know all the details about the show, the captures, spin-offs and even some juicy information regarding Dog Chapman’s life nowadays.
Why Was The Show Cancelled?
It’s really not hard to understand why “Dog The Bounty Hunter” was so successful. For several years it kept its audience entertained with Duane Chapman’s antics, the thrilling cases his team investigated, the captures they made, and of course the personal drama it involved.
Nonetheless, no matter how popular a show becomes, it’s meant to end at some point. “Dog The Bounty Hunter” officially ended after its eighth season wrapped up in June 2012.
Although TMZ revealed that the cancellation was due to creative differences between Duane and A&E, that didn’t stop people from theorising that more weighty reasons caused the network to pull the plug on the series.
While the most logical option was to fault low ratings, “Dog The Bounty Hunter” always maintained stable audience numbers. As reported by the RatingGraph, the show’s ratings during the last season averaged 7.1 points, even surpassing the number of viewers from previous seasons.
Knowing that the series’ popularity wasn’t a problem, fans assumed the cancellation was due to Duane’s several and repeated controversies, which had even caused its temporary hiatus in 2007. As long as no one ever clears up what really happened, that’ll remain the most believable theory.
Why Did It Go On Hiatus?
Sometimes celebrities’ wrongdoings are forgiven and forgotten, but other times their words and actions have actual negative repercussions which no matter how many years go by, are never erased from people’s memories, let alone the producer’s.
This is exactly what happened to Duane Chapman in November 2007, when he put “Dog The Bounty Hunter” in severe risk of cancellation, when an audio of him spouting racial slurs was made public by the National Enquirer.
In the audio, which was actually a ‘phone call recorded and filtered to the media by Duane’s son Tucker, Duane was heard telling his child to break-up with his African-American girlfriend, arguing she would most-likely reveal his usage of slur to the media.
Of course, Duane’s behavior prompted people to demand the series’ cancellation, and while A&E didn’t go to such an extent, they released a statement showing their concern on the matter, and their intention to put the show on hold while they investigated the issue.
In May 2008 “Dog The Bounty Hunter” was back on TV after an A&E’s executive expressed: ‘We know his heart. We know him and know he’s not a racist’.
Although “Dog The Bounty Hunter” ended its journey on A&E in June 2012, it wasn’t the end of the road for Duane Chapman. In May 2013 “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt” premiered as their first official spin-off, though this time it aired on the CMT network.
As the name stated it, Duane and his wife Beth were the centerpiece of the series though their children Leland, Cecily and Dakota were constant during its three seasons on air. In 2016, the Chapman’s ultimately ended their contract with CMT, while preserving all rights to the show. Their reason to end the show was to support Beth’s pursuit of the Professional Bail Agents’ presidency, an election she indeed won.
In 2017 the pair went back to A&E for “Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives”, a single episode special showcasing Beth’s battle with cancer, following her diagnosis early that year. In 2019 a fourth spin-off – “Dog’s Most Wanted” – aired on the WGN America network, though the show was deeply marked by Beth’s death during filming; unsurprisingly, the show was cancelled after one season.
Later in 2021, Duane’s fifth spin-off show, “Dog’s Unleashed”, premiered online but was soon cancelled.
What Happened To The Chapmans?
Although Duane Chapman’s appearances on TV in recent years hasn’t been very constant, he’s definitely not leaving the headlines anytime soon. As it happens, in 2021 Duane was sued by Michael Donovan, who’s President of Unleashed Entertainment, the same company in charge of producing “Dog’s Unleashed”.
As the Plaintiff in the case, Donovan sued Duane for contractual breach, as he apparently displayed racist behavior and homophobic language during the show’s filming.
As stated in the $1.3 million lawsuit, Duane had used ‘racial epithets’ against activists from the Black Lives Matter movement., as well as allegedly using discriminatory terms mocking Donovan’s sexual orientation. Duane was also accused of forced entry of a property, carrying a taser without proper permits, and making defamatory claims against Donovan. Duane’s representative fired back by claiming Donovan has a history of fraud and other felonies.
Though the lawsuit hasn’t seen an end yet, the upcoming legal battle isn’t looking well for any of the parts. Meanwhile, Duane’s not doing so badly when it comes to his personal life. In fact, he tied the knot with Francie Frane in September 2021, a little over two years after his former wife Beth’s passing.
UPDATE: Video is from this morning — earlier today we launched an active and specific search in a key area based on the intelligence we are receiving and researching. Boat crews and ground teams have been called in and we have search and rescue dogs deployed. More to follow… pic.twitter.com/g2tq85JTZX
— Duane Dog Chapman (@DogBountyHunter) September 29, 2021
It’s well known that Beth Chapman passed away on 26 June 2019, after battling with throat cancer for two years. Nonetheless, her illness never stopped her from continuing to pursue her goals. Besides not abandoning her career as a TV star, by appearing in the spin-off series’ “Fight of Their Lives” and “Dog’s Most Wanted”, Beth held the position of President of the US Professional Bail Agents until 2019.
Beth and Duane were together for over 25 years. Her relationship with Duane started in the 1990s, after she divorced her first husband Keith Alan Barmore, with whom she had welcomed two children. By the time Beth and Duane married in 2006 in Hawaii, their relationship had lasted for at least 16 years.
In December 1998, Beth and Duane welcomed their first child together, a daughter they named Bonnie Joanne. In February 2001, their only son together, Garry was born.
Knowing both were very committed to their career as bounty hunters, it’s not surprising that Beth and Duane were together for so long. As Beth once described it: ‘it’s kind of extraordinary to be called a crimefighter’. All in all, Beth surely had a good life.
There’s no way you’ve forgotten about him, as Leland Chapman was in “Dog The Bounty Hunter” throughout its eight seasons. As the second son of Duane and his first wife La Fonda Sue Darnell, it’s normal that Leland was given a lot of responsibility in his father’s bounty business, Da Kine Bail Bonds.
However, those who followed the show closely might not have forgotten that by the end of the eighth season, a disagreement with his mother-in-law Beth led Leland to leave the business and the series altogether, founding his own company Kama’aina Bail Bonds not long after. Leland eventually fixed his relationship with his family and even appeared with them in “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt” in 2013.
Though everything seems to be going well for Leland professionally, in 2020 rumors regarding his possible divorce from his long-time wife Jamie Pilar were stronger than ever, as for months they’d apparently lived in separate cities, and stopped interacting on social media altogether. However, after several months of unclear, cryptic posts from both sides, in November 2021 Leland and Jamie finally posted an Instagram pic together, which despite not having a caption, shows the pair is happily together again.
Tim “Youngblood” Chapman
Although many people still think that he’s Duane’s real brother, the truth is that Tim comes from a different Chapman bloodline. Born in California in 1965, Tim’s maternal family was also dedicated to bounty hunting.
Working for his grandparents’ company, ABC Bail Bonds, put Tim on the bounty business road from an early age, resulting in him meeting and befriending Duane Chapman sometime along the way.
Due to their coincidentally shared last-name, Duane nicknamed Tim his ‘blood-brother’ and together they founded Da Kine Bail Bonds, with Beth and Leland.
Although Tim appeared in all “Dog The Bounty Hunter” seasons, he took several short breaks from it to take care of his family, after his divorce from his now-former wife Davina.
Unfortunately, not a lot is known about Tim’s whereabouts. After “Dog The Bounty Hunter ” ended in 2012, Tim completely disappeared from public life, not appearing even once in any other series’ spin-offs. His presence on social media is sadly untraceable as well.
Lyssa Rae Chapman
It’s also impossible not to remember Lyssa Rae Chapman from “Dog The Bounty Hunter”. Although her relationship with her father wasn’t the most stable when growing up, and at some point she even lived with her mother in Alaska for years, she eventually fixed her relationship with her father, and joined his business Kine Bail Bonds when 15 years old.
Posted by Lyssa Chapman on Tuesday, November 23, 2021
As part of his team, Lyssa Rae debuted in “Dog The Bounty Hunter” its second season, and stayed to its end. She also briefly appeared in “Dog and Beth: On The Hunt”.
While Lyssa didn’t follow her step-brother’s Leland’s example of quitting the show on air, she isn’t a stranger to drama either. In 2019, Beth Chapman revealed on social media that she had lost contact with Lyssa, who not only didn’t congratulate her step-mom on that year’s mother’s day, but also apparently didn’t invite her to her grand-daughter Abbie’s high school matriculation ceremony!
Lyssa denied Beth’s claims, and even posted screenshots of her daughters’ messages to Beth. However, it’s unknown how far the feud went, as at the time Beth’s health was going downhill.
On the positive side, Lyssa has been married to Leiana Evensen since 2018. As well, Lyssa’s social media accounts show that her relationship with her step-siblings and her father is on good terms nowadays.
Duane Lee Chapman Jr.
As well as his younger siblings, Duane Lee Jr took an important role in his father’s business Kine Bail Bonds’ operations. He debuted in “Dog The Bounty Hunter” during its second season, but quit along with his brother Leland in the eighth.
Duane Lee’s and his brother’s exit from the show was motivated by Beth’s negative criticism of their way of managing their father’s business. Aware of his step-mom’s disapproval towards him, Duane Lee wasn’t afraid of addressing the issue by saying ‘If you want me fired, then you have to fire me, Beth’.
Duane Lee and his brother Leland quit the show right away, and distanced themselves from the family for a while. It’s unknown if Duane Lee ever got to fix his relationship with his step-mom though, as he didn’t attend her funeral in 2019.
Nowadays, Duane Lee has left the bounty hunting business altogether, and works as a financial advisor.
The Best Moments Of “Dog The Bounty Hunter”
Though many loyal fans of “Dog The Bounty Hunter” miss seeing new episodes, the show’s good times aren’t easily forgotten.
One of the most memorable captures in the show was that of Hoang Nguyen, a man who had skipped bail several times, but at seeing himself at risk of getting captured by Duane, shot at him and escaped. Duane was fortunately unharmed and eventually caught Hoang, getting him arrested for attempted murder.
Another case worth remembering is that of Christopher Nuanes, a man whose bond was revoked for possessing drugs. However, what started as a hunt for a single man, turned out as Duane taking Christopher’s parents to jail as well, after discovering that their bonds were also revoked.
Nonetheless, the most memorable capture shown in the series was that of Andrew Luster, a millionaire accused of rape, for whom Duane and his team traveled to Mexico to capture. The already complicated international quest to catch Luster ended up with Duane’s arrest as well, due to the illegality of bounty hunting in the country.
Though there’s little chance of “Dog The Bounty Hunter” returning to TV, no one can deny it was a very good way of entertainment. Most of all, the show’s downfall taught us how dangerous fame can be.