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A&E's new 'Dog The Bounty Hunter' series to premiere August 31


By Reality TV World staff, 08/27/2004 

Move over Gotti, there's a new top dog in town. A&E, the network that's been taking viewers into the skies with Airline, behind the scenes of a funeral home with Family Plots, and into the home of the daughter of convicted New York crime boss John Gotti will now also taking them on the trail of bail jumpers with Dog The Bounty Hunter.

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Dog The Bounty Hunter, A&E's new unscripted series that will follow the real-life adventures of legendary bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, will premiere on Tuesday, August 31 at 10PM ET/PT with the airing of two back-to-back 30-minute episodes.

Documenting the home and professional life of Dog and his family as he attempts to balance bounty hunting with his relationships with wife and business partner Beth and their twelve children (yes, that's right, twelve children) Dog The Bounty Hunter will follow cover everything from the capture of fugitives on the run to the reading of bedtime stories.

A former convict who vowed to redeem himself by operating on the right side of the law, the Dog is a Hawaii-based bounty hunter who claims to have chased down more than 6,000 bail jumpers. Dog's activities first gained headlines in 2003, when he went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and traced down famous fugitive Andrew Luster. Lustier was the Max Factor heir who became the subject of an international manhunt after fleeing the country in the middle of his 86-count date rape trial. After he fled (skipping out on his $1,000,000 bond) the jury convicted him in absentia and he was sentenced to 124 years in prison.

Despite successfully capturing Lustier, Dog and his team (which included one of his adult sons, his brother, and a two-man camera crew) soon found themselves in some trouble of their own when bystanders called local authorities, resulting in the entire group's arrest by Mexican police. Charged with illegal deprivation of liberty by Mexican courts, the group spent several days in jail before a judge released the camera crew but ordered that Dog and his relatives continue to be held for trial. After about two weeks in custody, the remaining threesome was allowed to return to the United States and the charges were eventually dropped.

In addition to the 51-year-old Dog and his 34-year-old wife and bondsman partner Beth Smith, the show will feature Leland Chapman, Dog's 27-year-old son who works with him as a bondsman and bounty hunter; Tim Chapman, another bondsman/bounty hunter who is a lifelong friend but not a family relation; and Justin Bihag, Dog's 21-year-old bounter-hunter-in-training nephew. Rounding out the cast will be office manager Wesley Yoon and Dog and Beth’s three children Cecily (age 11), Bonnie Jo (age 5), and Garry (age 3) -- who's known as "Local Boy" because he’s the only one of the brood born in Hawaii.

In the first episode, titled "To Be A Bounty Hunter," Dog will introduce viewers to his work and his life and chase yet another unrelated Chapman named Floyd Chapman, who is a heavily tattooed bail jumper. Starting off with an elaborate series of phone ruses, the chase will culminate with Beth passing a file (and a few choice expletives) from her car to Dog's while zooming down the highway at 40MPH. In the second episode, "The Competition," Dog decides to liven up an otherwise normal day at the office by staging a contest in which Beth and himself will hunt for one fugitive while Leland and Justin will chase down another.

Dog The Bounty Hunter is produced by Hybrid Films for A&E Network. Nancy Dubuc and Robert Sharenow serve as the A&E executive producers. Daniel Elias and David Houts serve as the executive producers for Hybrid Films.

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