A&E Network has formally announced a fourth season of Dog the Bounty Hunter, a reality series that follows Duane "Dog" Chapman and his posse across the country as they bring-in fugitives from the law.  The new season will premiere later this spring.

Although the show currently ranks as A&E's most popular series, the renewal announcement almost didn't happen.  In September, Chapman and two of his fellow bounty hunters were arrested for their illegal 2003 capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Chapman was detained briefly in Mexico after the capture of Luster, who was wanted in the United States for rape and is now serving a 124-year sentence. Chapman, his son and another colleague posted bail and subsequently returned to the United States.

After his September 2006 arrest for bounty hunting in Mexico, where it is illegal, Chapman said he was willing to apologize to the Mexican government to help settle the criminal complaint against him.  U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, also urged the Bush administration to block the bounty hunter's extradition.  In October, a Mexican court granted Chapman a stay in his criminal case as well as the extradition proceedings against him.

So Chapman is back to risk his neck as the master of capturing fugitives, having collared more than 6,000 to date.  Accompanying Chapman will be Beth, his "new" wife and business partner, his sons Leland and Duane Lee, and Tim Chapman, who may not be a relative but is still considered a "blood brother" of Dog's.

Dog the Bounty Hunter is produced for A&E Network by Hybrid Films. Daniel Elias and David Houts are the executive producers.  The series first premiered on A&E in August 2004.