A&E is cancelling “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” one of its longest-running series and one of the most iconic reality series on TV.
The cancellation was first reported here by TMZ.com in a story citing “multiple sources connected with the show” who are nevertheless unnamed. A&E confirmed the story for us last night. There was no further comment from the cable network.
The cancellation brings to an end a show that was a staple of A&E’s prime-time lineup since 2004 — an eon in TV time. “Dog the Bounty Hunter” featured the swashbuckling antics of Duane “Dog” Chapman, his buxom wife and fellow bounty hunter, Beth, and various family members and employees as they pursued perps who skipped out on court appearances and forfeited bail.
The action-packed, unscripted show had Dog and his team rolling up on shabby hideouts in a caravan of black SUVs and then either coaxing or dragging wanted men and women outside and then bringing them to justice (or at least to jail). The often violent and frenzied collars were then usually followed by Dog tenderly counseling his captives.
The TMZ story was vague about the reasons for the cancellation, reporting that negotiations on a new season had hit an impasse over “creative differences” and A&E withdrew.
Our guess is: After nearly eight years, ratings had probably stopped growing long ago and the show — and Dog — was showing its age. Plus, A&E always has new shows in the pipeline, and it probably became time for “Dog” to move aside, in order to open up some prime-time real estate for something, or someone, new.
Meanwhile, new episodes of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” are set to start airing Saturday, June 2, on A&E.