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End of an Era: Discovery Cancels American Chopper

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american chopper canceled

Awwww … American Chopper has been cancelled. This makes me sad, because my kids sort of grew up with this show. And I came this close to interviewing the Teutuls for this story for USA Weekend about how Schwinn was partnering with them on a new Sting-Ray. Well, new back in 2004 when I wrote the story, that is.

I couldn’t find a publicist for the Teutuls, so just called the shop to see if they’d talk to me. They were in the middle of filming, so I didn’t get to talk with them, but it was still thrilling at the time.

Now the show — which premiered in 2002 and helped define the TV documentary genre — is being cancelled after a ten-year run. They’ll finish with a four-way bike build-off special titled The Revenge airing live from Las Vegas on Dec. 11.

“After 10 years and 233 episodes of incredible, riveting reality television, American Chopper will be ending its run,” says Eileen O’Neill, group president, Discovery and TLC Networks. “This series was one of the very first family-based reality programs on television … The Teutuls have given us really innovative bike builds and real drama since 2002. We wish both Orange County Choppers and Paul Junior Designs the best.”

At first, the fighting between Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. seemed funny and riveting, in a dysfunctional family kind of way. Then it got sad. You could tell that this was a family with some serious issues. Sometimes it felt intrusive to be watching them on TV.

“I have mixed emotions,” executive producer Craig Piligian told EW.com. “It’s had a great run. We had a lot of ups and downs. There’s been so much that’s happened to this family over the last 10 years. We’ve seen them grow to a huge motorcycle shop. We’ve seen them fight bitterly. We’ve seen them sue each other. And recently we’ve seen them come together to open up a new business. I think the show has come full circle.”

Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of the Teutuls. I bet they’ll resurface with something else as time goes on.

By the way, in honor of ten years of American Chopper, here’s a picture of me on my motorcycle, circa 1980s. It was a sweet little Yamaha 185 Exciter. Loved that bike.

Jane on Motorcycle, circa 1980s

Jane Boursaw is the founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Her credits include hundreds of print and online publications, including The New York Times, People Magazine, Variety, Moviefone, TV Squad and more. Follow her on Twitter at @reellifejane.

Jane Boursaw has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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9 comments

  1. Brette Sember

    I had no idea this show had been on for 10 years! My son used to watch it once in a while.

  2. verabadert

    Well, who knew? Jane the bike chick.

  3. I must admit, this one never appealed to me. Although I was surprised by how fascinating I’ve found similar shows. What was the one about sharp shooters?

  4. Alexandra

    Cool photo!   We didn’t watch American Chopper, but my husband loves the shows about restoring old cars.  Also, American Pickers often unearth old motorcycles.

  5. Alexandra

    Cool photo!  My husband loves the shows about restoring cars.  Did you know that on American Pickers, they often look for old motorcycles?

  6. You look much better than the Teutuls on your bike. I won’t miss this show. The dad is pretty much inhuman.

  7. Love your pic. Used to watch that show with my husband– not every single time. Just when we happened to catch it. It was entertaining, but I always thought the dad should check himself into an anger management clinic.

  8. I have no idea about this, but why discovery cancel this show- My brother love to this show.
    Ankit Saxena recently posted…Yamaha Vmax VXM17 | 2013My Profile

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