After ten years on the air, Discovery has decided to bring their long-running series American Chopper to a end. And even though this is the second time that the network has canceled the series over the past two years, they mean it this time: American Chopper is done! That is, unless you talk to series creator, Craig Piligian.
News of American Chopper’s cancelation comes weeks before the Teutuls are expected to be in Vegas for American Chopper Live: The Revenge. Unfortunately, after today’s announcement, the live build-off will now serve as the final episode for the series. Not exactly the type of final episode you’d want from American Chopper, but it appears that Discovery’s decision may have taken producers by surprise, thus limiting their ability to prepare an alternative conclusion. But could the series end up returning in some form?
While it’s highly unlikely to happen anytime soon, the Teutuls have been a staple of the Discovery channel for quite a long time, making their potential return something that could happen sometime in the (likely distant) future. But for fans of Paul Jr. Design, a new show featuring only PJD might soon be in the pipeline, with Paul Jr. taking to Twitter to encourage his fans to tweet their interest to Discovery Vice President Christo Doyle.
Here’s what Discovery had to say about American Chopper‘s cancelation:
After 10 years and 233 episodes of incredible, riveting reality television, ‘American Chopper’ will be ending its run. This series was one of the very first family-based reality programs on television. Special thanks to Pilgrim Studios for over a decade of great producing. 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.
Obviously, that’s the type of statement you expect to see from the network. However, American Chopper has always been about honesty – and for that, we turn to series creator Craig Piligian. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Piligian opened up about the cancelation and (potential) return of American Chopper:
I have mixed emotions. 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.
‘American Chopper’ was cancelled before and we came back even stronger. It’s been a resilient, powerful show. Right now they’re telling me it’s cancelled. I can only comment: ‘Who knows what the future holds.’
The last time American Chopper was canceled, it was because Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. had a falling out, which led to the actual production of the show being halted. Fortunately, after coming to some form of working agreement, Discovery un-canceled American Chopper and labeled the subsequent seasons American Chopper: Senior vs Junior. After three years with that title, Discovery switched the title back to American Chopper for this final season.
But what about American Chopper’s final season? Was it as happy as everyone made it look on-screen? According to Piligian, he actually fired Junior and kicked him off the set:
It’s a very tumultuous relationship, not only between the father and son, but between us as well. Junior and I would have it out, and at one point awhile back, I said, ‘We’re done with you.’
Of course, after that happened, Piligian and Junior soon made up, thus allowing production on the series to continue. But could it impact that chance of Junior getting a new show on the air? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Even though American Chopper has had its up and down, it was still enjoyable to watch after ten years on the year. Admittedly, the family drama may have been bit too heavy-handed at times, but the show was about a family building motorcycles together. And as anyone should know, anything involving family is often complicated and messy. So while fans of the series will go to their respective corner, championing their favorite person, let’s not forgot that it wasn’t just Senior or Junior who made it American Chopper - it was the Teutuls, too.
Now how about we let them get back to fixing the relationships?
American Chopper Live: The Revenge airs December 10th on Discovery.