TLC Cancels OCC's American Chopper
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
TLC is cancelling American Chopper
, ending its seven-year run. Will the show's demise provide an opportunity for reparations to be made within the Teutul clan?
It’s been a good run for the Teutul clan, but all good things come to an end, and after a seven-year run, American Chopper
will be taking its final ride into the sunset. The Learning Channel is pulling the plug on the reality TV show that has brought the foibles and follies of the custom bike building crew from upstate New York into millions of living rooms. The last episode is set to air this Thursday, February 11, at 9 p.m. (8 Central).
Who would have known the heights of popularity American Chopper
would ascend to when it debuted in September 2002 on the Discovery Channel? Now who doesn’t recognize the face of the Teutul’s gruff-demeanored patriarch, Paul Sr.? It made celebrities of his sons, Paul Jr. and Mikey, and the show thrived because of the dysfunctional family dynamic. They brought theme bikes into popular vernacular. They sold Orange County Choppers
as an image, making friends and admirers along the way, but also made many enemies as well. Love them or hate them, American Chopper helped push motorcycling into the limelight, making it more attractive to the masses than ever, and the industry as a whole benefitted from the show’s meteoric rise.
While the show has progressively been on decline, it hit rock bottom when it lost the dynamic that was the most appealing, the terse but real relationship between a father and his sons. If you’ve ever worked with family, you know it isn’t easy. Throw in the mix cameras following you everywhere, TV ratings, the trappings of fame, an intense production and promotional schedule, and there’s more than enough catalysts to send relationships to the breaking point. And right now the Teutul clan is broken. The hit show has sunk low since two of the original Teutul trio have stopped speaking to their father. There’s a Junior vs. Senior lawsuit pitting son against father currently being contested. The timing of the show’s demise couldn’t have come at a better time because there are bigger issues that need to be resolved. Maybe Senior can remember that blood is thicker than water.
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