As Dog the Bounty Hunter makes his way back into the news by chasing down Brian Laundrie — the person of interest after his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was found dead in Wyoming — he’s also plotting his return to TV. Thinkfactory Media, the producers behind WE TV’s “Marriage Boot Camp” and “Mama June: From Not to Hot” and TBS’ “Rat in the Kitchen,” among other hit reality franchises, is currently shopping a new series starring the Dog.
Dog the Bounty Hunter, of course, is Duane “Dog” Chapman, who starred in A&E’s “Dog the Bounty Hunter” for eight seasons. Later, Chapman and his wife, Beth, starred in the CMT series “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt,” which ran for two years. A&E chronicled Beth Chapman’s cancer diagnosis in the 2017 special “Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives.”
Most recently, WGN America ran the series “Dog’s Most Wanted,” which aired in fall 2019. Another series, “Dog’s Unleashed,” was originally set to run on the streaming service UnleashedTV, but was later scrapped.
Thinkfactory is currently working with Chapman on pitching the new show, believed to follow Chapman’s day-to-day life and his exploits. That could include his current activities — and he’s back in the headlines as he leads a bounty hunting expedition to find Laundrie. Chapman has been posting video on social media of his search, including one on Wednesday in which he detailed his “active and specific search in a key area based on the intelligence we are receiving and researching. Boat crews and ground teams have been called in and we have search and rescue dogs deployed.”
Laundrie has been on the run since Petito was declared missing. Her remains were later found in Wyoming, near where the two were last seen together. Laundrie and Petito had been on a road trip together, but Laundrie later returned home to Florida without Petito. More recently, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino confirmed that Laundrie went camping with his parents in early September, but Laundrie’s parents have insisted that they don’t know their son’s current whereabouts.
A federal court in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie in relation to a grand jury indictment for his “activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito,” the FBI has announced, accusing Laundrie of fraud for using an unauthorized debit card.
“Dog the Bounty Hunter” first premiered in 2004, a year after Chapman first rose to notoriety by successfully capturing another high-profile fugitive, Max Factor heir Andrew Luster, in Mexico in 2003.
Chapman has faced plenty of his own controversy; in 2007, production paused on the A&E series after Chapman’s use of racist slurs became public; he later apologized. But more recently, after the Unleashed project was canceled in March, the company told E! News that an independent firm’s investigation into Chapman’s conduct found that he “used racial and homophobic epithets to attack young African-American kids who star with his daughter in UTV’s The System, a show that profiles police misconduct and follows protests against white supremacy in policing.”