NEWBURGH, N.Y. – Reality television’s version of “Family Feud” is getting revived. Yes, that’s correct, the battling Teutul family is returning. The Discovery Channel announced today that “American Chopper” will be back this winter after a five-year absence, although there may be less drama involving Orange County Choppers patriarch Paul Teutul Sr. (pictured above) and his son, Paul Jr.
“It’ll still be about building crazy bikes,” Teutul Sr. told the “Times Herald-Record” newspaper today. “But it’ll be basically about the family getting back together, mending fences and stuff like that.”
Discovery broached the idea of a revival with the Teutuls six months ago and filming has been ongoing for two weeks. Teutul Sr. is now 68 and Teutul Jr. is 42. Teutul’s other son, Mikey, 39, is also included in the new series. Teutul Sr. said “age” is a contributing factor to what’s expected to be a softer tone to “American Chopper.”
The motorcycle landscape has also shifted significantly since the show debuted in 2002. Back then, choppers were hot sellers. While the show lasted 10 years and 217 episodes, averaging 3.4 million viewers at its peak, this reboot is a bit risky because gawdy, high-priced choppers are no longer in style. Nonetheless, Discovery believes there is sufficient viewer curiosity for a successful revival.
“‘American Chopper’ was one of Discovery’s most popular series ever,” said Rich Ross, Group President of Discovery. “Everyone is eager to see what the Teutul family has been up to. This winter, you’ll find out.”
In its press release today, Discovery provided additional background, declaring that the father and son “set out reclaim their preeminent bike brands and – hopefully, rebuild some sort of relationship.”
The release goes on, “Paul Sr. has revamped Orange County Choppers – turning it into a complex with a shop, café, bowling alley, restaurant and, of course, the showroom. But all that didn’t come without a hefty price tag and he is feeling the burden of a high overhead and a lack of foot traffic.
“Meanwhile, Paul Jr. has also felt the sting of a rough economy. With his business built solely on high-dollar custom-builds and commissions becoming tougher to come by, Paul Jr. stresses about the long-term stability of his own shop, Paul Jr. Designs, especially now that he has his own family.”