The Teutul family and their business has been coming into American living rooms for a decade now, but TLC thinks it’s time to move on.
One of TV’s longest-running “docu-soaps” will end next month after 10 years and 233 episodes. TLC announced American Chopper will be wrapping up after a previously scheduled December event.
“This series was one of the very first family-based reality programs on television,” said Eileen O’Neill, president of Discovery and TLC Networks, according to CNN. “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.”
The show follows Orange County Choppers and the Teutul family, the owners of the business. The show started as a special in 2002, then as a regular series on the Discovery Channel a few months later. In 2008, it was moved to TLC.
“I have mixed emotions,” said executive producer Craig Piligian. “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.”
So it looks like the family may be ready to move on, but it’s easy to forget what this show did for the world of television. It helped launch a brand-new type of TV, and kept going for a decade in the most honest way they knew.
“This was the first family docu-soap,” Piligian said, according to CNN. “They put on display, for all to see, what really happens in a tight family business, warts and all. I’m really proud they were so open and honest.”
The show will participate in a “build-off special” called “The Revenge” on Dec. 11, said CNN, which will help wrap up the series.