American Chopper

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American Chopper
American Chopper logo.jpg
Logo
Format Reality television
Starring Paul Teutul, Sr.
Paul Teutul, Jr.
Michael Teutul
Rick Petko
Jason Pohl
Vincent DiMartino
Cody Connelly
Mike Ammirati
Narrated by Mike Rowe (2003–2007)
Jim Pratt (2007–2010)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 165 (List of episodes)
Production
Location(s) Newburgh, New York
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Pilgrim Films & Television
Distributor Debmar-Mercury Syndication
Broadcast
Original channel Discovery Channel
(2003–2007)
TLC
(2008–2010)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original run March 31, 2003 (2003-03-31) – February 11, 2010 (2010-02-11)
Chronology
Followed by American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior
External links
Website

American Chopper is a reality television series that airs on Discovery Channel, produced by Pilgrim Films & Television. The series centers on Paul Teutul, Sr. (frequently called Senior), and his son Paul Teutul, Jr. (also known as Paulie or simply Junior), who manufacture custom chopper-style motorcycles. Orange County Choppers is in Newburgh, New York. The contrasting work and creative styles of the father and son team and their resulting verbal arguments were the series' hallmark until 2008 when a culminating explosive argument led to Paul Jr.'s termination and departure to start a competing chopper company (Paul Jr. Designs).

Originally aired on Discovery Channel beginning in March 2003. In December 2007, the series moved to Discovery's sister channel TLC, starting off with an 18-hour marathon. Its first TLC season premiered in January 2008. Season 6 began in April 2009 but the series was canceled by TLC in February 2010. In July 2010, TLC announced that the Teutuls would return in a new series, American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior.[1] Senior vs. Junior premiered on TLC but was soon moved to Discovery halfway through the first season. Discovery Channel announced that the show would end with "The Chopper Live: The Revenge" show on December 11, 2012 after 10 seasons.[2]

Featured staff[edit]

Vinnie (Working for Paul Jr.) and Mikey filming at an outside location.

The OCC fabricators and mechanics such as Paul Teutul, Jr., Rick Petko, Nick Hansford, Christian Welter, and former employees Vincent DiMartino (who left OCC to start V-Force Customs in 2007), and Cody Connelly (a BOCES student intern who has since joined DiMartino's business), create dozens of custom motorbikes. Michael Teutul, usually referred to as "Mikey", serves as the shop's custodian and webmaster, and provides comic relief to the show. He has been seen doing metal work occasionally, as one of his early jobs was working at Orange County Ironworks. Also featured occasionally is Danny Teutul, the second oldest child, who succeeded Paul Sr. as the owner of Orange County Ironworks. Danny visits to do contracted work for the OCC facilities. The show also documents their personal and promotional activities ranging from magazine photo shoots to family holidays and custom bike shows.

Paul Jr. leaves Orange County Choppers[edit]

Following regular disagreements with his father, Paul Jr. was fired from the shop in late 2008. In January 2009, TLC served a notice of default due to Paul Jr.'s absence. Paul Jr. then returned to OCC briefly as a contractor, but left finally in April 2009 in order to start his own design firm, Paul Jr. Designs.[3] Paul Sr. then exercised a contractual option to purchase Paul Jr.'s 20% share in OCC, and subsequently filed a lawsuit to force the buyout. The case remained ongoing while a valuation of OCC was performed.[4]

On December 14, 2010, Paul Jr. won his appeal of a lower court ruling forcing him to sell his 20% ownership of OCC to Paul Sr. Paul Jr.'s appeal asked that the agreement to sell be ruled invalid, so Jr. will continue to own 20% of OCC until a fair selling price is agreed to. Jr. has also filed a counter-suit laying out massive fraud on Sr.'s part in dealing with Jr.'s interests at OCC. The suit seeks $100,000,000 in damages along with court-ordered controls over the company's finances to prevent further fraud.[citation needed]

After a one year non-compete clause ended, Paul Jr. opened a motorcycle design company in April 2010. TLC then commissioned a 7th season titled American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior which features both OCC and Paul Jr. Designs.[5]

Legal issues[edit]

OCC is the defendant in a legal action filed by artist Justin Barnes, who alleges that his original designs were copied on merchandise without his permission and appropriate compensation.[6][7]

In July 2009, Cody Connelly sued OCC and Paul Teutul Sr., seeking damages for misappropriation of likeness, breach of contract and fraud. He claimed the show used his likeness in posters, coloring books and other merchandise after he left it in 2007. Connelly also claimed that he never received "the old school chopper" that he helped design, though Paul Teutul Sr., gave it to him in one episode of the show.[8]

Video games[edit]

Due to its popularity during the first seasons, American Chopper inspired two video game titles. The first was American Chopper by Activision Value, released for the PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox. The second, American Chopper 2: Full Throttle by Creat Studios was released for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.[citation needed]

A video pinball arcade game made by Incredible Technologies, Inc. reached on-site play testing but was never released.[9]

Fantasy Bike Contest[edit]

During 2005, Discovery Channel sponsored a contest in which four winners received OCC motorcycles. Custom bike features were specified by the winning fans, who sent in videos expressing their reasons for wanting a bike. The contest winners were (in episode order): Jeff Clegg (Corporal Punishment), Susan Morisset (Female Snake Bike), Joseph McClendon (Custom Hog), Bryan King (Vertebrate Trike).[10]

Cancellation and Senior vs. Junior[edit]

On February 6, 2010, TLC announced that American Chopper's season finale scheduled for February 11 would also mark the end of the series,[11] stating, "The Teutuls will always be a part of the Discovery family and we congratulate them on a tremendously successful series run."[12] On April 7, TLC announced the Teutuls would return for a new series.

The new series, American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior, chronicles the aftermath of Paul Jr.'s departure from OCC and his construction of a new custom chopper company across the street from younger brother Dan's Orange County Iron Works.[13] It premiered August 12, 2010 on TLC.

In December 2010, Senior vs. Junior was moved to the Discovery Channel, the network American Choppers originally debuted on.[14] In Canada American Chopper started on January 8 on TLC and moved to Saturday nights at 10 p.m.

On February 7, 2011, Paul Teutul, Jr. announced that American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior had been renewed for a second season and would return spring 2011.[15]

On November 21, 2012, Eileen O'Neill, president of Discovery Network, announced the show had been cancelled. The final episode aired December 17, 2012. [16]

Seasons[edit]

Seasons Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
Pilots & Specials 18 29 September 2002 N/A
1 15 31 March 2003 15 December 2003
2 23 14 January 2004 6 December 2004
3 20 31 January 2005 24 October 2005
4 37 9 January 2006 18 October 2007
5 26 17 January 2008 30 October 2008
6 26 9 April 2009 11 February 2010
Total 165 29 September 2002 11 February 2010

DVD release[edit]

Title Release Date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Black Widow Bike N/A 25 October 2004[17] N/A
Comanche Bike N/A 25 October 2004[17] N/A
Daytona & Old School Chopper N/A 24 October 2004[17] N/A
Dixie Chopper & Mikey Special N/A 4 April 2005[17] N/A
Jet Bike & Biketoberfest N/A 25 October 2004[17] N/A
Liberty Bike N/A 4 April 2005[17] N/A
Mikey's Bike N/A 25 October 2004[17] N/A
Miller Electric Bike N/A 4 April 2005[17] N/A
Series 1:Parts 1-3 N/A 25 October 2004[17] N/A
Series 1:Parts 4-6 N/A 25 October 2004[17] N/A
Series 2:Parts 7-9 N/A 4 April 2005[17] N/A
Series 2:Parts 10-12 N/A 4 April 2005[17] N/A
Series 3:Parts 13-15 N/A 10 October 2005[17] N/A
Series 3:Parts 16-18 N/A 10 October 2005[17] N/A
Series 4:Parts 19-21 N/A 15 Jan 2007[17] N/A
Series 4:Parts 22-24 N/A 15 January 2007[17] N/A
Series 5:Parts 25-30 N/A 15 December 2008[17] N/A
Series 5:Parts 31-37 N/A 15 December 2008[17] N/A
Series 5:Parts 38-45 N/A N/A N/A
Series 6:Parts 40-42 N/A 14 June 2010[17] N/A
Series 6:Parts 43-45 N/A 14 June 2010[17] N/A

Parody[edit]

American Body Shop, an improvisational comedy shown on Comedy Central, is a parody of American Chopper.[18] [19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TLC to premiere 'American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior' on August 12". Reality TV World. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  2. ^ Hibberd, James (November 16, 2012). "'American Chopper' ending after 10 years — EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ Fralic, Shelley (June 29, 2009). "American Chopper's junior partner decides to fly solo". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  4. ^ Mahler, Peter A. (May 10, 2010). "Business Divorce, American Chopper Style". NYBusinessDivorce.com, Farrell Fritz, P.C., Attorneys at Law.
  5. ^ Starr, Michael (April 7, 2010). "Hog brawl". New York Post. 
  6. ^ (Case 09-cv-04914-CS 05/26/2009) New York Southern District Court. Barnes v. Activision. Recently Filed Cases Express.
  7. ^ (Case 09-cv-04914-CS 05/26/2009) New York Southern District Court. Barnes v. Activision. libsyn.com.[dead link]
  8. ^ Leonard, Barbara. (July 15, 2009); Actor Claims 'American Chopper' Owes Him, Courthouse News Service., Retrieved on September 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "First and Free". Pinball News. 2004-08-23. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  10. ^ "FANtasy Bike Central - And the FANtasy Winners Are ..." Discovery Channel.
  11. ^ Bockelman, Andy (February 7, 2010). "Teutul Family Ending American Chopper, Settling Legal Matters" Celebrity News Service. All Headline News.
  12. ^ "American Chopper Series Finale". TMZ. February 6, 2010.
  13. ^ Rocchio, Christopher (April 7, 2010). "American Chopper revival to be Senior vs. Junior, pit father and son". RealityTVWorld.com.
  14. ^ "'American Chopper' shifts to Discovery Channel". Variety.com. 
  15. ^ Ocasio, Anthony (February 9, 2011). "American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior Renewed For Season 2". Screen Rant.
  16. ^ Ross, Robyn (November 21, 2012). "Discovery Channel Cancels American Chopper After 10 Years". Seattle Post. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Sales catalog search for American Chopper DVDs". UK: HMV.com. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  18. ^ Lowry, Brian (July 3, 2007). "Recently Reviewed - American Body Shop". Variety. 
  19. ^ "Body Shop creator makes dent with DIY gambit" Reuters. TV.com. July 9, 2007.

External links[edit]