American Chopper

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American Chopper
American Chopper logo.jpg
GenreReality
StarringPaul Teutul Sr.
Paul Teutul Jr.
Michael Teutul
Rick Petko
Jason Pohl
Vincent DiMartino
Cody Connelly
Mike Ammirati
Narrated byMike Rowe (2003–2007)
Jim Pratt (2007–2012)
Composer(s)David Vanacore
(Vanacore Music)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes165 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Craig Piligian
Sean Gallagher
Mark Finkelpearl
Judy Plavnick
Christo Doyle
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)Pilgrim Films & Television
DistributorDebmar-Mercury Syndication
Release
Original networkDiscovery Channel
(2003–2007)
(2018–present)
TLC
(2008–2010)
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original releaseMarch 31, 2003 (2003-03-31) – February 11, 2010 (2010-02-11)
External links
Website

American Chopper is an American reality television series that is still on air on Discovery Channel from 2003, 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 an explosive argument led to Paul Jr.'s termination and departure to start a competing chopper company, Paul Jr. Designs.

The series 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 Paul Jr. will continue to own 20% of OCC until a fair selling price is agreed to. Paul Jr. has also filed a counter-suit laying out massive fraud on Paul Sr.'s part in dealing with Paul Jr.'s interests at OCC. The suit seeks $100 million 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., said it would be his 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.[9] The second, American Chopper 2: Full Throttle by Creat Studios was released for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.[10]

A video pinball arcade game made by Incredible Technologies, Inc. reached on-site play testing but was never released.[11]

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).[12]

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,[13] stating, "The Teutuls will always be a part of the Discovery family and we congratulate them on a tremendously successful series run."[14] 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.[15] It premiered August 12, 2010 on TLC.

In December 2010, Senior vs. Junior was moved to the Discovery Channel, the network American Chopper originally debuted on.[16] 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.[17]

On November 21, 2012, Eileen O'Neill, president of Discovery Network, announced the show had been cancelled. The final episode aired December 17, 2012. [18]

December 2014 special[edit]

On December 11, 2014, Discovery Channel aired an American Chopper special under the title "American Chopper: Shaq Bike", which featured the building of a chopper for former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal. It focused on the original Orange County Choppers business, with no sign of Paul Jr., though Michael Teutul (listed as a vice president) did appear and interact with his father. While there were a few new family members and fabricators, the crew at the shop appeared to be the same as the cast of the Orange County Choppers series, including Evan Favaro. According to Paul Sr., the Shaq "Man of Steel" bike is the biggest in OCC history. The specs: 48-inch handlebars, 6-inch rake, 23-inch front wheel and 20-inch rear wheel on a stretched frame.

Seasons[edit]

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

DVD release[edit]

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

Parody[edit]

American Body Shop, an improvisational comedy shown on Comedy Central, is a parody of American Chopper.[20] [21]

Senior vs. Junior[edit]

American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior
American Chopper Sr vs Jr logo.jpg
Season 1 through 3 logo
Also known asAmerican Chopper
StarringPaul Teutul Sr.
Paul Teutul Jr.
Vincent DiMartino
Cody Connelly
Rick Petko
Jason Pohl
Mike Ammirati
Brendon Thompson
Narrated byJim Pratt
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes70 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Craig Piligan
Christo Doyle
Ralph Wikke
Adam Moyer (co-exec.)
Mitch Rosa (co-exec.)
Producer(s)Paul Teutul Sr.
Paul Teutul Jr.
CinematographyBrian Garrity
Omar Saleem
Editor(s)A.G. Bealer
Adam Winkler
Patrick Murphey
Walter Ruiz
Running time60 minutes
DistributorPilgrim Films & Television
Release
Original networkTLC (2010)
Discovery Channel
(December 2010–2012)
Original releaseAugust 12, 2010 – December 17, 2012
Chronology
Preceded byAmerican Chopper
Followed byOrange County Choppers
External links
Website

American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior is a reality television spin-off which premiered on the TLC channel on August 12, 2010. The show chronicles the rivalry between Orange County Choppers (OCC) owned by Paul Teutul Sr. and his son Paul Teutul Jr.'s newly opened motorcycle business Paul Jr. Designs (PJD). The second season continued with brand new episodes that aired on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 9pm EST on Discovery Channel.[22] The third season began on February 13, 2012.[23] The fourth season premiered, September 3, 2012.[24] November 16, 2012, the Discovery Channel announced the cancellation of the show.[25] The final episode aired December 17, 2012. Paul Teutul posted a picture of himself with his father and brother Mike all posing in front of the Teutel bike that junior and senior built during season 4.

Opening[edit]

The introduction is narrated by both Paul Sr. and Paul Jr.:

The fourth season (returning to American Chopper) intro is narrated by Paul Sr. and Paul Jr.:

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired DVD and Blu-ray release date
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 18 August 12, 2010 February 7, 2011 May 31, 2011 N/A July 24, 2011
2 23 April 25, 2011[26] December 6, 2011 N/A N/A N/A
3 14 February 13, 2012 May 21, 2012 N/A N/A N/A
4 15 September 3, 2012 December 17, 2012 N/A N/A N/A

Note: The cast makes an appearance on Season 2, Episode 3 "American Chopper Gun", of Sons of Guns where the crews collaborate on a dragon-themed gun. This episode coincides with American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior Season 2, Episode 2 "Big Guns".

Return (2018)[edit]

A revival of the series aired in the spring of 2018 on Discovery Channel.[27] According to the series Facebook page, the new season will premiere on May 28, 2018 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel.

A preview of the first episode of season 11 entitled "Welcome Back" aired on March 1, 2018.[28] The episode featured the return of the Teutuls after ten years of their rocky father-son partnership, catching us up to speed with Senior and Junior's separate lives and motorcycle businesses. At Orange County Choppers, Paul Sr. gets a two bike deal with Okada Resort in Manila, Philippines. Meanwhile, Paul Jr. works on a bike for Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota. Both come together when Junior asks his father to restore their Yankees bike which had been vandalized and then sold at an auto salvage auction.

Season 11 (2018)[edit]

No. # Episode Title Original Airdate
00"Welcome Back"March 1, 2018 (2018-03-01)
After 10 years apart, the Teutuls are back. Paul Sr. and Orange County Choppers, works on two bikes for Okada Resort in Manila, Philippines. Paul Jr. at Paul Jr. Designs builds a bike for Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota. Later, father and son come together to restore their Yankees bike which had been vandalized when it was sold to a salvage yard.
11"Getting the Bike Back Together"May 28, 2018 (2018-05-28)
OCC builds one of their fastest bikes yet when they create a racing bike for a speed boat racer sponsored by Geico. PJD finishes building the Buffalo Chip Campground bike and he unveils it at Sturgis. Later, Senior and Junior find it a challenge restoring the Yankees bike together. Senior awkwardly leaves, finding it hard to let go of their past.
22"A New Chapter"June 4, 2018 (2018-06-04)
OCC gets an exclusive deal to build two custom choppers to sell directly to the public at Alan Jay's, an exotic car dealership in St. Petersburg, Florida. PJD finishes a bike build for Rogo Fastener Co. and unveils it across town. Later, Senior finally confronts Junior about how he feels reading the harsh wordshis son wrote about him in his book a year and a half ago.
33"Metal Health"June 11, 2018 (2018-06-11)
OCC gets a visit from a psychologist from the Peace of Mind Foundation who wants them to build two bikes; one before mental illness treatment (a rough and raw cafe-style racer) and one after treatment (a sleek and shiny chopper). PJD designs an ethanol-fueled bike for Renewable Fuels Association and unveils it at the East Kansas Agri-Energy plant. Later, Junior wants to change the paint design to pinstripes on the Yankees bike, but compromises with Senior who wants to keep it the same.
44"GTO, Bro!"June 18, 2018 (2018-06-18)
OCC builds a 1965 Pontiac GTO-inspired bike for long-time clients. Fearing that this massive job may cause Senior to miss his first deadline, he enlists German fabricator Aykut Tataroglu to help finish the bike in 4 weeks. They unveil it at the Celebration Exotic Car Festival. PJD designs a bike for Genie, a garage door company and they unveil it at the International Garage Door Convention in Las Vegas. While building the Yankees bike, Junior changes the gas tank without his father's permission, but since it's an improvement, Senior approves it.
55"Drop the Mikey"June 25, 2018 (2018-06-25)
OCC designs an old school raked-out chopper for M. Mayo Striping, a family asphalt painting company. Senior wants Mikey to take on a bigger role by helping him build the bike. Meanwhile, PJD creates a trike after previously building a bike and a car for One Call Concepts to raise awareness to dial 811 before you dig. Later, Senior and Junior ask former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada for help collecting autographs for the Yankees bike while at the 20th anniversary celebration of David Wells perfect game.
66"Road Warrior"July 9, 2018 (2018-07-09)
OCC takes on 4-week build for Joe De Sena, founder of the Spartan Race who wants a Spartan warrior-inspired bike. Senior calls on fabricator Josh Allison from Cry Baby Cycles to design the tank and they unveil it at one of the outdoor courses in Tuxedo, New York which they competed on. PJD designs a loud big-wheeled trike for repeat client Carolina Carports, and unveil it at their facility in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Later, Mikey surprises Senior on his birthday with an explosive weapon and test it out at the shop.
77"Yanks for the Memories"July 16, 2018 (2018-07-16)
OCC designs a modern military bike for Grunt Style, a military-style clothing company who wants to auction it off to raise money for TAPS to benefit families of fallen soldiers. PJD builds a western movie themed bike for country music artist Clay Walker to raise awareness for MS and they unveil it at his charity open in Pebble Beach, CA. Later, Senior and Junior are on the home stretch with the Yankees bike and they begin assembly with former Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams and unveil it with Chris Rose show on MLB Network. When Rose asks them to build a bike for MLB, Junior is taken aback when Senior suggests he take on the project. Also, Mikey starts his own OCC clothing line.

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. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. 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)[permanent dead link] New York Southern District Court. Barnes v. Activision. Recently Filed Cases Express.
  7. ^ (Case 09-cv-04914-CS 05/26/2009)[permanent dead link] 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. ^ "Creat Studios - Games". www.creatstudios.com.
  10. ^ "Creat Studios - Games". www.creatstudios.com.
  11. ^ "First and Free". Pinball News. 2004-08-23. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  12. ^ "FANtasy Bike Central - And the FANtasy Winners Are ..." Discovery Channel.
  13. ^ Bockelman, Andy (February 7, 2010). "Teutul Family Ending American Chopper, Settling Legal Matters"[permanent dead link] Celebrity News Service. All Headline News.
  14. ^ "American Chopper Series Finale". TMZ. February 6, 2010.
  15. ^ Rocchio, Christopher (April 7, 2010). "American Chopper revival to be Senior vs. Junior, pit father and son". RealityTVWorld.com.
  16. ^ "'American Chopper' shifts to Discovery Channel". Variety.com.
  17. ^ Ocasio, Anthony (February 9, 2011). "American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior Renewed For Season 2". Screen Rant.
  18. ^ Ross, Robyn (November 21, 2012). "Discovery Channel Cancels American Chopper After 10 Years". Seattle Post. Archived from the original on 2012-11-25.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Lowry, Brian (July 3, 2007). "Recently Reviewed - American Body Shop". Variety.
  21. ^ "Body Shop creator makes dent with DIY gambit" Reuters. TV.com. July 9, 2007.
  22. ^ @Discovery. "Tweet". Twitter.com. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  23. ^ "American Chopper - Teutuls : Discovery Channel". Dsc.discovery.com. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  24. ^ "American Chopper : Discovery Channel". Dsc.discovery.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  25. ^ "Breaking News - Discovery's "American Chopper" to Wrap Run, Again - TheFutonCritic.com". www.thefutoncritic.com.
  26. ^ "Paul Jr on Twitter".
  27. ^ "'American Chopper' is being revived by Discovery Channel — Exclusive". Entertainment Weekly. October 18, 2017.
  28. ^ "Welcome Back - American Chopper". www.discovery.com.

External links[edit]