'Dog' signs new $2.6M contract for series
The bounty hunter extracts a raise from A&E for the top show's third season
HAWAII'S most famous "Dog" -- Duane "The Dog" Chapman -- finally got his bone for at least the next year with a new, $2.6 million contract for a third season on the A&E cable-TV network.
"We haven't gotten to really celebrate yet because we're filming right out of the shoot," said Beth Smith, Chapman's partner and companion for 12 years.
"But we got (from A&E) what we wanted."
The new contract pays Chapman $100,000 per episode for 26 half-hour shows. That price is believed to be about double what Chapman made for each of the first two seasons.
"DOG, THE BOUNTY HUNTER" is the network's highest-rated unscripted reality show in all key demographics, and A&E's highest-rated series ever, an A&E official said.
Chapman and Smith declined comment on the salary figures, citing contract confidentiality. The $2.6 million will also cover salaries for the other four cast members of the Hawaii-based show.
The deal with A&E was signed Tuesday afternoon by Chapman, and by the end of the day, the production had finished the first episode for the new season with the capture of a fugitive in Kalihi.
"We signed the deal at 2:10 p.m. and started filming at 2:15," Smith said.
The film crew has been in Hawaii for about two weeks waiting for the contract to be completed, Smith said.
The show shot on Tuesday will air in February, and there is an option for multiple subsequent seasons, Smith said. The franchise also could go into syndication as early as next year, she said.
TUESDAY'S caught-on-film capture was Kalihi resident Wayne Turlip, who, Smith said, had numerous outstanding traffic warrants and two assault convictions. Chapman and son Leland tracked Turlip to a Kalihi apartment complex and found the bail jumper in one of the units.
Next up on Chapman and Smith's agenda is finding a larger home for themselves and their six children.
"So far, we can't find a house big enough for us and the kids," Smith said. "We're struggling being so cramped. The housing market is nuts and we need help."
Smith joked that she got a "Big IOU from the Dog for anything I wanted" because she negotiated the lucrative A&E contract.
"He said he'd give me another baby, but that's not in the cards," Smith said.
The series is produced by Hybrid Films.