The Dog is back and with a bigger bite than ever.
A year after the end of A&E's popular reality series "Dog the Bounty Hunter," the titular star (real name: Duane Chapman) returns with a new show on CMT. His loyal wife, Beth, is hunting by his side, but missing are two of his three grown children.
"Dog and Beth: On the Hunt" premieres Sunday, but a sneak preview last week showed that the Chapman family is still torn apart. At the end of the A&E series, sons Duane Lee and Leland quit or were fired after arguing with Beth. Rumors swirled that Duane Lee and Beth clashed over money.
Meanwhile, Dog's daughter, "Baby" Lyssa, had already been suspended from the business after getting arrested for criminal property damage and assaulting a police officer.
Duane Lee and Baby Lyssa did not appear in the "On the Hunt" preview, and from interviews that Beth has done, it seems that they won't be back anytime soon. But Leland is starting to patch things up with his father.
[Related: See Dog, Beth, and Leland on 'Hawaii Five-0']
"The focal point of the show is our relationship -- and our relationship with Leland," Beth told Channel Guide magazine. "Because Leland wants to stay with his dad. Duane says this really profound thing where he says, 'I don't love you more, son. But you probably love me more than any of the other kids.' ... [Leland's] love for his dad is stronger than the others."
Duane Lee moved to Florida to open up his own bail bondsman business. Lyssa, meanwhile, is writing a book, "Walking on Eggshells: The Lyssa Chapman Story," and is planning to move to Hollywood.
"Children grow up -- and how long can you work for your mom and dad?" Beth explained to Channel Guide. "At some point, you feel like there's got to be changes made. And we as parents have to be OK with letting our bird fly."
While Duane Lee and Lyssa have moved on, Leland has returned to the fold -- albeit reluctantly. "There's bad, bad blood between the family right now," he said in the sneak preview. "I told my dad, I said I hated him. But then that bothered me. Yeah, that's what I feel inside at the time, but..." At this, Leland broke off to go cry.
But later, when Dog pressed him again to help with a dangerous search, Leland finally gave in. "I'm going to be the bigger of the two, and I'm going to help him out."
For that hunt, the two Chapmans and their team armed themselves to the teeth. But as they've sworn off using lethal weapons, they carried paintball guns and similar gear. Using nondeadly force has been the family's calling card.
"They use nonlethal weaponry and teach the bondsmen to use nonlethal, unless their own lives are in danger," a CMT representative confirmed. "Dog does not carry a real gun."
Still, the debut season of "On the Hunt" will put Dog and Beth in more danger than ever as they crisscross the country helping other bail bondsmen. Their lives could be threatened, something that Beth acknowledged.
Working with these other bounty hunters "brought a greater understanding of why some of the states allow their bondsmen to carry concealed weapons. Because they really are in peril," she told Channel Guide.
"If someone pulls a gun on us, it's rightful for us to pull a gun on them. But you need to be prepared to use a gun if you pull a gun. ... A lethal weapon is to be used only when your life is being threatened," she said.
"I think that's just got to be a universal message all across the country."
Watch the supertrailer for "Dog and Beth":
"Dog and Beth: On the Hunt" airs Sundays at 8 PM on CMT.
- Duane Chapman