Hold onto your ape hangers, American Chopper returns next year

This is not a drill: American Chopper returns to the Discovery Channel in winter 2018. The reality show, which was like All in the Family set in a custom motorcycle shop, aired 223 episodes from 2002 to 2012 on several different Discovery outlets. The longevity came in part from stormy dynamics on-screen and off: Paul Teutel, Sr and Paul Teutel, Jr argued so ferociously on the show and with the production team that the network canceled the show in 2010, then resurrected the program as Senior vs. Junior for two years before an abrupt final cancellation. A revamped show, Orange County Choppers, aired on CMT for one year before what we thought was permanent death.

Since giving up the bright lights, Paul Sr burned through stacks of money turning Orange County Choppers into a destination spot with a bowling alley and a restaurant. Paul Jr - in Rock Tavern, NY, just 12 miles away from his father in Newburgh, NY - stuck to high-dollar custom builds, the business proving less lucrative than before. Discovery tells us the reboot gets father and son together to "reclaim their preeminent bike brands and – hopefully, rebuild some sort of relationship."

That relationship will undoubtedly chew on bikes, celebrities, and a lot of arguments about deadlines, money, and who's been more successful than whom. We don't know if Mikey or any of the previous support gang will return from suspended animation. More importantly, over the past five years the custom motorcycle business left choppers in its cafe racer mirrors and never looked back. In early 2018 we'll discover if gold-studded tangerine gloss and 18-inch-wide rear tires can claw their way back into the public's love. Until then, we'll chuckle at one commenter's sentiment regarding the show's return, "Great! Can't wait to watch it on my metal flake green TV, which by the way, leaks oil."

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