September 19, 2011 9:52am PT by Eriq Gardner
'Dog the Bounty Hunter,' A&E Sued by Bail Bondsman
A Colorado bail bondsman is taking credit for the success of the A&E reality series Dog the Bounty Hunter, and he wants compensation for his role in the series.
Last week, Bobby Brown sued A&E Television Networks, Hybrid Films, and D&D Television Productions in Colorado federal court. The plaintiff says he appeared in and was principally responsible for 40 episodes of Dog.
According to the complaint, the series has grossed more than $400 million in its seven seasons since 2004. Brown has only been paid $6,000 for his contributions.
Brown alleges that in 2005, Duane "Dog" Chapman asked him to arrange a series of meetings. Executives from the show are said to have been in attendance to discuss the preparation of shows to be filmed in Colorado.
Filming commenced, and Brown says he played an instrumental role.
"While the series portrays 'Dog' and his team as assisting Bobby Brown with capturing difficult fugitives, in fact it was Mr. Brown who laid the foundation for each of these captures with meticulous preparation and research," says the lawsuit. "In most cases, he postponed faster and less expensive options to capture the fugitives to ensure there was sufficient quality material for filming.
Brown says he prepared voluminous reports and worked at least 50 hours on each episode, and without his expertise and collaboration, the episodes would not have occurred. Brown also claims credit for an episode involving the capture of James English, an episode that Chapman purportedly believes "saved the series" after a recording of him vocalizing a racial slur was publicized.
In 2009, Chapman's team allegedly asked him to become a full-time member of the series, and he was filmed for the enhanced role with contracts on the way. But soon thereafter, Brown says he became convinced that the Chapmans didn't intended to fulfill their promises, so he ended his participation.
He's now suing over the misappropriation of his publicity rights as well as claims of breach of contract and promises. Brown is demanding unspecified damages.
A&E declined to comment. Chapman couldn't be reached for comment.
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