A&E; has renewed three of its highest-rated reality series, including Dog the Bounty Hunter, but sources said its breakout series, Growing Up Gotti, has been whacked.
It's also the end of the line for Airline, another A&E; reality entry. Returning for second seasons are Inked and Criss Angel Mindfreak, the two youngest-skewing series on the network.
The highest-rated series ever on the network in all key demographics, Dog will be back for a third season, which already is in production. The show follows a family of real-life bounty hunters working in Hawaii.
Sources said series star Duane Dog Chapman did not come cheap, re-signing for about $100,000 per episode. A&E; declined comment. Not only is Dog A&E;'s most-watched series, the franchise could be ready for syndication as soon as next year; its closed-ended episodes and action sequences make it more attractive than the average reality series in that market.
Dog will return in February for 26 half-hour episodes, with an option for multiple subsequent seasons. Inked will be back in the spring with 20 episodes. Eighteen more installments of Mindfreak are on tap beginning in the summer.
The trio join a full slate of returning unscripted series on A&E;, including The First 48, Intervention, and Cold Case Files.
Gotti, a chronicle of the life of the late crime boss John Gotti's daughter, Victoria, ran for three seasons totaling more than 40 episodes, beginning in 2004. Airline, based on a British format, also ran for three seasons beginning in 2004, totaling more than 50 episodes. The series offered an inside view of Southwest Airlines.