Bounty Hunter "Dog" to return to the air

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Celebrity bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman is set to return to television after his reality TV show was pulled from the air three months ago in a controversy over his use of a racial slur, cable channel A&E said on Tuesday.

Duane "Dog" Chapman takes a call at his home in Honolulu, Hawaii January 16, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Pemoni

A&E took the popular show, “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” off its schedule last November after a private phone call in which Chapman, an ex-con, used an offensive term to describe his son Tucker’s black girlfriend hit the Internet.

It transpired that Tucker sold the tape of the conversation to The National Enquirer, for a reported $15,000.

A teary Chapman apologized repeatedly on television and to the African American community after the tape was made public and promised to make amends.

He acknowledged using the epithet “nigger” on a heated call with his son but admitting he was probably interfering in his son’s life and he still loved his son.

An A&E spokesman said the network had decided to start production again of “Dog The Bounty Hunter” but no airdate has yet been scheduled.

“Over the last few months, Duane “Dog” Chapman has taken and continues to take the appropriate steps in reaching out to several African American organizations in an effort to make amends for his private comments to his son which were released publicly,” said a statement from the network.

“Since the premise of “Dog The Bounty Hunter” is about second chances - we have decided to give him one.”

Honolulu-based Chapman, 55, who has 12 children and has been married five times, rose to fame after his 2003 tracking and capture of Max Factor heir and serial rapist Andrew Luster in Mexico.

This led to an offer for a reality TV show which follows Chapman with his trademark scraggly long blond hair and leather wardrobe, his wife Beth, and his “posse” tracking down people who jump bail.

The show is broadcast in more than 10 countries.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte