Is the Alaskan Bush People cancelled? No, but the show has suffered a series of significant setbacks due to a few forced changes outside of the Discovery Channel’s control. First of all, the filming location of Alaskan Bush People will once again change.
During the first season, the Brown family — the stars of the Alaskan Bush People series — tried their luck at building a home for themselves in the Alaskan bush. After allegedly being threatened and chased away by actual Alaskan bush people, the Brown family eventually relocated to the wilderness of Hoonah, in Southeast Alaska.
After patriarch Billy Brown’s health took a turn for the worse, the family was once again forced to move.
At least…that was the official storyline of the Discovery Channel show. Unofficially, it turned out the Brown family weren’t exactly natives of Alaska, having spent much of their time living in the lower 48 states. The truth behind the Alaskan Bush People stars came out as a result of an ongoing fraud scandal.
It turned out that despite not living in the state of Alaska, the Brown family collected thousands of dollars in oil revenue dividends that rightfully belonged to Alaskan state citizens. A generous plea deal found that only two adult family members, Billy and his son Joshua “Bam Bam” Brown, would be held criminally liable. According to the Alaska Dispatch News, the two reality stars were forced to pay out a total of $21,130 in returned dividend funds and fines.
Radar Online reports that Billy and Bam Bam Brown are scheduled to report to jail on April 15 to serve a 30-day sentence.
Although Alaskan Bush People remains one of the most popular wilderness/survival-type reality television shows, the recent negative publicity associated with the Brown family could undermine ratings. First, consider the fact that, as reported by StarPulse, there’s a very good chance that Season 5 of Alaskan Bush People will be filmed in an “urban” location.
At the beginning of Season 2, we saw the Brown family forced to live in a city for about a year. Of course, that wrapped up in about the first episode. The reality stars were able to return to the wilderness, to a setting that fans of the show are more familiar with. It’s clear that the Discovery Channel is set on keeping the Brown family in the public eye, but that decision could backfire.
What if fans of the Alaskan Bush People series have no interest in seeing the Browns try to tackle everyday life in a big city? If the pull of the series was watching these individuals try to survive outside of conventional means, that significant factor will no doubt be lost with a move to an urban location.
It would also probably be disingenuous to keep the show’s current title if “city life” is the theme of Season 5. Perhaps it will be changed to Alaskan Bush People In The City?
In any case, even if audience members are willing to tune in, believing that they’re watching the Browns get used to living around people for the “first time,” certain other information could work against the show’s believability.
Secondly and as previously stated, it’s now known that the Brown family spent quite a bit of time in the lower 48 states and even had access to the internet. Although the reality TV stars have claimed on camera to be uninformed about various aspects of everyday American society, revelations that have come to light suggest that this isn’t exactly true.
If the “adjustment” comes across as less than genuine, that too can turn off the previously loyal viewing audience. With such an extreme and inevitable change in tone and location, it’s possible that the Alaskan Bush People could be cancelled in the middle of Season 5.
[Image via Discovery Channel]