‘Alaskan Bush People’: 4 Burning Questions About New Season

Jail time and fraud convictions weren’t enough to keep the Alaskan Bush People from returning to the Discovery Channel. As People reports, the hit reality TV series about the Brown family attempting to survive in the Alaskan wilderness will be back for its fourth season on May 6.

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A statement released by the Discovery Channel remarks that the premise of Alaskan Bush People‘s new season is a relatively straightforward one. After the dramatic exit from “Browntown” last season due to 62-year-old patriarch Billy Brown’s declining health, the show finds the family returning to their wilderness home, where they will once again work to establish their unique way of life. Before filming, Billy reportedly was taken to “the lower 48” for treatment.

What can fans (and hate-watchers) of Alaskan Bush People expect? Here are four burning questions that it’s hoped we get answers to, either during or by the conclusion of the new season.

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First, let’s hope we’ll learn some new and promising information about Billy Brown’s health. Near the end of Season 3 of Alaskan Bush People, things looked particularly bad for the father of seven.

Between bears frequently destroying their newly constructed home on and Billy’s worsening condition, it seemed inevitable that the clan would throw in the towel. Doing so in large part for the sake of someone’s health is understandable — as is the decision to leave the Alaskan wilderness to seek modern treatment.

It would be great if one of the first things addressed by Alaskan Bush People is whether or not Billy Brown is healthy enough to be back in “Browntown.” If not, then perhaps part of this season will deal with the realization that life in the wild is probably not good for his personal health.

Another question to answer will be how much of this season will be shot in the wild as opposed to in a city or otherwise “urban” location. The synopsis shared by the DiscoveryChannel suggests that the family will be back in the Alaskan wilderness at some point. Will it be a Season 2 situation where we see them living together in an apartment, but for all of one episode? It could be we have multiple episodes showing the family adjusting to life in the “lower 48” before heading home to rural Alaska.

Fans will probably be hoping to see the Brown clan in the woods as much as possible — that’s where much of the interest in the series comes from.

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The third question isn’t too surprising given the family’s very public legal woes: How much of the oil revenue fraud scandal will be discussed in upcoming episodes? The network did claim that part of the reason a “dark cloud” would be hanging over the Browns this season is related to their legal troubles.

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The Alaska Dispatch News reported that both Billy and his 31-year-old son, Joshua “Bam Bam” Brown, would each be serving a 30-day jail sentence after lying about their Alaskan residency and receiving thousands of dollars in oil revenue. The two men will also have to pay back the dividends and pay out hefty fines. The agreement would keep other family members out of jail.

The Alaskan Bush People stars may have lost a bit of their luster behind the scandal. Some observers may feel the family got off relatively easy, despite their dishonesty. If the show discusses the Browns’ legal issues, perhaps the family can shed light on the situation from their own point of view.

Because the Browns technically aren’t Alaskans — at least not as far as the state of Alaska is concerned — it’s probably going to be a hard situation to explain, but attempting to do so could win back viewers they lost behind the scandal.

The final question? Will Alaskan Bush People be back for a fifth season? Some fans were concerned that a fourth season wouldn’t be happening because of the legal drama. However, it’s important to note that shows like this are often filmed months prior to appearing on the air.

There should never have been any doubt that the Discovery Channel had enough footage saved up for a new season. The only concern was whether Alaskan Bush People would be taken off the air due to the ongoing scandal. Although that wasn’t the case for season four, it’s possible that their current situation will make the Browns unavailable for a fifth season.

Or, it could be that future filming of Alaskan Bush People is significantly delayed because series regulars are in jail. No doubt one of the biggest determining factors behind any plans for a new season will be the ratings. If legal woes (and the revelation that the Browns aren’t even Alaskan) drives viewers away, the Discovery Channel may decide not to pursue another season.

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What questions do you have about the new season of Alaskan Bush People? Do you think the show will wind up canceled? Share your thoughts below!

[Image via Discovery Channel/screen grab from official YouTube channel]