TLC is reviving “American Chopper” with the estranged Teutuls going head-to-head in competing bike shops.
The new show, “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior,” begins filming next week and will premiere in August.
It focuses both on the original Orange County Choppers business run by Paul Sr., and Paul Jr.’s startup bike shop.
The new shop, Paul Jr. Designs, is located across from the original OCC shop in Rock Tavern, NY, near OCC’s Newburgh site.
The hook? Father and son haven’t spoken in over a year, ever since Senior fired Junior from the family business.
BIKE BATTLE: Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Jr. haven’t spoken in a year, but will both appear on a new version of “Chopper.”
The split effectively ended their long-running reality show. TLC axed “American Chopper” last February and, in an ugly legal battle, Senior is demanding the return of Junior’s 20 percent stake in OCC. After a brief reconciliation, Junior rode out his one-year non-compete clause and moved into his new shop last week. Father and son remain at odds, with no resolution in sight.
“I’m always hopeful for a reconciliation, but sometimes these things happen for a reason,” Junior told The Post yesterday.
“Even though you never want dissension in any family, especially with your father, this has allowed me to break out and do things on my own.”
Senior also says he’s moved on to a point.
“Junior seems to say all the time he’d like to reconcile, but the thing of it is, he’s never come to me with that,” Senior told The Post. “I’m happy he’s making an attempt to go out on his own, but I don’t feel he’s ever really followed through with anything in his life.”
“But this way, if he fails, he can’t say, ‘My dad made me fail.’ ”
The resurrection of “Chopper” will be good news for fans of the show, including “Late Show” host David Letterman.
“Letterman e-mailed me when he heard the show was going off the air and said, ‘What am I gonna do now, Paul?,’ ”
Senior says. “He was devastated.”
It remains to be seen how “Senior vs. Junior” will play out, but series executive producer Christo Doyle says there’s no formula on how much air time the two competing shops will get per episode.
“This is a very bitter situation that runs really deep at times I feel I’m a family therapist and not a producer.”