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August 08, 2008

A&E shot pilot with controversial Christian biker gang

A&E prides itself on its gritty, street-level reality shows. Now it's gotten involved with an outfit that might be too hardcore even for the home of "Intervention" and "Dog the Bounty Hunter."

The network has been developing a reality show with the controversial Christian motorcycle gang Set Free Soldiers, a group whose leader and six members were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of attempted murder.

The arrests stem from a July 27 double stabbing that occurred during a barfight between the Anaheim-based group and members of Hells Angels. The bikers were rounded up during a series of raids by SWAT teams and federal drug enforcement agents.

The A&E project, working titled "Saints and Sinners," was ordered from production companies the Firm (A&E's "Criss Angel: Mindfreak") and Outfit Media Group.

An A&E spokesperson said a pilot was shot a couple months ago and that the network doesn't believe that any of the bikers involved in the show were among those who were arrested.

Sources said "Saints" centers around a SFS halfway house where bikers reform alcoholics and drug addicts. A&E had hoped the project would make a proper companion for tough-love shows such as "Intervention" and "Dog."

The Los Angeles Times reported that the gang is described on its now-defunct Web site as "a group of men who love Jesus and love to ride hard."

Though no decision has been made on the show, it seems unlikely that A&E will proceed with the project, especially since members of the "Dog" cast have been plagued with legal issues that have drawn negative publicity to that show.


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