Despite being initially focused on giving high profile celebrities a platform to vent the most scandalous details about their life, reality TV eventually evolved to give common people their own spotlight as well. That being said, no one expected that showcasing real people with real struggles on TV would turn out to be so entertaining, but shows such as “Ice Road Truckers” came to prove not only that normality was indeed worth watching, but also that seeing tough guys working was somehow appealing to a considerable section of the audience.
The success of “Ice Road Truckers” was undeniable, so was the uproar its spin-off “Deadliest Roads” caused as well. That’s why it’s so surprising to see the latter not premiering more episodes recently, making us wonder what really happened to the show.
So is “Deadliest Roads” canceled or will it return anytime soon? What happened to its stars, and where are they nowadays? Keep with us to know all!
Was “Deadliest Roads” Canceled?
It’s almost mandatory that once a show becomes popular enough, a long list of spin-off series can be created from it. However, this is not the case for “Ice Road Truckers”, which actually kept its quite small in this regard, with “Deadliest Roads” the only follow-up series from the franchise to ever premiere.
Despite “Deadliest Roads” being the only one, the fact that many people still remember the show ‘til these days proves how memorable it actually was, even though no further episodes premiered after 2011.
Truth be told, “Deadliest Roads” wasn’t officially canceled, but no one explained why it wasn’t continued either. Although this normally happens to shows with poor audience ratings, this wasn’t the case for “Deadliest Roads” given it was quite popular back in the day.
While it’s suspected that such an international production was probably too costly to maintain, the fact that many truckers left the show while it was being filmed, due to the risky roads conditions, is potentially one of the reasons the series saw its early end.
Whatever it happened, iwe haven’t any clear explanation about it over a long period. That being said, at least “Deadliest Roads” gave us many memorable moments while it lasted.
How Many Seasons Did It Have?
The “Deadliest Roads” concept wasn’t that different from the main series. The cast was composed of many known faces plus some new ones, but the fact that it was filmed abroad and explored many unknown and highly risky locations, was what truly made the show so thrilling to watch.
The first season premiered in late 2010, featuring truckers Alex Debogorski, Lisa Kelly and Rick Yemm, who were already long-time “Ice Road Truckers” cast members.
Though later in the season some changes to the cast were made, the season focused on the struggles these drivers faced while traveling the mountain roads of the Himalayas, transporting supplies from Delhi to Shimla in Eastern India.
The second season premiered in September 2011, and had truckers pairing up to cross some of the toughest roads in South America. Though this season welcomed more new faces, all the truckers had their chance to shine while facing the Yungas Road in Bolivia. Compared to the former season, this new adventure’s difficulties were higher, considering that not only were the roads harder to drive on, but also seeing how the terrain’s saltiness and lithium partially damaged the vehicles. In total, “Deadliest Roads” aired 23 episodes in two years.
Who Were “Deadliest Roads” Cast?
There was no way Rick Yemm could go unnoticed during his time in “Deadliest Roads”, but it wasn’t because of his blue mohawk.
Rick was known for his rebellious personality, and for not mincing his words, especially in the most grueling situations.
Regardless of being portrayed as a villain in the show, Rick had proven to be enough of a competent trucker since his beginnings in “Ice Road Truckers”. However, the challenge to deliver religious articles to a monastery ahead of the Rohtang Pass was enduring to say the least. Even though he ultimately accomplished his first job in India, his second all-alone mission of delivering fuel barrels for a rescue mission on the mountains failed in the end. The second season saw the situation go downhill quite rapidly for Rick, abandoning his mission in South America in episode two.
Rick’s adventure with “Ice Road Truckers” wasn’t going to last long afterwards, though. He appeared for the last time in the show in the 2012’s episode “The Final Showdown”, in which he and truck partner Hugh Rowland leave Polar Enterprises.
Following his exit from “Ice Road Truckers”, Rick kept busy with his carpet cleaning business for a couple of years, but it’s unclear what he’s doing nowadays., however, you can get a glimpse into Rick’s current life thanks to his somewhat active social media accounts.
As one of the most popular “Ice Road Truckers” cast members, and with decades of experience on the road, there’s definitely a lot to say about Alex Debogorski. However, his run in “Deadliest Roads” wasn’t as long as we would have liked, given that he only appeared in one episode of the first season.
On screen, it seemed as if Alex had abandoned his mission in India, but the situation apparently played out quite differently in real life. In a 2020 interview with the website Deals On Wheels, the veteran trucker affirmed that his adventure in India was cut short, when someone purposely ‘ran into’ his truck.
While waiting for his truck’s repair, Alex attended a truck exhibition in England, but was denied a second entry to India due to Visa issues. All of that wasn’t evident in the show, unfortunately: ‘They played it in a certain way that looked like I didn’t want to be there, but that was not true’, as he stated.
Not accepting to be in “Deadliest Roads” second season was indeed a personal and financial decision: ‘I figured ‘to heck with them’. If I am going to go and do a job like that and I kill myself, I’m not going’, he added, while also daringly suggesting that not appearing in “Deadliest Roads” was possibly one of the reasons why the show wasn’t renewed.
Regardless of her young age, Lisa Kelly was consistently one of the most competent drivers in “Ice Road Truckers”, on top of arguably being the most successful throughout the two seasons of “Deadliest Roads”.
A native of Michigan, but an Alaskan at heart, Lisa Kelly’s career started from the bottom. She dropped out of college after one semester, and joined the workforce as a school bus driver, pizza deliverer and gas station attendant, jobs she kept while pursuing motorsports on the side. She soon realized that pursuing a career behind the wheel was the right way to go, eventually joining a truck driver training program before being contracted by Carlisle Transportation, a local trucking company.
Things took an unexpected turn after accepting Carlisle’s offer to join “Ice Road Truckers”, the first women to do so in the show. Despite being quite underestimated at the start, her appearances in the show proved her worth as a driver, making her success in “Deadliest Catch” not so surprising. In the first season, Lisa was the only one to deliver the fuel barrels needed for a rescue mission up the mountains, later on completing all of her missions in the second season as well.
Although Lisa’s appearances in “Ice Road Truckers” were intermittent until the show’s end in its 11th season, nowadays it’s known that she’s still living in Alaska, working as a trucker.
Following Alex Debogorski’s exit from “Deadliest Roads”, Dave Redmon joined as his replacement. Although at the time Dave was a new face for the audience, his unrelenting will to complete the Himalayas’ mission showed that he was worthy of being there.
Even though Dave unfortunately didn’t complete the delivering fuel mission in the first season, he was there for the second season in Bolivia, to team up with Lisa Kelly. However, his adventure in South America ended a little too soon, when he abandoned it in episode two, concerned with the high risk level of the dirt roads: ‘There’s no driving over it real slow. Because, if it collapses under you, you’re going down’, he told Huliq.com in 2012, also admitting that he drove with his truck’s door open, and put ‘a stick to the lock’, to ensure he could get out of it alive in case the truck fell down the cliff.
Dave had such a positive reception by the audience, that he soon joined “Ice Road Truckers” main cast in season five. However, his presence in the show was allegedly meant to stir up drama: ‘they had scripted me to be the bad guy on the show, and it just scripted me to get fired’, Dave told Trucker News.
Unfortunately, nothing is known about Dave’s whereabouts after leaving the TV series.
Despite being an unknown face when he joined “Deadliest Roads”, G.W. Boles was definitely welcomed by the audience as Dave Redmon’s replacement in the second season’s fourth episode. As Lisa Kelly’s trucking partner, Boles did half of the work while driving the world’s most dangerous roads in Bolivia and Peru.
Regardless of his tough biker appearance, Boles considers himself an entertainer at heart. Despite becoming a trucker soon after high school, his dream was always to be a professional wrestler.
Though the latter wasn’t possible, Boles’ successfully pursued a side-career as a comedian, performing in local Texas clubs before attracting the attention of History channel.
Unlike some of his co-stars, G.W. Boles’ adventure with “Deadliest Roads” doesn’t bring back bad memories. It wasn’t only the thrill of accomplishing his TV dream that he loved, but also the adventure in itself which made it even greater: ‘To be honest, even if there had been no TV show behind it, I still would’ve done it’.
As seen on his social media, nowadays Boles still actively works as a trucker, and produces original YouTube content.
As an original “Ice Road Truckers” cast member, it wasn’t really surprising to see Hugh “Polar Bear” Rowland debut in “Deadliest Roads” second season. Although he was left with no driving partner after Rick Yemm left the show, his several years of experience made it possible for him to accomplish his mission in South America, driving alone.
That being said, Rowland’s road in Bolivia and Peru wasn’t easy. Then, loading fireworks and exotic animals wasn’t as difficult when compared to being challenged by fellow truckers on the road, almost crashing against a market, or fixing his truck in the middle of nowhere.
However, Hugh Rowland’s run with the show’s franchise ended on a bittersweet note not long after, given that in 2014 Hugh suffered an on-road accident while in the passenger seat of a car driven by an “Ice Road Truckers” production staff member. As TMZ reported, the producer named Will Morrison “was driving recklessly when he lost control, veered off the road, and crashed into trees and bushes”, causing several injuries that left Hugh unable to feel the lower part of his body, taking him away from trucking, and ruining his marital life altogether. He filed a lawsuit in 2014, but it’s unknown what happened in the case.
Tim and Tino
The duo formed by Agustin “Tino” Rodriguez and Timothy R. Zickuhr joined “Deadliest Roads” in the second season, and even though no one new them at the time, their stunts on screen made them unforgettable to the audience.
Throughout the season, Tim and Tino did more than just transport supplies in South America, as the audience saw them challenging Hugh Rowland for a race despite their rookie status, taking daring cliffside roads, and were even pushed to camp in the desert overnight.
Unfortunately, not a lot is known about Tino’s whereabouts after “Deadliest Roads” ended. However, things took a turn for the worse for Tim, who in in 2015 was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for threatening and kidnapping a sex worker.
Was “Ice Road Truckers” Canceled?
Just as happened to “Deadliest Roads”, there was never an official announcement regarding “Ice Road Truckers” future. Ever since the show’s 11th season wrapped up in late 2017, fans were flabbergasted not to see any news from the franchise.
However, following an Alex Debogorski Facebook post in 2018, it was evident that the show’s future was simply unknown at that point: ‘I haven’t heard a peep from those guys. so I guess the show is in the dustbin of history’, he wrote.
Fast forward to present times, no sign regarding “Ice Road Truckers” renewal has been released so far, leaving us to assume that the show isn’t returning any time soon, which is sad news for the franchise’s most loyal fans, but leaves us no other option than to accept that the show finally ran its natural course.