Bo and Luke quit the show for two reasons:
As Tom Wopat and John Schneider said in a press statement at the time, "The Duke boys wouldn't stand for being cheated and neither will we." WB felt that since the General Lee was the apparent star of the show, Bo and Luke were therefore expendable. So, Bo and Luke joined the Nascar racing circuit, and in came Byron Cherry (Coy) and Christopher Mayer (Vance), who were the best of an astounding 2230 people who tried out for the parts. Although Byron and Chris undoubtedly tried their best to please the legion of Dukes fans across the country, the show just wasn't the same without Bo and Luke. The show dropped from the top ten to about 30th in the ratings. Bo and Luke eventually did return after they were rewarded a salary increase and a greater percentage of the merchandise royalties. I'm just guessing, but Warner Brothers may have also agreed to provide better scripts, because after Bo and Luke returned, the show seemed to have a more mature and family-oriented feel to it.
- They did not feel they were getting their cut of the royalties due from the $190 million per year merchandise sales.
- They had an ongoing battle with the show producers over the lousy scripts they felt were being churned out by the writers.