Pawn Stars: Will Gold and Silver Pawn Become Golden Goose?

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Pawn Stars's Thomas Somach follows up with his incredibly popular article related to the "Pawn Stars" cable television show, questioning its future. 

Is the History Channel going to kill its golden goose?

It's sure going to give it a try!

The most popular program on that American cable television network is "Pawn Stars," a reality show about a Las Vegas pawn shop.

The hugely successful show, which is the second-highest-rated program on cable TV in the USA, chronicles the antics of three generations of the Harrison family as they run the shop and buy and sell unusual and sometimes historical items.

The show's success on television has also translated into personal success for the show's stars.

Grandpa Richard, nicknamed "The Old Man," Dad Rick and son Corey, nicknamed "Big Hoss," are celebrities in Las Vegas and get invited to movie premieres and are written about in local gossip columns.

The also fly around the country making personal appearances for big bucks.

Their pawn shop, called Gold and Silver Pawn and located on a seedy part of the famed Las Vegas Strip, officially Las Vegas Boulevard, averaged 75 visitors a day before the show made the clan famous.

The shop now gets 750 visitors a day, and there are often long lines outside waiting to get in, where there's a rope line and doorman at the entrance just as there would be at a trendy and popular Vegas nightclub.

And where before, visitors came in to the shop to do things like pawn rings or guns to get quick cash to pay the rent or utility bill, the majority of visitors now come in to see and meet the Harrisons, take photos, get autographs and buy souvenirs, such as overpriced T-shirts featuring the faces of the show's stars.

Apparently, however, a successful show isn't enough for the History Channel.

As they say in TV, "If something is good, more of it is better."

That's why the History Channel recently announced that it was spinning off not one but two new shows from "Pawn Stars."

One spinoff will be about a family-run pawn shop in Miami and the other spinoff will be about a family-run pawn shop in Los Angeles.

Hey, why copy from other channels when you can copy from yourself?

The spinoffs are a risky move for the HIstory Channel, as it risks oversaturation.

One show a week about a pawn shop equals a hit show.

Three shows a week about three different pawn shops could equal too much of a good thing--and eventual curtains for all three shows.

Ten years ago American TV network ABC had a huge hit with the prime time quiz show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

The show aired once a week and garnered massive ratings and big bucks for the network.

Then ABC got greedy--as the History Channel now appears to be doing--and started putting "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" on almost every night of the week.

The results were predictable--oversaturation of the product led to audience boredom and before long the show was cancelled.

Does the same fate await "Pawn Stars" and its ill-conceived clones?

Despite that show coming from Las Vegas, it's not a gamble the History Channel should make.

By Tom Somach Staff Writer


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