How much will you give me for this new show about a pawn shop?
It’s just the latest in a growing number of unscripted series you might be tempted to group into a category we like to call “second-hand TV.” (And if anyone can think of a better name for all these shows about the trading and selling of used stuff, then we’re all ears.)
This latest addition to this burgeoning trend is “Pawn Queens,” which TLC tested as a one-off special last November. As a result of that test run – for which 1.2 million viewers tuned in – TLC has ordered up a “Pawn Queens” series calling for an initial run of eight episodes set to premiere in May, the cable channel announced Tuesday.
TLC’s “Pawn Queens” are Nikki Ruehl and Minda Grabiec, partners in a pawn shop in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. “Each episode reveals what’s involved in the pawning business and features Minda and Nikki struggling to debunk the stereotype that the pawn business is just a man’s world,” TLC said in its press release.
We have to admit we were unaware of the prevalence of this stereotype, but we can’t help but be aware of how many TV shows these days are being produced about pawn shops, second-hand stores, auction houses, dealers in kitschy antiques and the like.
And a slew of other cable shows represent various branches on the “family tree” of second-hand TV. There’s “Auction Hunters” on Spike and “Auction Kings” on Discovery. History also has “American Pickers” (one of our favorites in this whole group) and “American Restoration.” HGTV has “Cash in the Attic” and the recently launched “Cash & Cari,” starring plucky garage-sale specialist Cari Cucksey. And let us not forget “Storage Wars,” the show about guys who go around competing in the little understood world of storage-unit auctions.
“Storage Wars” has emerged as the highest-rated nonscripted series on A&E, which can only mean one thing: We have only begun to witness the explosion of these second-hand TV shows.