Most reality TV viewers could probably recognize the cast of Pawn stars on sight. However, while they’ve become quite familiar with Rick, Chumlee, and the others by this point, they may not be familiar with the juicy details. Most of the team got to know the Las Vegas pawnshop-centric show, went on TV before having their own show.
When Pawn stars First aired on July 26, 2009, it was actually years of preparation. Founder of The Center of Things Shop, Rick Harrison opened Gold & Silver Pawn Shop 20 years earlier.
“Pawn Stars” started thanks to PBS?
The store and the people who worked there took their first steps when Gold & Silver Pawn Shop was the subject of a PBS documentary in 2001, eight years before it made its appearance on reality TV. Business took off after the documentary aired and Rick saw an opportunity to take a new direction by creating a reality show.
He explained how he realized the potential of a standalone show in an interview at the time. “For lack of a better term, I’ve always been just a media whore, and every time I’ve had the national press it’s been good for business,” he said. 8 News Now Las Vegas. However, there was yet another stop on TV before the reality TV series.
The next step
Rick saw another opportunity in 2003, when the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop was featured on comedian Dave Attell’s show. Insomniac. It seems like this is really where Rick decided his shop could be the center of reality TV.
The Pawn stars figure did start to launch a reality TV show about the company, but it turned out the producers and networks weren’t on board yet.
“I presented the show for four years, and nothing ever came of it,” he said. Weekly entertainment in 2010.
Eventually, a network saw the promise, although that wasn’t quite what Rick envisioned.
It turned out that HBO wanted to put the Pawn stars crew on TV, but with a very different twist. This network wanted to do a kind of Taxi confessions kind of show. There was one big problem, however. Nothing as sexy or crazy as Taxi confessions really happened with Rick’s pawnshop.
After what Rick described as “a terrible pilot,” the show never took off.
It was after this failed attempt that Leftfield Pictures approached the owner of the pawnshop and told him about his extensive knowledge of the story. The company put the show in its place – on the History channel. This turned out to be the winning shot for Pawn stars.
“We never thought it would be that big,” Rick said. “I was hoping to get a season or two out of it – maybe a little press, maybe a little more business in the store, but I never thought it was going to do that.”