Pawn Stars: Why This Show is Such a Hit

The History Channel’s Pawn Stars is a reality show that follows the day-to-day workings of a 24-hour pawn shop owned by Rick Harrison, his father, Richard Harrison, and his son Corey Harrison. The audience sees people coming into the pawn shop to sell their belongings. The items people sell are as varying as their reasons for selling them, and, because of this, the show has taken America by storm.

The Characters

The characters of Pawn Stars make the show interesting and engaging. Rick Harrison is the main character as the owner of the 24-hour Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada. The store is a family business, so he works there with his father, Richard Harrison, and his son Corey Harrison. Based on how they discuss different items that come into the store, these guys know their stuff. After decades of experience running a pawn shop, they are extremely business-minded, and are comfortable buying and selling even the most valuable items. Their knowledge of historical pieces is extensive, and when they don’t know about a certain item, they have a huge network of experts they can call in on a moment’s notice to appraise pieces. Chumlee, Corey’s childhood friend, also works at the shop, though he is not as business-minded as the trio. He is often the source of comic relief throughout the show.

The Premise

On the reality show, we see all sorts of people come in to sell, and sometimes pawn, old items. Usually, the items we see on the show are presumed to be very valuable, or at least unique, though I’m sure they see their share of mundane items in the shop, as well. At times, the guys can make a deal right away. Other times, they must call in a host of experts to appraise and authenticate items. Sometimes pieces need to be restored to their original glory before they can be resold, and the audience witnesses some of these restorations first-hand. The audience sees all of these scenarios in the course of the show, and hears the guys talk about how they decide to buy and sell different items.

The Appeal

Why would anyone want to watch a bunch of guys buy and sell items? To start, it is fascinating to see the different pieces that come into the store. The array of items that come through the doors is extensive. People bring in everything from priceless Civil War artifacts to old bicycles to autographed posters. Just when you think the guys have seen it all, someone comes in with something they have to call an expert about just to identify it. Seeing the experts come in is also really interesting. Often, they share lots of information about the history of the item and, sometimes, when the item is a fake, they share all the different ways they were able to identify it as such. When a deal is made, often the piece needs to be restored before it can be sold, and the difference between the original item and the restored piece is breathtaking. The professionals working on restorations are artistic geniuses, and they always manage to capture the essence of the piece in the restoration. Finally, when the guys decide to buy an item, there is always a scene in which the seller and the guys haggle over the price. Each seller haggles differently, and it’s fun to see if they will get even close to the price they wanted.

All in all, Pawn Stars is both fun and educational. It’s a great show for the whole family to watch!

Ideas for a Reality TV Show

Reality TV shows are selling like hot cakes. All you have to do is huddle up a handful of average people or small time starlets, create a dramatic situation and whoa, your reality TV show is ready to go on air! The best part about reality TV shows is that they give quick fame and recognition even to average people like you and me. Besides, the viewers get a kick out of all the emotional drama (which is scripted in most cases) that happens on sets. There is really no dearth of reality TV show ideas, but most revolve around similar concepts. So, in case you wish to air your own TV show some day, then you may have to come up with really good ideas for TV shows.

Ideas for a Reality TV Show

The word ‘reality TV’ show often conjures images of emotion packed, high voltage drama. Even talent based shows such as American Idol and America’s Got Talent are occasionally laced with emotional performances either by contestants or judges. Some other reality TV shows such as Big Brother reap their popularity by playing around serious social issues. Amidst this chaos, one can also get to see some good reality shows such as Bands on the Run, The Apprentice etc. If you are interested in starting a reality TV show of your own, you may derive inspiration from any of the popular TV shows. You may then attempt to present them differently. In this article, we have not provided actual ideas, but we have certainly listed some areas which offer a scope for developing a reality show.

Performance Based
This is on similar lines as American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and likes. However, you can develop your own show by introducing a little variation. For instance, you can have a reality show based on a particular dance or singing form only. You can also add variation by making a show only for elder people above 60 or so on. Talent shows for children are rampant, but there are only a handful shows which explore the talent of elderly people. You can also explore the talent of kids with special needs or handicapped people.

Profession Based
There are numerous shows which showcase the drama behind exciting and dangerous professions. But, there are very few shows which deal with seemingly ordinary occupations of that of teachers, firefighters, secretaries etc. You can devote every episode to one such average occupation and uncover the challenges faced by average people like the one’s mentioned above.

Adventure Based
Fear Factor indeed brings a gush of adrenaline with it. You can invoke similar feelings by airing an adventure based reality show. This could be anything from living in extremely undesirable living conditions or battling wildlife in rain forests or facing the fury of nature in extreme climatic zones.

Game Based
Game shows, quizzes are the most primitive forms of reality TV shows. With time, one can find a lot of new features and variation in them. The prize money has also increased manifold. So, starting a game show can be one sure shot way of making your show successful.

Drama Based
This is your formula for quick success. You can have one drop dead gorgeous girl and a bunch of guys pitted against each other, performing dare devil tasks to get her or you can have it the other way round with a hunk surrounded by a bevy of beauties competing to woo him. Throw in a couple of romantic, emotional sequences and you have a recipe of a successfully running reality show.

What Next

Just getting an idea for a reality TV show isn’t enough if you are serious about getting it on air. You need to take right steps, meet right people in order to get it working. Firstly, think of a nice, catchy title for your show. It should convey exactly what the show is all about; but at the same time, it should also invoke interest of the audience. Next, put your ideas on the paper and draft at least 5 episodes, which could get you to the production houses. If they okay it, then you may have to shoot a pilot episode after which the real thing begins.

This was all about starting a reality TV show of your own. Coming up with a great idea and treating your show differently can make it stand from the rest of reality shows.

Creating a Successful Reality Show

No matter how much we hate and criticize them, reality shows are fun to watch. Most shows revolve around a particular issue or event that the audience can relate to, and from that is built a show. Since many reality shows are being aired every week, the concepts behind most of the shows have become monotonous and boring. And today’s audience prefers watching reality shows that have a great entertaining value, and can truly connect with them. But at times, it becomes difficult to come up with some original and fun ideas for reality shows that can hold the audience interest on a long run. If you are an aspiring, professional writer and are looking for some unique reality TV show ideas, here are some pitching ideas that will not only promote the show but the writer too.

How to Start a Reality Show

Have a Specific Concept
One of the most basic concept of a successful show is to judge accurately what the market is buying or what exactly your audience wants to see on TV. Be specific in your concept; even if you have a generic idea, try to run your creative mind in a specific direction. Decide whether you are preparing a concept or idea for a reality series, TV game show, drama series, etc. Don’t be scared to create two or more variations on the same concept, as each of those will give you a different result which will increase your chance of making more sales. Hence, come up with a thought which is unique, never tried before, and apply different approaches on it.

Create a Highly Marketable Concept
Remember watching television is all about witnessing action, emotion, and real scenarios, that one may not see in real and everyday life. Hence, try coming up with concepts or ideas that are highly marketable. This primarily includes titles that can roll off the tongue easily, provoke conversations, and simply tell you exactly what people are going to be watching. For example ‘Blind Date’, ‘Temptation Island’, ‘The Bachelor’, ‘Joe Millionaire’, ‘Wife Swap’ or ‘The Apprentice’ are all good titles which can instantly grab the viewer’s attention and curiosity.

Cover Different Professions or Lifestyles
The most basic and successful element of any reality TV show is the documentary style series covering varying professions or lifestyles of people. Considering the inquisitive human mentality, such stories can serve the irresistible curiosity of the viewer to know about other people’s personal life and work. So, if you have any such concept or idea in your mind that suits this style, get some actual or well-known people involve to pitch it.

Movie Story
In case you don’t have any idea or concept in your mind, then the last minute savior is to prepare your reality TV concept based on a film story. While watching a movie, try to look at the core concept and the story of the movie, that inspires you and comprises some basic elements or concepts that can be translated in to a reality based show.

Now, if you are wondering how to pitch reality show ideas, then for that you need to very clear about your concept. Present enough details to the producers, make them understand what the show is all about, and how it differs from other shows on television. Outline a minimum of two sample episodes, as writing up additional episode ideas shows your show has legs and can be a huge success. I hope, these ideas prove to be helpful to all you aspiring writers, and help to create a reality show with a concept never seen or heard before.