Pawn Stars
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Pawn Stars: A Look Behind the Deal

A brief look into the scope of targeted audience of the popular Reality TV Show.

Insanity's insight:

Pawn Stars, a type of reality-documentary hybrid is a show currently airing on history channel.   The show revolves around a pawn shop, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, and the interactions between the people who work there and the customers who come to pawn or sell items.  The main focus of the show is on the family that owns it, consisting of Rick “The Spotter” Harrison, his father Richard “Old Man” Harrison, his son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, and “adopted” son Austin “Chumlee” Russell. (History.com)   The show also includes a variety of experts who help explain and appraise items, as well as the customers who bring the items into the shop.

Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, the store that is the focus and filming location for the show, was founded in 1988.  It wasn’t until July of 2009 that the show began airing. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1492088/)  After the show began, it quickly grew into one of the biggest hits on television, consistently rating in the top 25 almost every week. (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-10-29/u-dot-s-dot-cable-television-ratings-for-the-week-ended-oct-dot-27) In fact, it’s often considered to be the number two most watched Reality show on television.  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/12/pawn-stars_n_1339667.html)  The show’s success can be largely attributed to its emphasis on both the interactions of those on the show, as well as the information the show delivers on the various items that “come through those doors.”   Now, over 4,000 people visit the store daily, the vast majority of who are fans of the television show.  (http://www.vegas.com/attractions/off-the-strip/pawn-stars/)

                The show’s theme can be broken down into two main components.  The first of these components is the interactions between people on the show.  These include both between the main stars of the show, as well as the customers and experts that make appearances.  The second component of the show’s theme is the historical aspect.  Much of the entertainment derived by the viewers of the show often comes from hearing about the history of an item, and the story about how it ended up in the store.  By combining these two ideas, the show creates a fun, lighthearted family atmosphere, while retaining some educational and informative usefulness. 

                Just as the items that come into the store seem completely random, the advertising that surrounds the show features a wide variety of items.  Ads include everything from cars to insurance, Jello to Lenscrafters, Phone service providers to Dyson Fans, and everything in between.  However, some of the themes of the show can be traced into the themes of the commercials that are seen during it. Many of the commercials take on approach that could be described as family and comical.  Of those that aren’t, the majority involve living life an interesting way, something reinforced by the various activities the main cast members from the show do nearly every episode (including shooting guns, driving cars/boats, etc.). 

                Part of the show’s success can be attributed to its ability to appeal to a variety of audiences.  Some people watch for the shows conflict between family members.  Others watch for the moments of negotiation between the customers and the workers.  Still others watch for the fun and interesting items that appear on the show, and the history behind them.  This variety of appeal still comes together to create one fluent show.  The ebb and flow of these events tie together in a seemingly natural way, creating something that can appeal to people who may only enjoy one or a couple of the aspects of the show.  As a result, the show appeals to a variety of age groups, as well as financial backgrounds. 

                This appeal to a variety of groups can be seen through the shows advertising.  Products such as Just For Men suggest an older audience, while products like Jello suggest a younger one.  Car commercials range from an affordable, economic car to a luxury SUV, showing a clear difference in economic preference.  Alcohol ads range from ‘cheap’ beers, such as Sam Adam’s, to fine, expensive liquor, such as Glenmorangie, or lighter wines, such as YellowTail.  The appeal to people of both sexes, as well as varying financial background, shows through in every commercial series.   The one thing that seemed to be a theme throughout both the show and the television ads was trying to interest the audience in exploring things they might not have done before.   This is further enforced as you learn more about the show’s characters, who all have colorful and interesting backgrounds, going through quite a bit before arriving at the place they are at now. (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/rick-harrison-pawn-shop-reality-tv-star-read/story?id=13753425)

                Pawn Stars, the reality TV show based off the day to day business of a pawn store, as well as the people who run it, has become a very popular show that draws viewers from a wide range of demographics.  Though clever use of several different elements that draw in viewers, the show brings the typical things thought about from “reality TV”, and combines them quite well with some interesting educational and historical information.  The end result is a show that, through its own message as well as its advertising, sends a message of making life interesting to a widely diverse audience.

                

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Pawn Stars at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop | VEGAS.com

Pawn Stars at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop | VEGAS.com | Pawn Stars | Scoop.it
Get information on the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop and
Insanity's insight:

Stars of a wildly successfully reality tv show, Pawn Stars Cast and the store they work of out, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop have quickly become icons of Vegas.  Visited by thousands daily, the store has become a major tourist attraction, but hasn't distracted those who work there from their jobs.

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Pawn Stars (TV Series 2009– )

Pawn Stars (TV Series 2009– ) | Pawn Stars | Scoop.it
With Corey Harrison, Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison, Austin 'Chumlee' Russell. Rick Harrison and his family own and run a pawn shop on the Las Vegas strip. They buy, sell, and appraise items of historical value.
Insanity's insight:

The show began in 2009, filling a void in the market.  Since the launch it began growing, and never looked back.

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U.S. Cable Television Ratings for the Week Ended Oct. 27

U.S. Cable Television Ratings for the Week Ended Oct. 27 | Pawn Stars | Scoop.it
The following table lists the top 40
cable television shows for the week of 10/21/13 through
10/27/13. Programs are ranked by rating in descending order.
Insanity's insight:

Pawn Stars, even with other huge seasonal shows and events on air, continues to draw large audiences.  Consistently ranking in the top 25, it is one of the leading shows on television.

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Rick Harrison: Pawn Shop to Reality TV Star

Rick Harrison: Pawn Shop to Reality TV Star | Pawn Stars | Scoop.it
"Pawn Stars" star Rick Harrison's new book reveals his past struggles and how he overcame them to become a reality TV star and owner of one the country's most famous pawn shops.
Insanity's insight:

Shows a small taste of the interesting background that the stars of the show came from.  There was never very much 'usual' in the lives of any of the cast, and that continues to this day as they star in their show.

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'Pawn Stars': 13 Things You Didn't Know About History's Hit

'Pawn Stars': 13 Things You Didn't Know About History's Hit | Pawn Stars | Scoop.it
The back room of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop looks exactly as "Pawn Stars" fans might expect, with one very notable exception: one massive wall is lined, floor to ceiling, with boxes and boxes (and boxes) of t-shirts.
Insanity's insight:

Pawn Stars has grown to be one of the most watched reality shows on television.  How big you ask?  They are the number 2 highest rated reality tv show on, and that's just the beginning of the fun and fame they've gained.

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Pawn Stars Cast - History.com

Pawn Stars Cast - History.com | Pawn Stars | Scoop.it
Meet the cast of Pawn Stars on History. Get season by season character bios and more only on History.com.
Insanity's insight:

Pawn Stars is all about the people, and without knowing the people you cannot appreciate the show.  Starting as a small family business, Gold & Silver Pawn may have grown tremendously over the past 25 years, but the people involved as still as big of characters as they'v ever been.

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