WASHINGTON, May 30, 2013 — Back before “Pawn Stars” aired in 2009, the “Gold & Silver Pawn Shop” of Las Vegas averaged $4 million a year in revenue. Since hitting the air the shop’s revenue is five times higher, or about $20 million a year.
Not only has the Harrison family who owns the business benefited from the exposure, the two spinoffs of “Pawn Stars,” “American Restoration” and “Counting Cars” are also favorites with viewers. The History Channel is just one of many basic cable networks that have recently figured out they need not appeal to every demographic to be profitable.
By January 2011, “Pawn Stars” was History’s highest-rated series. Seven million viewers watched an original episode broadcast on January 24, 2011. That made it the most-watched telecast ever on History, according to the network and Nielsen Media Research. In 2011 this was actually the second highest-rated reality series on TV behind now-defunct “Jersey Shore,” attracting 7.6 million viewers. Take that, MTV!
Since then A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” another male oriented show about a family owned business has beaten even the impressive numbers of “Pawn Stars.” The season three finale of “Duck Dynasty” not only topped cable ratings, but left major broadcast network shows like “American Idol” and “Survivor” in the dust as well.
Not to be outdone, History Channel promoted its recent move of “Pawn Stars” to a prime time 9 p.m. Thursday evening time slot by staging a “Party Like the Pawn Stars” event in Las Vegas at the shop. The band Lynyrd Skynyrd was at the event to perform the new theme song of “Pawn Stars”—“Winning Isn’t Everything”—for the very first time.
Some will say the TV audience is so sick of competitive reality shows on the major networks that they have turned to basic cable for alternatives. And some will say the quality of programming on basic cable has improved enough to pull viewers from the major networks regardless of what they air.
Either way, the viewer is the winner. Tonight when we listen to that new Lynyrd Skynyrd song at the beginning of “Pawn Stars,” we can thank the unimaginative network heads as well as the burgeoning creativity of basic cable networks for this catchy, original theme song.
The part where we get to see Roger Daltrey and Rick perform together is just more icing on this tasty History Channel cake.
All times are EDT:
ABC: Wipeout: (New) Teams of bosses and employees tackle obstacles like Cuckoo Crazy, the Wipeout Break Room and the Miami Pound Machine.
CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (Repeat) Sheldon is outraged, and his confidence takes a hit, when he’s forced to work with his nemesis, Barry Kripke. Meanwhile, Howard and Raj shell out big bucks for action figures of themselves.
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen: (Live) The contestants’ five senses are put to the test.
NBC: Save Me: (New) In an effort to become a Good Samaritan, Beth befriends a neighborhood curmudgeon.
CW: The Vampire Diaries: (Repeat) Stefan believes a stranger in town who questions the sheriff and the mayor is actually a vampire hunter. Meanwhile, Elena tries to cope with the extreme highs and lows that are part of being a vampire; and Jeremy and Matt are surprised to see a girl they used to know enroll at the high school.
CBS: Mike & Molly: (New) Mike and Carl get stuck working at the Renaissance Faire after their boss, Patrick (Gerald McRaney), gets dumped by Mike’s mother. Later, as a tornado descends on Chicago, Mike and Molly each confess important news to each other,
NBC: Save Me: (New) Beth becomes obsessed with nursing an injured squirrel back to health after she and Tom visit a comatose Carly in the hospital.
ABC: Motive: (New) The murder of a limo driver leads detectives to a waitress who cons her prey to steal, lie and kill.
CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) A husband and wife’s numbers come up at the same time.
FOX: Does Someone Have To Go?: (New) Velocity Merchant Services employees state their cases to keep their positions.
NBC: The Office: (Repeat) Excitement fills the office when promos begin airing on television for their documentary. Elsewhere, Dwight dates a farmer, stirring jealousy in Angela; and Jim has an important meeting with baseball player Ryan Howard (playing himself).
CW: Beauty and the Beast: (Repeat) Vincent helps Cat investigate the suspicious death of a ballerina. Meanwhile, Tess makes a surprising discovery about the man she’s dating.
NBC: Parks and Recreation: (Repeat) Leslie decides to wage war on obesity in Pawnee in her first mission as city councilor by passing a city-wide soda tax. Meanwhile, Andy tries to get in shape for his police-entrance exam, and Ben struggles to connect with the interns in his office.
ABC: Rookie Blue: (New) On her first day back, Andy is forced to work a bank robbery case with newly promoted Swarek; a distraught woman gives Nick perspective on his life with Gail; a bombshell is dropped on Noelle.
CBS: Elementary: (Repeat) Sherlock investigates a suspicious hit-and-run accident that involves a conspiracy theorist. Meanwhile, Watson tries to mend the fractured relationship between Holmes and Gregson.
NBC: Hannibal: (New) Investigating a grisly double-murder, Will’s grip on reality grows increasingly tenuous.
New episodes of:
Alaska: The Last Frontier Exposed at 8 p.m. on DSC
Mountain Movers at 8 p.m. on NGC
The First 48 at 9 p.m. on A&E
Showville at 9 p.m. on AMC
Monumental Mysteries at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Chopped at 9 p.m. on Food Channel
Pawn Stars at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on History Channel
Buying Alaska at 9:30 p.m. on DSC
Anger Management at 9:30 p.m. on FX
Four Weddings at 9 and 10 p.m. on TLC
Small Town Security at 10 p.m. on AMC
Giving You the Business at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Swamp People at 10 p.m. on History Channel
The Graham Norton Show at 10 p.m. on BBC
Tabatha Takes Over at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV
Men at Work at 10 p.m. on TBS
Property Wars at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on DSC
House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV
For movie lovers:
Roustabout on ENC
The Departed on FMC
Die Another Day on FLIX
Magic Mike on HBO
The Shining on IFC
Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story on TCM
Jack on TMC
American Reunion on MOMAX
Take This Waltz on SHO
Ella Enchanted on STARZ
White Hunter, Black heart at 9:15 p.m. on TCM
High School at 9:30 p.m. on SHO
Friends With Benefits at 9:45 p.m. on ENC
Mr & Mrs. Smith at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
The Spanish Prisoner at 10 p.m. on SUND
The Long Good Friday at 10:15 p.m. on FLIX
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