Fans of "Storage Wars" might believe the show is essentially over now that Dave Hester is off the program and entrenched in lawsuits with the show's creators. Even before Hester was fired and the lawsuits were filed, the show was trending downward and the stage was set for the show to tumble. While the loss of "The Mogul" and his accusations will hurt the show more than it is hurting now, the end is only slightly progressed, and the auction bidder did not get the ball rolling.
What is happening?Hester states he was fired from "Storage Wars" after he went public with statements about the show being faked. He claims the producers of the show plant certain items in the storage lockers the cast members are bidding on in an attempt to make the units appear to have better hidden treasures. The innovator of the "Yuuuppp!" also claims the network paid for one of the cast members to have plastic surgery to appear more attractive. The producers are suing the former star of the show over his accusations, and he is suing them for wrongful termination.
The ratingsThe first episode of Season 2 was seen by 5.1 million viewers, but the two episodes making up the Season 3 premiere held ratings of 3.7 million and 4.3 million. This is a significant drop from the year before. The official word about what was going on with Hester did not come out until a few days after the premiere, so the loss of the cast member cannot be blamed on the drop. In fact, The Mogul was highlighted in both episodes.
Market inundationThe market is currently inundated with "found treasure" shows with more on tap for the near future. By January, "Storage Wars" will have been spun into three shows with versions being set in California, Texas, and New York. "Pawn Stars" has been spun into "American Restoration," "Counting Cars," and "Cajun Pawn Stars." Don't forget about "American Pickers," "Hollywood Treasure," "Hardcore Pawn," and half a dozen other smaller similar shows. The bubble is bursting.
Not as much of a needWith the economy gaining strength, people are not dreaming as much about finding an expensive treasure in the basement or behind the barn so the market for a show like "Storage Wars" is not as appealing. The upsurge in "found treasure" shows coincided with the dip in the economy when people struggled to find any way possible to make ends meet. When the country exits the Great Recession, the number of "found treasure" shows will likely plummet. While Hester's issues with the creators of his former show will help to progress the "Storage Wars" drop, he did not cause it.
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