Reality TV just can’t get enough of the excitement of treasure hunting in abandoned storage units. A new show by A&E is joining the game just as Spike TV released its own show as recently as last month.
On Nov. 9 Spike TV’s Auction Hunters premiered with the premise of all of the show’s half-hour episodes being what Clinton “Ton” Jones and Allen Haff can acquire in abandoned storage units and then sell for profit. The first show puts them in the heart of L.A. In one storage unit Allen finds a rare 1910 copper cash register and Ton unearths a mint condition 1970’s German H&K P7 pistol.
Now A&E is ready to dive for potential treasure by debuting its own storage unit auction series on Dec. 1, 10 p.m. ET. The show will be called Storage Wars and instead of following a team of storage-gold seekers, it segments the show into the trials of four buyers. The show stealers just might turn out to be the fast-talking married auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson. Also featured are well known relic collector Barry Weiss, a new-to-the-scene Jarrod Schulz and his nitpicking wife, Brandi, who has no problem brow-beating her husband when he makes a bad decision.
Rob Sharenow, senior vice president of alternative programming at A&E said he hasn’t seen Spike TV’s Auction Hunters, but believes there’s enough room on cable TV for two shows about storage unit treasure hunting.
“I think any other show that’s out there just doesn’t have the level of access, characters and dramatic rivalry that we have,” boasted Sharenow in a release. “We’ve got the real deal here. The hunting shows and shows about valuable objects are out there. That’s really only a piece of this show.”
The stars of these shows need to act as part gamblers and part detectives as they get mere glimpses into the repossessed storage units and must decide whether to bid on them. A recent big find was the world’s most valuable comic book collection. The stars have found plenty of valuable pottery and works of art, and yes a lot of junk and oddities too. But when they hit it big, the excitement swells. Paying as little as $10 dollars for a unit, they have made millions from the hidden treasure inside.
A&E is billed as “Real Life Drama” and reaches more than 99 million homes. The shows are mostly unscripted and are dramatic and authentic. The A&E website is located at www.aetv.com.
“A&E New Original Series ‘Storage Wars’ Premieres Wednesday December 1 at 10 PM ET/PT.” The Futon Critic. Nov. 8, 2010.
“Reality TV Subgenre Mines Storage Unit Auctions.” Artesia News. 2010.