‘Pawn Stars’: Why Most of the Show’s Spinoffs Didn’t Last

by Chris Haney

For years now, Pawn Stars has been one of the top-rated shows on the History Channel. In fact, it’s been so successful that the network has created multiple spinoffs from the reality series. Yet as popular as Pawn Stars is with fans, not many of the spinoffs really panned like History would have hoped from the new shows. So let’s revisit the spinoffs to see if any had the lasting success of their predecessor.

In 2009, three generations of Harrisons and a family friend took the History Channel by storm. Richard “Old Man” Harrison, Rick Harrison, and Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison own Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Corey’s longtime friend Austin Russell, better known as Chumlee, rounded out the staff of the pawn shop on television. Viewers flocked to see what items would come into the pawn store each episode. So History thought they might be able to replicate the success of Pawn Stars with similar shows.

The first spinoff came directly from Pawn Stars when the network used the show’s restoration experts for a new series. Owner Rick Dale of Rick’s Restorations is well-known as a metalwork and antique restoration expert. History created a show based on his shop and various restoration projects called American Restoration. The series had mild success and lasted six seasons before the network shook things up for Season 7. They widened the focus to five different restoration shops, but it fell flat with viewers. Following the seventh season, the network canceled the Pawn Stars spinoff.

Similar to American Restoration, the guys on Pawn Stars used another expert for anything automobile-related. Owner of Count’s Kustoms, Danny “The Count” Koker, would help out the Harrisons whenever they were going to strike a deal for any type of vehicle. History gave Koker’s custom car shop its own spinoff in 2012 with Counting Cars. To the show’s credit, it’s the only spinoff still around. Further, Counting Cars just concluded its 10th season on the network.

‘Pawn Stars’ Spinoffs That Weren’t As Successful

Although the previous two Pawn Stars spinoffs each saw varied levels of success, that can’t be said of a few others. The Harrison boys and Chumlee have an avid following that tune-in each week. Therefore the History Channel assumed the show’s blueprint could work in a different city or even in a different country. Unfortunately for the network, that wasn’t exactly the case.

From 2012-2013, History went to Cajun country for a new spinoff in Alexandria, Louisiana. The show followed the same concept as the original with the DeRamus family business in Cajun Pawn Stars. However, after four seasons and 52 episodes in a two-year span, History decided not to renew the series.

In addition, Pawn Stars went abroad with two different shows based overseas. In 2013, the series went across the pond and filmed another family-run pawn shop in Sealand, Flintshire, Wales called Pawn Stars UK. The series found success during its first two seasons both in America and abroad. Yet the family abruptly closed the Royal Pawn without explanation, and therefore a third season never came into fruition.

Two years later in 2015, Pawn Stars Australia came out, which was based around Happy Hockers pawn shop in Sydney. The shop owners had five stores in the area and more than 20 years of experience. But it wasn’t enough to garner interest in the spinoff. After one 12-episode season, History pulled the plug on the series.