Pawn Stars Panel: Anatomy of a Hit Reality Series

The Panelists
Brent Montgomery, Leftfield Pictures
Rob Miller, Peleton Entertainment
Mary Donahue, Executive Producer, History Channel
This panel discussion was created by Peter Hamilton, editor of the ‘indispensible’ business newsletter DocumentaryTelevision.com, and Pamela Jones, Attorney (www.PamelaJonesEsq.com).

Pawn Stars Panel Pt 1: The Rise of Leftfield
Part 1. Peter Hamilton recaps the ratings impact of Pawn Stars. Brent Montgomery describes how he worked his way up the production ladder, and what he learned before he established Leftfield Productions. Agent Rob Miller says ‘casting’ and ‘execution’ are keys to success.

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Pawn Stars Panel Pt 2: Reality Talent – A ‘How To’‬
Part 2 is a discussion of how producers find and compensate great talent for reality shows. How should talent view their compensation?

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Pawn Stars Panel Pt. 3. Concept & Pitch‬
How the Pawn Stars concept was developed and pitched, and the various contributions of History’s Development team, Leftfield and agent Rob Miller.

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Pawn Stars Panel Pt. 4. A Series for Hard Times‬
Part 4 is a discussion of how History’s development team shaped the series concept using references to standout shows from different eras. Was ‘Antiques Roadshow’ a model? Mary Donahue was inspired by the appetite for screwball comedies during hard times. Brent emphasizes ‘stakes’ and ”the haggle.’

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Pawn Stars Panel Pt. 5. Keeping a Series Fresh
Part 5 is a discussion of how networks and producers sustain a hit show like Pawn Stars.

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Pawn Stars Panel Pt. 6. Mechanics of the Deal
Part 6: Q&A. The deal: Can producers evolve beyond the work-for-hire model.

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Pawn Stars Panel Pt. 7. Q&A. More on ‘The Deal’
Part 7. Q&A. What happens when networks want revenue shares with talent? Discussion of season renewal deals

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Pawn Stars Panel Pt. 8. What’s Next for Leftfield?
Part 8. The end of the Q&A. Leftfield looks for broadcast commissions and more cable hits. Mary says that History is open to pitches, PROVIDED that producers have done their homework on the brand!