The Rise & Rise Leftfield Entertainment, Producer of ‘Pawn Stars’


Pawn Stars became the breakout hit for History US that created Leftfield Entertainment, acquired recently by ITV Studios in a $450 Mn deal.

  • In 2007, Leftfield produced 1 television hour.
  • This year: more than 330!!

Leftfield is the biggest winner of all in the Reality TV boom.

  • How was the Pawn Stars concept conceived?
  • And how did Leftfield execute so brilliantly?

Our interview-based Case Study analyzes the ‘secret sauce’ behind Leftfield’s trajectory from a single hit producer to a leading international player with a head-spinning valuation.

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The light bulb that became Pawn Stars was first switched on in the back of a Vegas van in 2008.

  • Pawn Stars became History Channel’s breakout hit show.
  • It launched a major US independent production company.
  • Leftfield was acquired by ITV Studios (UK) in a deal valued at $450 million. (April 2014)


Source: LE, December 2013

That Las Vegas van was driven by emerging New York-based producer, Leftfield Pictures:

  • In 2007, before Pawn Stars, Leftfield produced 1 television hour.
  • In 2013: more than 330 hours!!
  • And two of the Top 10 unscripted hits on U.S. cable.

What is Leftfield’s secret sauce?

  • To find out, we interviewed and re-interviewed Leftfield’s owner Brent Montgomery.
  • And we co-produced a panel for the New York State Bar Association with Brent, Leftfield’s super-agent Rob Miller and History’s EP Mary Donahue.
  • Each of them shares fresh ‘insider’ Takeaways on the creation of their mega-hit
  • Includes the role of now A+E Networks CEO, Nancy Dubuc.
  • Plus my data and analysis.

These and other conversations with the team were posted in, and updated for this Study in 2014.

  • Discover how History’s network executives, the producer, agent and talent combined to create the Pawn Stars mega-hit.


Contents (45 pages / charts / links to sizzle tapes)

  • Introduction
  • Before Leftfield: A Bust. Gaining Production Experience
  • Pawn Stars: Concept, Talent, Sizzle Tape, Pitch, Green Light, HIT!
  • After Pawn Stars: Corporate Structure, Renewals, Pitches, more Green Lights. What Next?
  • Leftfield Pictures 2007-2013. Snapshot: Episodes, Hours, Networks
  • Leftfield goes International
  • The acquisition of Sirens Media and LoudTV creates Leftfield Entertainment
  • Leftfield Puts Casting Under a Microscope
  • Leftfield acquired by ITV Studios
  • Pawn Stars, The Inside Story: How to Create & Sustain a Hit Reality Series (Panel Videos)
  • Ten Negotiation Secrets of the Pawn Stars
  • Attachments and Links (includes a link to the Pawn Stars sizzle tape, and our coverage of Leftfield’s UK inspiration: Antiques Roadshow)