Lights, Camera Action! Pawn Stars has just begun filming Season 14 at the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Along with the revelation that the show has started production again, is the shocking news that one of the four Pawn Stars favorites is now going to be on the History Channel show in a “reduced role.” Which reality star is it? Could it be Chumlee, who earlier this year was arrested for weapons and drugs and later struck a plea deal, avoiding jail time? Or is another star of the show reduced to only cameos?
The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently spoke to Pawn Stars patriarch, Rick Harrison, who discussed the start of filming the 14th season of the show. There has been a lot of anticipation and many rumors as to whether or not Austin Lee Russell, better known as Chumlee, will be on the show. The piece confirms that Chumlee will indeed be returning and starring on the show, along with Harrison and his son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison. The big change is that the “old man,” Richard Harrison, is going to be on the show in a “reduced role.” The elder Harrison will only be making cameos.
There is no other information as to why the “old man” will only be on the program in a very reduced role. Over the years, the old man’s surly banter with the affable Chumlee and his grandson Corey has been something that the millions of fans of the show have enjoyed. Seasoned fans know that Richard Harrison loves two things: chicken wings and silver. He is also known to enjoy a pie or two. Most of all, it has been so much fun listening to the senior Harrison’s stories from the past.
In addition, there have been several “old man” death hoaxes, the most recent earlier this summer. This did not amuse Corey, as he posted on his Instagram. “This is the old man’s ‘I’m not dead face.'”
Nonetheless, fans have to breath a sigh of relief. First, there was the fear that Chumlee would be dropped from the show and then there was the fear that the History Channel would make some major changes to the show as they did with Pawn Stars‘ pal Rick Dale and his spin-off show American Restoration. Dale and his shop are no longer part of this show. The show cannot last forever and Rick Harrison has acknowledged that many times. He has even stated that he would retire from the show at the end of 2016. Could there be an announcement regarding the end of Pawn Stars or his status on the show? Time will tell.
Although there have been many pawn shows on the History Channel, there is not doubt that Pawn Stars rules. At one time, Pawn Stars was Number 2 on cable, second only to Jersey Show. Rick Harrison concedes that the ratings are not as high as they once were, but contends that this is true of all cable shows.
“We were getting 7 million viewers at our peak, but no cable show is getting that now.”
While not revealing any numbers, Harrison points out that determining viewership of a program is harder to determine now with DVR or unplugged viewers.
“The TV industry is crazy. It’s changed so much. Far more people DVR shows now, and that makes it a lot harder to measure the metrics of success.”
Although Rick did not reveal actual numbers, he did point out that Pawn Stars is a top five cable show on Wednesday evenings. He did not reveal how the show’s ratings fare against other cable programs. Nor did he indicate how Pawn Stars rates against other shows on the History Channel. Harrison appears confident that the show remains popular.
“We are always in the top five of cable shows on Wednesday night. That shows we are still popular.”
A year ago, Rick Harrison opened up Pawn Plaza, adjacent to the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop where Pawn Stars is filmed.
“I’ve been looking for ways to expand on Pawn Stars after the series ends, and this is one of them.”
Recently, there was a lot of media attention surrounding the closure of three of the stores at Pawn Plaza. As previously reported by Inquisitr, it is not uncommon for businesses to fail in the first year. Harrison promises a big announcement on three new businesses that will soon be opening at Pawn Plaza. Harrison will have to make that announcement in between takes. Perhaps he will also share information on why his father’s role is now reduced.
For now, Chumlee fans have got to be thrilled. He is back on the show!
Are you excited about the new season of Pawn Stars? Are you relieved that Chumlee will be back full time? Are you sad that the old man will only be on the show in a reduced role?
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]