A&E tries to quash 'Storage Wars' lawsuit

The network has repeatedly denied suggestions the show is faked, and wants a court to reject a suit claiming otherwise.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 31, 2013 11:22AM
A&E's 'Storage Wars' Lockbuster Tour at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE on June 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)A&E Television Networks, which is owned Walt Disney (DIS), Hearst Corp. and Comcast (CMCSA), Tuesday asked a California court to throw out a lawsuit filed by a former cast member that claimed its hit show "Storage Wars" was rigged. 

According to the New York Daily News, A&E is trying to get a judge to quash David Hester's lawsuit on procedural grounds. Hester's accusation that the show was rigged was not addressed, though A&E has repeatedly denied suggestions that the show is faked. Hester, known for yelling "yup" when he bids, has alleged that A&E fired him when he refused to go along with the charade.

Hester's lawsuit, which seeks $2.2 million in damages, comes as A&E tries to expand its "Storage Wars" franchise with shows in Texas and New York. Rivals including Spike TV and truTv also have storage auction shows on their schedules.

"Storage Wars", which follows the adventures of a group of people in Southern California who purchase items abandoned in storage units, attracts about 4 million viewers on a weekly basis, making it one of the most popular shows on cable. The ratings are so strong that Entertainment Weekly wondered whether fans care if the show was faked, especially since other hit reality shows such as "Breaking Amish" and "The Hills" blurred the line between fact and fantasy.

One thing that is real about "Storage Wars" is the impact it has had on the storage industry.  Attendance at auctions, which were once pretty sleepy affairs has skyrocketed because of the show, as have prices the goods are fetching. Being a storage warrior, however, is much harder than it looks. For one thing, most of the goods in units are mundane household items. A fair number have drugs and pornography.  

While buyers do "score" some cool stuff on occasion, that is the exception rather than the rule. Most people have the sense to remove their valuables from a locker if they have fallen behind on the rent.

--Jonathan Berr doesn't think the "Storage Wars" will be the same without Dave Hester. He doesn't own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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169Comments
Jan 31, 2013 1:59PM
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I would be O.K. with the drugs and porn.
Jan 31, 2013 1:44PM
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Dude, they're all fake.  Every Pawn Stars show is fake.  Every storage wars show is fake, and don't get me going on the towing shows.  Stupid.  Stupid. Stupid. 
Jan 31, 2013 1:44PM
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The people on this show come across as being really dumb.  Dave and Barry are the only ones who shows some degree of intelligence. 
Jan 31, 2013 1:42PM
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I don't know about Storage Wars but I suspect it's fake, but I know for a fact the American Hoggers is fake.

Jan 31, 2013 1:37PM
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I'd be a little pissed if they came to a auction I was at. Anybody ever notice they are the only ones who ever buy a storage shed? In real life hundreds of people attend these auctions. How anybody can be interested in this fake crap is beyond me. Everything is set up.
Jan 31, 2013 1:36PM
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Most all reality shows are scripted.The only ones that are not are shows like Alaska State Troopers.Maybe I'm wrong on that but at least they seem more real than the rest.Besides.....what other choices do they give you for TV entertainment these days???
Jan 31, 2013 1:36PM
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As a personal property appraiser, I have sifted through the contents of hundreds of storage lockers.

There are two problems with the show - one is that ratio of winners to losers (assuming a purchase price of about $1000) is about 1/8 winners, with the rest costing not only what you spent on the locker, but also what is costs to make it go away. The second is that the values the buyers place on the items they uncover is just absurdly high. It's good entertainment, but not particularly "real"

Jan 31, 2013 1:34PM
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where there's cameras theres acting, all so called reality shows are fake, everyone performs for the camera, typical barnum and bailey for all the idiots that watch these shows
Jan 31, 2013 1:33PM
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Realilty shows are made up of the same characters.....someone you hate....someone you love....someone to root for and someone to laugh at.
Jan 31, 2013 1:30PM
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I've noticed as the show has progressed that Dave's fortunes have taken a turn for the worse.  He's gone from owning a store to adding an auction service to "closing" the store.  There's been no mention of the auction business recently. He now works out of a warehouse.  The other "stars" businesses have stayed the same, Brandi and Jarod still have their thrift store (but have enlarged it), Barry's still in it for the fun having made his fortune in the produce business and Darryl is still at the flea markets.  Dave still thinks that he can make money off this by trying a new tactic.  A&E advertises merchandise with his trademark "YUP" on it for sale.    I'm sure he gets a percentage of that.  I think he's just's reaping what he's sown.
Jan 31, 2013 1:30PM
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Seems like everything on cable is "reality" shows.  Storage Wars?  Wicked Tuna?  Epic Conditions?  Pawn Stars?  Ice Road Truckers?  Swamp People?  All of them are fake, and they're playing to people who, apparently, wish that they had a life.

 

I used to watch the History Channel, which is now "The Pawn Star Channel", but there isn't anything of value on History anymore.  A&E and Discovery became wastelands of reality shows years ago.  The Science Channel is moving in that direction.  And, when I'd like to get a good weather forecast, The Weather Channel is showing some stupid reality show, too.

 

Do the folks running these channels believe that all its audience wants is this pablum?  I'm ready to dump cable.

Jan 31, 2013 1:25PM
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I've always thought the show was a bit of a stretch.  A lot of the "value" put on items after the sale seemed extravagant.  It is, after all, a "show".
Jan 31, 2013 1:22PM
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i  have  seen  the  show.  i  am  not  a  regular   but  an  occasional  watcher.  it  has  seemed to me that  at  times  it  is  "fake".
Jan 31, 2013 1:22PM
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The show sux.  People need to get a life and stop watching TV.

Jan 31, 2013 1:20PM
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Scripted reality shows, thats all they are.  Stictly entertainment, cheaper to make than paying a star $500K an episode.
Jan 31, 2013 1:13PM
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Hester is an aerogant idiot, just leave the show in peace. 
Jan 31, 2013 1:09PM
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yea that guy that yel,s yup should be thrown off the show for trying to be like a mr, tuff guy or the prod. should screen who

they get on the show, bettrer.

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Who else can we "hate" if David "YUP" Hester isn't there for us? It won't be the same!
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