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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Jan 31, 2013 4:34PM
YUP! I agree that they are all rigged. If people could earn a lot of money doing this you would not be able to get near an auction.
Jan 31, 2013 4:33PM

I agree that almost all of these so-called reality shows are scripted--Dave can be kept off the show-he was the main reason I quit watching it on occasion, and the others are just as bad--the only semi-decent ones are the man and woman.  I switched to History 2 channel-the people on Pawn Stars makes me rethin k my stand on abortion--they are all such jerks to me--American Pickers has, so far, stayed a favorite, except when Danielle struts her stuff--I turn stations then.  The American people are to blame for a lot of these shows,they follow the Khardashians and Honey Boo and her strange family

and all of the other crappy reality shows..I am grateful for the remote.

Jan 31, 2013 4:33PM

yeah you know its rigged couse theres no way u get valuable stuff all the time specially old stuff

Jan 31, 2013 4:32PM
Jan 31, 2013 4:29PM
When these knuckleheads value a "find" at $200 that can be bought new, if anyone even wanted it to begin with, for $100.  They overprice most of what they find adn placing a value on something isn;t the same a actually selling it.  Sure, Anyone can value an office chair at $100 "all day long" but no one is ever going to pay $100 for a used office chair, not to mention they will probably have it in their store for 3 or 4 months and then sell it for $25.  Anyone who has ever had a garage sale can figure that out.
Jan 31, 2013 4:25PM
Jan 31, 2013 4:23PM

I really miss the educational programs the 'educational' cable networks used to air.  Discovery, History, A&E, TLC (The Leaning Channel!) used to air interesting programs about science and industry. 


Does Discovery air a single show that isn't reality based anymore?  Seriously, TLC, "19 Kids and Counting" and "Sister Wives" is considered "Learning"?


I'm getting rid of cable...again...

Jan 31, 2013 4:16PM

In the beginning the show had some interest. Watching more than 3 shows you know its fake. Same old casting of characters. To me, I always wonder about the people who rented the locker in the first place. Who are they? What's their story? Why did you leave that safe in the locker worth thousands of dollars inside it? ( you could have paid off your locker bill you ****!!)   Just wondering!!

Jan 31, 2013 4:14PM
Um, ya. Of course it is phony. Aren't ALL reality shows? And that is why I don't watch any of them, including this one. They most certainly were given the wrong name.
Jan 31, 2013 4:11PM

Reality shows are not "real". They are scripted and moronic. Every time a new "reality" show comes out it just seems to get stupider. When are the people of North America going to stand up and say "ENOUGH"

Jan 31, 2013 4:10PM
Fiction is always better than reality. Quit taking everything so seriously. Like we get truth and honesty out of Washington. Don't worry about the sweaty things but pet the sweaty things. 
Jan 31, 2013 4:07PM
Probably, like a lot of 'reality TV' shows.  The actual 'reality' is boring, so the producers apparently don't see anything wrong with dramatizing it some. 

I'd take a hard look at 'Pawn Stars' and some others, too.  Faking 'real' events on TV has gone on since the beginning of TV itself.
Jan 31, 2013 4:06PM
WWF wrestling was cool and we all new it was fake......isnt this the same thing? all you people who think it is garbage are just jealous you arnt making the money the creators are! If you dont like it....DONT WATCH IT!!!!!
Jan 31, 2013 3:44PM
These kinds of shows are increasingly turning me off which translates turning the television off.  It insults my intelligence to watch the idiots on Storage War Texas try to act smart.  Throw on the pile the "terrific acting" on the Lizard Lick towing show.  I watched about 5 minutes of that show then turned the channel to a Seinfeld rerun.   It is a matter of time before this genre of television garbage is thrown out.  Don't worry about the people in the shows,  their acting skills will get them in the next type of shows to be produced.
Jan 31, 2013 3:43PM

The History Channel is getting real bad,so many repeats less documentaries and not really interesting shows and way to many commercials.

This was my favorite channel at one time but not anymore very boring,

Jan 31, 2013 3:41PM
i stopped watching because of it..Dave Hester used to be funny but after a while you can see him for his true colors..a little bit**
Jan 31, 2013 3:36PM
I tried to get into that show. It really is boring. Just a bunch of people screaming and yelling at one another and digging through junk. 
Jan 31, 2013 3:20PM
my bet is he wanted more money to be on the show thinking it couldn't last without him and found out he was wrong.
Jan 31, 2013 3:17PM

As a storage owner for the past 6 years I can say without a doubt that this show is fll of crap, in the past 6 years I have had to auction only one unit that was worth a damn, and tha price was only $700.00

They also do not tell you that any monies collected over the storage amount due to the storage facility, is to be returned to the person that had rented  the unit. 

No one thaat had valuable items in a unit leaves them in the unit when the are behind in rent, you pay the less amount to get your valuables out and leave the junk.

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