Has 'Storage Wars' lost its mojo?

Tabloid reports are undermining the cable show's credibility even further.

By Jonathan Berr May 2, 2013 5:28PM
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)"Storage Wars," the A&E show detailing the adventures of people who make their living buying abandoned storage lockers, is in the tabloids again and seems headed off the rails.

Radar Online is reporting that producers have cut back the appearances of auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson and Darrell Sheets, known to his fans as "The Gambler."

The reason for the snub, according to the website, is money. Says one anonymous source: "It seems as if they are going after some of the higher paid cast members." A spokesperson for A&E couldn't be reached for comment, and Dan Dotson didn't respond to an email requesting comment.

Sheets, who Radar Online says was cut out of six episodes, took to Twitter to deny the story, saying, "I've heard nothing about any of this from the network." He accused former cast member Dave Hester of stirring up trouble.

Hester, dubbed "The Mogul," has claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired after objecting to producers placing unusual and valuable items in lockers to make auctions more interesting. The "salting" was known to all the cast members and discussed openly, according to Hester, who did not respond to an email requesting comment. On his Twitter feed, he has noted with apparent glee the decline in the show's ratings, which he attributes to his absence.

"Storage Wars" has turned a once sleepy $22 billion industry into a field of dreams where people think immediate riches await them. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most storage units contain mundane household items, and the odds of landing a big score such as the $300,000 worth of Frank Gutierrez artwork that "Storage Wars" cast member Darrell Sheets found last year are fairly slim. (Fans can buy the paintings on his website at $700 each.)  

The reason why is simple: People who store valuable items usually have the sense to remove them from a storage locker if they fall behind in the rent. 

A&E Television Networks, a joint venture between Walt Disney (DIS) and Hearst Corp., has denied Hester's allegations, as have other members of the cast. "Storage Wars" remains one of the most popular shows on cable and now has spin-off shows based in Texas and New York. There are similar shows on other networks, such as Spike's "Auction Hunters" and trueTV's "Storage Hunters."

Anyone who thinks they can be a storage warrior should be prepared to wade through crowds of people with the same idea and come with plenty of cash. Many lockers now fetch top dollar thanks to the show's popularity.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.


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114Comments
May 2, 2013 7:04PM
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WOW! What a surprise. Another fake reality show.
May 2, 2013 7:30PM
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its not a bad show ... Dave Hester sucks on that show,   I'm glad he's gone. 
May 2, 2013 9:43PM
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Brandy is going to start "showing some stuff" for the show to survive. 
May 2, 2013 7:58PM
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Just like almost every other "reality" show - the first season or two might be worth watching, but then they become so contrived and scripted and stupid.
May 2, 2013 7:15PM
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It used to be a good show , but now it is "Storage Bores" ...
May 2, 2013 7:38PM
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It's just that there is to many storage sitcoms out there from all over, getting boring now!
May 2, 2013 9:36PM
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It was good for a while, but the show got real boring when only the "stars" did the bidding.
You quickly figured out it was all  bogus.
There was also way too many re-runs.


May 2, 2013 7:18PM
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Never watched the show, never wanted to, I mange a storage facility and am involved in real lien sales at my facility. Most of the time all that is left in the units is the s*** that the tenants no longer want. Finding expensive art work, come on they did mention salting the units to make it look exciting. And it was one of the cast members that found it not some unknown bidder. Reality TV My ****.
May 2, 2013 6:52PM
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hopefully sheets finds a back hair razor at his next storage buy
May 2, 2013 9:57PM
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You don't have to be Einstein to figure out these shows are rigged.  Who's going to watch if they really showed the truth which is that most of the items in these units are junk that even the owner didn't want.

May 2, 2013 9:41PM
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History, Discovery, Nat Geo, have zero credibility when they run these idiotic sit com/reality shows. Honey Boo Boo anyone?
May 2, 2013 7:30PM
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I got an idea for the show to try and jazz it up- storage whores! Have barely clothed women fight eachother over a bunch of garbage. 
May 2, 2013 9:00PM
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I don't understand how these actors are paid if it truly is just about bidding for storage units and why couldn't anyone just mosey on in and place a bid in front of the camera ?  Can anyone be part of the auction like in any other auction site ? Heck no because it is scripted and B.S..
May 2, 2013 10:54PM
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I used to watch also but got real tired of Sheets telling us he's sick and tired of carrying his boy and he is going to have to sink or swim and he is going to have to cut him loose and what a screw up he is ... do it loudmouth!

Of course, love Brandy, but Dave popped my bubble when he implied the show helped with her boob job, that might also explain why she's always over dressed for an auction.  And why does she stay with that looser Jerrod (kids is not an excuse).

May 2, 2013 10:10PM
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Yeah It's lost ratings. Just think 2 years ago you could go to a auction and pay maybe 10.00 for something, Now that same thing is 1000.00, Thanks a lot you dumb #bastards.
May 2, 2013 10:04PM
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It was different when the show started, but we all knew it was rigged in some way or fashion. Now that the show has cut out more than half of its original cast, its only a matter of time for the show to be canceled do to low ratings. I say get rid of the rest of reality shows.
May 2, 2013 8:50PM
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This just goes to show you. This show has made it imposable to make any money at buying lockers. The same thing happened with American pickers. I used to make a good living as a picker now because of this show everyone thinks they have rusty gold and that prices have flown through the roof these shows are bad for the people and bad for business. Now that I know there salting lockers why would you even watch. They lost me I'd rather watch dancing with the stars than fake crap that does not entertain and is just crap.....
May 2, 2013 7:47PM
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Nothing is built to last anymore....CORPORATE GREED!
May 2, 2013 6:52PM
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Let's put a lot of stock in what the tabloids say. 
May 2, 2013 7:08PM
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I think Sheets ads a certain flair to the show and Hester  as well but Dave needs to lighten up a little. what ever you do, do not get rid of Brandy and Jerrod, she's so hot, or Bernie the cool daddy of balance. They are the show...
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