Ryan Seacrest Is No. 1 on THR's Reality Power List
Obsessive fans of Pawn Stars can thank a 2008 bachelor party weekend in Las Vegas for the show's inspiration. "I said to a friend, 'I really should do a show out here sometime,' " says the show's married, New York-based creator Montgomery. "And at that moment we drove by a pawn shop. I called my assistant right away." Currently History's highest-rated series, Stars debuted in 2009 and has, inevitably, spawned several knockoffs. Montgomery, who was a producer on reality staples The Bachelor, Blind Date and Wife Swap before establishing Leftfield Pictures, admits he was concerned at first about the competition. "But it's shown that the hidden-treasure format is a genre that can keep growing." With eight pilots shot and eight, including Stars, picked up, Montgomery is currently producing What the Sell, Oddities, American Restoration, Set-Up Squad and three other series for TLC, History, Logo, Bravo, A&E and HGTV. He promises a diverse slate right out of the gate, with shows that cater equally to both genders (Set-Up Squad is a dating series). "We want to make sure that we aren't known for only making barber shop shows," he says.
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