A&E's 'Storage Wars' Headed to Canada's OLN Channel With Format Deal
The Canadians insist they won't rig their local version, as has been alleged in a lawsuit by David Hester about the popular stateside series.
TORONTO – Yuuuuuuuuup!
A&E’s popular reality TV show Storage Wars is headed to Canada.
Rogers Media has acquired the format rights from FremantleMedia to launch Storage Wars Canada on its OLN cable channel.
The move follows earlier spin-off series like Storage Wars Texas and Storage Wars New York from FremantleMedia's Original Productions.
Storage Wars, which ranks as A&E's top rated series of all time, currently airs on OLN weeknights at 8 p.m.
“They have been quite successful for us, and our viewers love them. So to bring the series here and do a Canadian version felt like the next natural step,” said Claire Freeland, director of original programming and executive producer at Rogers Media.
Indie producer Proper Television is currently casting for back-stabbing Canadian treasure hunters to compete for the contents of abandoned or defaulted storage lockers in Ontario, as well as auctioneers and appraisers.
Proper Television president Guy O’Sullivan is hoping his local characters can out-brawl and out-wise crack American TV characters like fired buyer David Hester and fellow Storage War bidders Barry Weiss, Darrell Sheets and the husband and wife team of Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passente.
“There’s no reason to believe our cast will not be as good as any on the American iterations of the show,” he said.
OLN plans an initial 36 half-hours of the Canadian reality show, following the U.S. format of four professional buyers arguing and bickering as they bid on repossessed storage units.
And there won’t be any question of Storage Wars Canada being rigged, as was alleged in a David Hester lawsuit of the American franchise.
Rogers Media’s Freeland said she couldn’t comment on legal matters related to A&E.
But she insisted Storage Wars Canada would be fully authentic.
“There won’t be any planting or salting of items in any storage lockers. We’re just going to capture the action that’s underway now,” Freeland said.
And Proper TV’s O’Sullivan added he doesn’t do over-produced reality TV.
“We’re not going to start now,” the former BBC director added.
Proper is best known for adapting international formats to produce hits like Canada’s Worst Driver, Come Dine with Me Canada and Four Weddings Canada.
Those local unscripted efforts compete against a slew of American underclass reality fare airing north of the border, like truTV network Storage Hunters and Operation Repo, A&E’s Duck Dynasty, Hoarders and Parking Wars and TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.