History's 'Pawn Stars' to Open Up Shop in South Africa
LONDON – After more than 300 episodes of Las Vegas residents trying to make a quick buck in History’s hit show Pawn Stars, it’s now time for the good folks of South Africa’s Johannesburg to try their hands at making a "quick rand" on TV.
In an announcement Wednesday, A+E Networks UK — a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB — revealed it had commissioned a South African version of Pawn Stars, making it the first locally commissioned series for the broadcaster in Africa.
Pawn Stars South Africa will be set in the Cash Inn pawn shop in Johannesburg’s Hyde Park district, a business that has been going since 1999 and specializes in gold, diamonds, fine art, watches and war medals, according to its website.
It will be produced by local company Rapid Blue, with input from History in the U.K. and Leftfield Pictures, part of ITV Studios’ Leftfield Entertainment that produces the original U.S. series of Pawn Stars along with Pawn Stars U.K.
“We are delighted to announce a South African version of this entertaining hit series,” said A+E Networks UK's vp programming Heather Jones. “Pawn Stars South Africa builds on the brand’s global success, with a charismatic team who share their love of history through the fascinating stories behind the intriguing artifacts in each episode.”
The U.K. edition of Pawn Stars, which launched in 2013, became the highest-rated launch for an original commission for History UK. It was re-commissioned for a second season, due to premiere later in 2014. The original series, which became the second biggest reality show in the U.S. behind Jersey Shore after it premiered in 2009, will broadcast its 326th and 327th episodes on Thursday.
Pawn Stars South Africa has been commissioned for an initial run of 16 half-hour episodes and will air this year.