After a few false starts, production company High Noon Entertainment confirmed starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 29, local residents will be able to turn on the TV and see their friends and neighbors as the Discovery Channel airs “Game of Pawns,” a new series filmed downtown at Branson Pawn.
“I’m super excited the show is finally going to air,” said Branson Pawn Owner and the show’s co-host Scott Velvet. “It’s like a nationwide commercial for the shop.”
The Discovery Channel has decided to debut the show in a marathon featuring the first six episodes of eight, something they did with “Amish Mafia” as well as several other shows.
“I’ve talked to other people in the business, and they told me that’s how they get the push on a show,” Velvet said. “They know people may not tune in specifically for a debut, but instead catch an episode or two during the marathon and then set their DVR.”
Velvet said that’s how he ended up watching “Amish Mafia.”
“I caught an episode and it was pretty interesting,” he said. “I ended up watching a season because of the marathon format they used.”
As with every pawn shop series, the seller wants one price while the buyer wants to pay another.
In “Game of Pawns,” sellers are able to answer trivia questions pertaining to their item. If they get the questions right, they get their price. If not, the house pays its price.
“What makes our show stand out from the rest of the pawn shop reality shows is the fact we have the game show aspect of it,” said Branson Pawn Operations Manager Brian Roman. “None of the other shows have that, and people love to get involved in the trivia aspect of game shows.
“That’s why Trivial Pursuit was so big for so long.”
The bulk of the series was filmed between February and April, with pick-ups and re-shoots taking place in May. According to Roman, eight episodes and countless treasures will be featured in the first season.
Several items showcased in season one include a 1953 Farmall Pedal Tractor, which was sold by the original owner who received it as a Christmas present, a replica of Han Solo in carbonite from “Return of the Jedi,” various sports memorabilia and a replica of the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 used in the “Back to the Future” film trilogy.
“That is the most interesting item we bought on the show,” Roman said. “It was not only a lot of fun, but that car is currently on display at our other business, the Celebrity Car Museum.”
Even though the show has been in the can for a few months, the cast was anxiously awaiting a solid air date, which came last week.
“We’ve all been very busy with the holidays, and I think this will give everyone something to look forward to,” Velvet said. “There is a buzz around the shop, and we can’t wait to see what the final product is going to be.”
While several members of the cast are planning watch parties, Velvet said he’d be enjoying the debut with his family.
“It never really bothers me to do interviews or be in front of the camera, even though I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes guy,” he said. “It’s the watching myself on TV that really makes me uncomfortable, so I’ll probably just be watching the show, chilling with my kids and family.”
Once the episodes have aired, guests will be able to visit the shop to see the items on display. For the right price, the items could be taken home.
“They can pick a piece of history right up,” Roman said.
There is no word from the Discovery Channel on whether the show will go into rotation or when the final two episodes will air. While the future of the show has yet to be determined, Velvet hopes it at least entertains and informs.
“I’ve never done anything like this before, and I hope people watch it and it’s at least entertaining,” he said. “If enough people like watching it, maybe they’ll do a season two.”
And if the show doesn’t get picked up for a second season, Velvet said he’s OK with that.
“If not, I sure do appreciate all the free advertisement Discovery is running for us,” he said with a laugh.
A six-episode block of “Game of Pawns” airs on the Discovery Channel beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 29.
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