While most of the entertainment industry is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pawn Stars is getting back to work. The History Channel series is back in production now that Gold & Silver Pawn in Las Vegas is back open. According to a report by The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the new season will be fast-tracked so that it does not miss a beat when the current season ends.
Filming on Pawn Stars reportedly resumed on Monday, featuring stars Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Austin "Chumlee" Russell. The trio is making 25 brand new episodes fast, which will comprise Season 17. Currently, Season 16 is airing as usual at 10 p.m. ET on History. In an interview on a Review Journal-associated podcast, PodKats!, Harrison claimed that History asked them to go back to work since "they are running low on content."
"We have this whole lockdown going on, and networks cannot cast new television shows," Harrison explained. "Basically they are running low on content, so they came in and asked if we can start airing early. I said, sure, I need some business making money here."
More than two decades after its premiere, Pawn Stars is still a hit, and a reliable ratings draw for History. The series has aired 577 episodes so far, and their current production means they will get over 600 in no time.
Sadly, while the show is returning, the coronavirus pandemic is still taking a toll on Gold & Silver Pawn itself. The shop is reportedly getting about 10 percent of its usual business due to low foot traffic and public health concerns. The nearby bar that Harrison owns, Rick's Rollin' Smoke Barbecue & Tavern, is reportedly closed as well.
This situation will most likely play some kind of role in the new episodes of Pawn Stars when they begin airing. Many reality TV shows and other productions that have managed to adapt have had to address the coronavirus pandemic in their new episodes. That usually includes frequent assurances that the cast and crew are all being safe and practicing social distancing.
While the show is now a staple of the TV landscape to many people, Harrison admitted he is often still surprised by its success. He said: "At first, I just thought a season or two would be good for business. It's really bizarre. I'm just a fat pawnbroker, and now I'm known all over the world."
Pawn Stars airs on Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET on History. So far, there is no release date in place for the new season.