Title Card (Seasons 1-2)
|Narrated by||Thom Beers|
|Theme music composer||Andy Kubiszewski|
|Opening theme||"Money Owns This Town"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||74 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Robert Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant, Thom Beers and Philip D. Segal|
|Running time||21–22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Original Productions|
|Original run||December 1, 2010 – present|
Storage Wars is an American reality television series on the A&E Network that premiered in 2010. The show features the auctioneering couple of Dan Dotson and Laura Dotson, as well as buyers Dave Hester, the usually together but occasionally separated team of Darrell and Brandon Sheets, Barry Weiss, and the team of Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante. Executive producer and creator Thom Beers serves as off-screen narrator. When rent is not paid on a storage locker for three months in California, the contents are sold by an auctioneer as a single lot of items. The show follows professional buyers who purchase the contents based only on a five-minute inspection of what they can see from the door when it is opened. The goal is to turn a profit on the merchandise. Season one of Storage Wars consisted of 19 episodes, 17 of which were filmed at various self-storage facilities throughout Southern California. Two special episodes were filmed on location at a pair of StorageOne facilities in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show has enjoyed ratings success, and its second season premiere attracted 5.1 million total viewers, making it the most-watched program in A&E's history to that point.
A spin-off of Storage Wars titled Storage Wars: Texas made its debut on A&E on December 6, 2011. The series features a new cast of bidders and an auctioneer. A second spin-off set in New York is in the works. Storage Wars can be seen internationally as well, as AETN International has sold the series to several channels in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark.
Storage Wars was recommissioned for another twenty-six episode season in January 2012, with the season officially premiering on June 5, 2012. Only twenty of the twenty-six episodes were aired however, with six of the episodes being held back for broadcast during the second half of the show's 3rd season which began airing on December 4, 2012.
A second spinoff called Storage Wars: New York was originally scheduled to debut on December 11, 2012 but has since been pushed out to January 1, 2013.
- Dave Hester - "The Mogul" (Season 1-): Hester began the series owning Newport Consignment Gallery in Costa Mesa, California and the Rags to Riches thrift store, until he closed them in June 2011. He now operates his own auction house, Dave Hester Auctions. Hester is also worth approximately 3 million dollars. Hester serves as the program's main antagonist, having had confrontations with the other main buyers on the show, especially Darrell and Brandon Sheets. He will not sell weapons from a unit he has purchased, turning them in to local authorities for destruction. Hester openly takes pride in driving up the bidding to assert his dominance and has a son Dave Jr. who appears on the show working alongside him. Hester's signature move is to loudly yell "YUUUP!" to place a bid, seemingly at the last moment, often maddening the other bidders. He even has this catchphrase imprinted on his trucks, t-shirts, and hats. Barry Weiss gave him the first of such hats with a prominent "YUUUP!" featured on the front of the hat in the episode "Stairway to Hemet" in hopes to "...save us a all a little bit of noise pollution, and instead of yelling 'YUUUP!' you just point to your hat". As of 12-11-2012, Dave Hester was removed from the show for confronting producers about the alleged fakeness to the show. He [Dave Hester] claims the show is fake and says behind the scenes, people plant the valued items into the lockers and manipulate the bidding outcomes for the show's ratings, success, and appeal.
- Darrell Sheets - "The Gambler" (Season 1-): Sheets, a 30-year-plus storage auction veteran from San Diego, appears alongside his son, Brandon. He's known for the signature tank tops he wears to the auctions (Darrell and Brandon were dubbed by Jarrod Schulz as "Team Tank Top"), his catchphrase of "This is the WOW factor!" when coming across potentially valuable items, and occasional malapropisms. He makes his living by selling items from his purchased lockers at swap meets, and in season three, Sheets mentioned he previously owned a bait and tackle shop. In the beginning of the series, he lived with his wife, son and young granddaughter, Zoe. He has been divorced, and moved (along with Brandon) to North Hollywood where he works out of his new warehouse. In an interview, Sheets indicated that some of his biggest finds in lockers included a sizable comic book collection, four drawings by Pablo Picasso (Sheets revealed his ex-wife received in the divorce), and a letter written by Abraham Lincoln that sold for over $15,000. In "Unlocked: Sell High", Darrell revealed that he once uncovered a plastic-wrapped human corpse in a storage locker. He was interviewed by police and it was determined that the previous owner of the locker had murdered his wife and left her in the unit.
Jarrod Schulz (left) & Brandi Passante (middle) with interviewer
- Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante - "The Young Guns" (Season 1-): Schulz and Passante own and operate the Now and Then thrift store in Orange, California and have the least substantial financial resources. They opened the shop after Jarrod's business of buying storage units and selling the contents at swap meets overran their home. Brandi started to attend the auctions when she was not sure if Jarrod could be trusted. Jarrod also is a co-owner of a clothing line, Outlaw Apparel which he prominently wears on the show, and he and Brandi have two children together.
- Barry Weiss - "The Collector" (Season 1-): Weiss and his brother owned a produce company until he retired. He only looks for a few collectible items to keep and sells or donates everything else. While Weiss is a lifelong antique collector, he had no involvement in buying storage units until his friend and Storage Wars executive producer and narrator Thom Beers suggested he join the show. Barry is the best financed of the group and by his own admission is the only one not in it for financial profit. He is known for the unusual antics he brings to the auctions, such as bringing in psychics to help him figure out a locker's contents, odd disguises and outfits he'll sometimes wear, attaching a camera to a remote control helicopter to look into a locker, and most recently bringing in a pair of fake German attorneys to distract the other buyers. He will not sell any fur articles in a unit he purchases, instead donating them to charity or giving them to another buyer, such as in an early episode when he gave a couple of fur coats to Dave Hester, who then sold them at his retail store.
Other featured buyers
- Bill Archer (Season 1, Season 4-present): Bill had just left his previous job to become a storage unit buyer at the time of his first appearance, a move that Barry questioned. Archer won a unit on his first appearance, the first season episode, "Young With The Gun". Afterwards, he received tips from Jarrod on how he should go about searching for the prime treasures in the unit and determining their value. Archer has been seen in the background since his initial appearance, but is scheduled to make an appearance in the show's upcoming fourth season, in an episode held over from the third season (as twenty six episodes were filmed, but only twenty aired), in which he will go head-to-head with Dave Hester for a unit that could "make or break either of them". Archer said of his appearance, "It was a great day's filming. I really did begin to wonder if I would recover. I can't wait to see it back."
- Mark Balelo (Season 2-present): Mark is the owner of a liquidation, wholesale, distribution company as well as an auction house. In addition he owns a premier gaming store called The Game Exchange. He appeared four times in the second season, namely in the episodes "Enemy of The Enemy", "Fire in The Hole", "San Burrito" and "Buy Low Sell High", and also appeared once in the third season, in the episode "More Like WRONG Beach". Mockingly referred to as "Rico Suave" by Brandi due to his flashy wardrobe and money-flaunting buying style, Balelo is known for bringing more than $50,000 to each auction. In one of his more memorable moments on the show, he found a Nintendo Entertainment System, which he called an NES-001, which is the part number of every United States NES console, claiming it was "the first Nintendo ever built", and he believed it was worth as much as $13,000, because he "saw one with five games go for that much on the internet". However, an appraisal found that the item was common and not in working condition and thus worth only $10. It is believed the auction he was referring to was an auction that came with a boxed copy of "Stadium Events", one of the most valuable games in existence.
- Nabila Haniss (Season 2, Season 4-present): Nabila made her name in the business after purchasing a storage unit that contained items belonging to socialite Paris Hilton. She appeared five times in the second season, namely in the episodes "Smoke Em If You Find 'Em", "The Drone Wars", "Not Your Average Bear", "Hook, Line and Sucker" and "Operation Hobo". Nabila confirmed via her Twitter account that she would return to film a few episodes for the show's fourth season, due to popular fan reaction stemming from her previous appearances on the show. Haniss has openly expressed disdain for some of the regular buyers on the show, whom she refers to as a "traveling circus", and resents their intrusion into her "side of town" (the more upscale parts of L.A. and Orange County). She has more affinity with Dave Hester, though Dave still views her as a rival.
- Jeff Jarred (Season 3-present): Jeff is the owner of the It's New To You antique and thrift store (dubbed a "thrif-tique" store by Jarred and others) that he runs with his daughter in Burbank, California. He is also a Little League umpire. He first appears in the third season episode "All's Fair in Storage and Wars", before appearing in the following two episodes, "The Fast and The Curious" and "From Russia With Chucks". Jarred has accused auctioneer Dan Dotson of playing favorites among the buyers, a claim which Dotson denies. Jarred also claimed that Dotson purposely ignores his bids, and the two had a heated confrontation over the matter in the fourth season episode "The Young & The Reckless".
Other cast members
- Dan and Laura Dotson: The husband and wife auctioneer team run American Auctioneers, and administer the auctions at the various storage units. Dan has been a professional auctioneer since 1974. He and Laura regularly exhibit a friendly rapport with all of the main buyers, often having to keep peace amongst the sometimes rowdy and hotly competitive bidders. Dan functions as the primary auctioneer, occasionally giving the reigns to Laura. Laura has become known for her own catchphrase on the show where, at the end of every auction she cheerily reminds the buyers: "Don't forget to pay the lady!", meaning herself and her commission.
- Thom Beers: The executive producer and narrator of the show. Beers provides a quick explanation of the show's premise at the beginning, and does a recap of the featured buyers' profits or losses at the end of each episode.
Every episode opens with the narrator, Thom Beers, setting the basic premise for the series: "When storage units are abandoned, the treasures within are put up for auction." In Episodes 2, 3, 4 and 7 of season one, an extra line was added to the opening narration: "because in this high-stakes game, it's get rich or die buyin'." The narration is followed by the preview of the upcoming episode, followed by the opening titles. In the opening titles, the sequence of titles begins at Dave, then Darrell, then Brandi and Jarrod, then Barry, and finally at Dan and Laura. While Laura always appeared in the opening titles, her highlighted face and name were not added to the credits until episode 11 of Season 1. Dave Hester Jr. and Brandon Sheets also appear in the opening titles, but are not highlighted and credited. The show's theme song, "Money Owns This Town", which was written and recorded specifically for the show, plays during the opening.
While some have speculated that some of the units have been stocked by producers, an A&E publicist said, "There is no staging involved. The items uncovered in the storage units are the actual items featured on the show." Executive producer Thom Beers has stated that the vast majority of the storage lockers investigated during production contain nothing of interest and therefore do not appear in the final show. Beers has explained that the series avoids delving into back stories of the lockers' original owners because, "All you see is misery there, and I didn't want to trade on that."
The first season premiere episode drew 2.1 million viewers and the show was A&E's top-rated non-fiction show for 2010, with an average of 2.4 million viewers. The season two premiere consisted of back-to-back new episodes of the show; the second show drew 5.1 million total viewers and was the highest rating for an episode of a series in A&E history. The combined season premiere outperformed competing original episodes of NBC Love in the Wild and ABC's Primetime Nightline.
Critical response was mixed, with Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times calling Storage Wars "a strangely uplifting show — hope being one of the many things one can apparently find in an abandoned storage unit," and Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times called the series "an especially entertaining addition to the genre." Brian Lowry of Variety said that "'Wars' should have been left in storage, indefinitely." Writing for Slate, Troy Patterson gave a mixed review, referring to the series as "trash TV" as well as "trivial and magnetic." Ellen Gray of the Philadelphia Daily News suggested "if there's an acquisitive bone in your body, you should probably steer clear."
|Storage Wars: The Complete Season 1|
|Set details||DVD Layout|
- DISC ONE (7 episodes): "High Noon in the High Desert" - "The Old Spanish Standoff"
- DISC TWO (7 episodes): "Midnight in the Gardena Good and Evil" - "Trouble the Oil"
- DISC THREE (5 episodes): "Makings of a Mogul" - "Live and Let Bid"
|DVD release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|August 30, 2011||June 11, 2012||N/A|
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- ^ http://www.aetv.com/storage-wars/episode-guide/season-3/
- ^ "A&E to Open "Storage Wars: NY" on Tuesday, December 11". http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2012/11/14/aande-to-open-storage-wars-ny-on-tuesday-december-11-898101/10063/. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- ^ "A&E Bumps "Storage Wars: New York" to January 1, "Be the Boss" to Late-Night". http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2012/12/07/aande-bumps-storage-wars-new-york-to-january-1-be-the-boss-to-late-night-550311/10102/. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
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- ^ "'Storage Wars' Star Barry Weiss Talks About Being a 'Produce' Man & His Female Fans". Aoltv.com. http://www.aoltv.com/2011/08/03/storage-wars-barry-weiss-interview/. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- ^ "Hilton vs. Persa". citmedialaw.org. 2008 [last update]. http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/hilton-v-persa#description. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
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- ^ Owen, Rob (2011-07-08). "TV Q&A: 'Storage Wars' + DirecTV + E! in HD". communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com. http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in-journal/29347-tv-qaa-storage-wars-directv-e-in-hd. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- ^ "Hasselhoff show axed after 2 episodes". cbc.ca. 2010-12-11. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/tv/story/2010/12/11/hasselhoff-show-cancelled.html. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- ^ Collins, Scott (2011-07-23). "Quick Takes: A&E scores with 'Storage Wars' - Los Angeles Times". articles.latimes.com. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/23/entertainment/la-et-quick-20110723. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- ^ Mcnamara, Mary (2011-02-27). "Television review: 'Storage Wars' on A&E". articles.latimes.com. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/27/entertainment/la-ca-0227-critics-notebook-storage-w20110227. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- ^ Genzlinger, Neil (2010-12-09). "The Gold Mines Behind Padlocks". nytimes.com. http://tv.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/arts/television/01storage.html?_r=1. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- ^ Lowry, Brian (2010-12-01). "Variety Reviews – Storage Wars". variety.com. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944136. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- ^ Patterson, Troy (2010-12-15). "Let Me Touch Your Junk". Slate.com. http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2010/12/let_me_touch_your_junk.html. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- ^ Ellen, Gray. "Critic Reviews for Storage Wars: Season 1". Metacritic.com. http://www.metacritic.com/tv/storage-wars/season-1/critic-reviews. Retrieved 2 May 2012. Also, Storage Wars has inspired loads of fan fiction, such as the wildly popular website, Storage Wars Porn,as seen here.
- ^ Storage Wars: Season 1. "Storage Wars: Season 1: Dan Dotson, A&E Entertainment: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Storage-Wars-Season-Dan-Dotson/dp/B0050O9YGW/ref=pd_bxgy_mov_img_b. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- ^ Storage Wars, Volume 2. "Storage Wars, Volume 2: Various, A&E Entertainment: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Storage-Wars-Volume-2-Various/dp/B005TZFZ9C/ref=pd_cp_mov_0. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- ^ Storage Wars: Volume 3. "Storage Wars: Volume 3: Barry Weiss, Darrell Sheets, Dave Hester, Jarrod Schulz, Brandi Passante, Matthew Bennett: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Storage-Wars-Volume-3-Various/dp/B007I1Q53U. Retrieved 2012-11-19.