It all started with Antiques Roadshow, but today’s TV shows about auctions, antiques and American memorabilia are so much more interesting and even quirky. Here’s a list of the Top 5 shows that you should check out to get a taste of history and a peek at interesting characters. All shows are airing new episodes in the summer, so be sure to check them out to learn about America’s history and artifacts.
- Auction Kings: This DISCOVERY gem showcases one of the country’s most storied auction houses, Gallery 63 in Atlanta, and its owner Paul Brown. Auction Kings delves into the world of unique items – from vampire-hunting kits to meteorites to jewel-encrusted pencils – and the emotional process of their acquisition and sale. The best part about Auction Kings is its lovable cast of characters, including manager Cindy Shook, picker Jon Hammond, handyman Delfino Ramos, and of course owner Paul Brown. The “real” characters are the lifeblood behind this entertaining must-see reality show. New episodes of season two are set to begin airing soon on DISCOVERY.
- American Pickers: This isn’t your grandmother’s antiquing. Pickers like Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are on a mission to recycle America, even if it means diving into countless piles of grimy junk or getting chased off a gun-wielding homeowner’s land. Hitting back roads from coast to coast, the two men earn a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person’s trash into another’s treasure. American Pickers follows them as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories. If you think the antique business is all about upscale boutiques and buttoned-up dealers, this show may change your mind – and teach you a thing or two about American history along the way. Be sure to check out Danielle, the tattooed office manager who’s simply a hoot. New episodes of American Pickers air every Monday night at 9/8c on HISTORY.
- Pawn Stars: Long before banks, ATMS and check-cashing services, there were pawn shops. Pawn Stars takes you inside the colorful world of the pawn business. At the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas, three generations of the Harrison family – grandfather Richard, son Rick and grandson Corey – jointly run the family business, and there’s clashing and camaraderie every step of the way. The three men use their sharp eyes and skills to assess the value of items from the commonplace to the truly historic, including a 16th-century samurai sword, a Super Bowl ring, a Picasso painting and a 17th-century stay of execution. It’s up to them to determine what’s real and what’s fake, as they reveal the often surprising answer to the questions on everyone’s mind, “What’s the story behind it”? and “What’s it worth?” New episodes of Pawn Stars air every Monday at 10/9c on HISTORY.
- Auction Hunters: The show follows Allen Haff, a second generation antiques dealer, and Clinton “Ton” Jones, who has experience in a variety of fields including guns and mystery safes. The dynamic duo participate in storage unit auctions throughout the country. Auction Hunters leads viewers through the process of bidding on and winning abandoned storage units, appraising the items found within, and selling the most lucrative and interesting pieces to experts or collectors. Each episode begins with a text disclaimer stating that Haff and Jones purchase hundreds of units each year, and that only their rarest and most valuable finds are presented on the show. The best part of Auction Hunters is the friendly competition bettween the two friends and business partners.The third season kicks off at 10/9c on Tuesday, July 19th on SpikeTV.
- American Restoration: Rick Dale and his crew of loose screws at Rick’s Restorations in Las Vegas take rusty, beat-up items and restore them to their original glory on American Restoration. Whether it’s a giant gas pump from the 1940s or a Hopalong Cassidy bicycle from the 1950s, every restoration is a high-stakes business project where worthless rust is transformed into a valuable collectible. However, these restorations aren’t easy. Every project presents unique challenges for Rick and his team, who develop inventive processes to finish each job flawlessly and on time. From old gas carts to timeless slot machines, the items Rick restores are part of the fabric that makes up American culture. Things just aren’t made like they used to be, but at Rick’s Restorations, old becomes new again. American Restoration is a spin-off from Pawn Stars. New episodes air at 10/9c every Friday on HISTORY.
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