Will Storage Wars be the rise and fall of the A&E Channel?
Lawsuits, rumors, porn, firing, quitting, and a death; with an avalanche of negative publicity and scandals, can the reality series survive another season? Or will their most popular reality television series set A&E ablaze?
The concept to Storage Wars was simple; professional auction hunters gather at an auction to buy storage units. By the second season the show grew so popular it gained 5 million viewers.
With such a simple concept, what was that one catalytic event that threw A&E into a cesspool of controversy?
Dave Hester’s lawsuit against A&E.
Dave Hester sued A&E soon after he was fired. He alleged that the producers of A&E placed items inside storage units after they were bought to create drama to boost ratings for the show.
A&E wasn't smart enough to cover its tracks. There's a paper trail of invoices, checks, emails, and other documentation between the cast and producers for items planted inside the storage units.
A&E continues to deny the "fallacious" allegations arguing that Storage Wars is entirely real and not staged.
Hold that thought.
As of June 26th Barry Weiss, a current cast member and fan favorite, leaked that he would quit the show after season four and not return.
An insider source of Storage Wars stated that Barry’s storage units were also salted by the producers and that every profitable product Barry found on the show was staged.
The rigging controversy of this reality series continues.
A&E has also denied rumors of dropping three cast members from Storage Wars: Darrell Sheets and auctioneers Dan & Laura Dotson.
Yet the three cast members were frozen out of six episodes during season four. Add insult to injury, A&E brought in a younger auctioneer and several new guest buyers for possible replacement of the current cast.
A&E’s expansion of the series is key to these rumors. The network is now filming internationally, Storage Wars: Canada. Another spin-off also in the works, Storage Wars: Miami.
Though A&E was not involved, one of their stars Brandi Passante sued a website for posting fake sex videos and fake nude photos of her online. She won the lawsuit, but that scandal didn’t do A&E any favors.
Then there’s the suicide of Mark Bolelo.
Mark appeared in several episodes of Storage Wars during season four. Insiders of the show stated Bolelo was frequently high on the set. Two days after his arrest for suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, he was found dead in his car inside a garage. Apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, he was forty-years old.
In poor taste A&E aired the episodes with Mark Bolelo’s guest appearance though he had already passed away.
That too, didn’t do A&E any favors.
The latest rumors are that Dan and Laura Dotson plot to unite the Storage Wars cast to sue A&E to negotiate for more money and for a piece of the profits of the show’s spinoffs. This rumor however was caught on tape. The deal is for the original cast members to become partners or everyone walks off the show.
Will this rally pay off?
What is the future for Storage Wars or for A&E? Could this single series indeed be the rise and fall of A&E?
Let us know what you think about the lawsuits and scandals surrounding Storage Wars in the comment box below.