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The Pawn Stars Spinoff That Never Made It

Spinoffs are surefire moneymakers. Take a proven concept or known character, create a carbon copy with a slightly-if-at-all different name, and the audiences and ad dollars come rolling in...usually, that is. Not all spinoffs last long enough to bring in the big bucks, and Cajun Pawn Stars is one example. Despite its Pawn Stars pedigree this show was destined to go down the drain, and here's why.

It had no relation to that other show

Usually, a spinoff has something to do with the show from which it's spun. The Jeffersons were Archie Bunker's neighbors on All in the Family. James McGill, a.k.a. Saul Goodman of Better Call Saul, was Walter White's lawyer on Breaking Bad. Joanie and Chachi from Joanie Loves Chichi were established characters on Happy Days. Because of these relationships, viewers tend to come to spinoffs with certain expectations—a hope to see something new yet familiar at the same time. But other than being another show about another pawn shop in another state, Cajun Pawn Stars' Silver Dollar Pawn & Jewelry Center had nothing to do with Rick Harrison and his Pawn Stars family. At best, it was a knock-off program attempting to cash in on a proven name; a faux franchise. And that fact didn't go unnoticed.

It upset the originals

When Cajun Pawn Stars invaded the airwaves in 2012, the cast of the original Pawn Stars were none too pleased about it. Sources divulged to TMZ that Harrison and his crew were "hurt" by the "total knock-off." They also said that the History Channel had promised not to produce any other pawn-shop shows. Perhaps most importantly, since the Cajun version had nothing to do with the Harrisons, the Harrisons didn't get a cut of the action, but if Cajun Pawn Stars flopped, they'd still suffer guilt by association. Plenty of risk but no reward—no wonder they were upset.

They used strange appraisers

When Rick or any of his co-workers are unsure of an item's authenticity, they call on one of an army of professional appraisers to account for that item's veracity and potential value. Cajun Pawn Stars didn't seem to have that kind of support. When a customer came in to sell some Scooby-Doo memorabilia during a Season 2 episode, who did Jimmie DeRamus call on for help? Scott Innes, who voiced Shaggy and Scooby during the late '90s. While it's cool DeRamus knows Innes, Innes' voicework on the cartoon doesn't necessarily make him an authority on memorabilia value, unless he's an avid collector (which would be kind of sad and borderline Sunset Boulevard crazy). And if he's an example of the experts DeRamus has on call, that can't be good.

They're not really Cajun

"Reality television" started veering away from "reality" almost immediately, and Cajun Pawn Stars is no exception. The biggest lie about this show is its name. Though Silver Dollar Pawn & Jewelry Center is located in Louisiana, it's not Cajun in any way, shape, or form. The store is actually located in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, and not one square inch of that area lies within Acadiana, which is Cajun country. This makes Silver Dollar Pawn Cajun adjacent at best. You almost have to hand it to them, because it takes guts to put a lie right up front like that. But people still don't like a phony.

The dwindling audience

After hammering out four seasons in the span of about a year, Cajun Pawn Stars went on hiatus, and no definitive reason was ever given. Seeing as how they put out essentially one episode a week, it's reasonable to believe everyone probably needed a break from the breakneck production schedule. However, the rapidly diminishing viewership could be a reason as well. The first episode had over three million viewers, but by the end of Season 4, the show had lost about a third of its audience, with no end to the steady decline in sight.

No new episodes filmed

Of course, a show being placed on hiatus doesn't mean it'll be canceled. Plenty of programs have come back from limbo, but when that happens, there's usually a plan in place for when the hiatus ends. That wasn't so for Jimmie DeRamus and his crew in January 2013, and by the time Cajun Pawn Stars' hiatus ended, their renewal option had passed—along with most people's interest in the show. Or maybe the people at The History Channel had some idea of what lay ahead for the cast.

Their habit of fraternizing with criminals

In December 2013, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office arrested one Fred Howell, Jr. on suspicion of burglary. According to KPTV, a Fox affiliate, Howell was a regular on Cajun Pawn Stars during its short-lived run. The report states that Howell allegedly asked a local pawn shop for help removing the password from a stolen computer. The article doesn't say whether or not the shop was Silver Dollar Pawn & Jewelry Center, but even though DeRamus' hands were clean, Howell's recognition as a regular in his shop doesn't speak well of the clientele.

They were raided by the police

Aside from being associated with criminals, it appears the cast of Cajun Pawn Stars is up to no good themselves. According to TMZ, cops raided their shop in October 2014, claiming they fenced stolen merchandise. To support their claims, the police attempted to seize a chainsaw and sewer snake, but since they didn't have a warrant, Jimmie DeRamus told them to take a hike. The police obliged, but then returned with a warrant the next day, taking the coveted chainsaw and sewer snake and a whole lot more. DeRamus, naturally, insists his business is on the up-and-up.

Their troubles haven't ended

During the 2014 police raid, "Big Daddy" DeRamus' brother Johnnie got himself arrested for being uncooperative. In retaliation, DeRamus filed suit against the police and the city. Unfortunately for him, in 2016 a judge sided with the police and dismissed all of DeRamus' claims. Even worse for DeRamus: it turns out the items seized by the police were stolen, and subsequently, their shop was shut down. In other words, even if the show had lasted beyond its four seasons, chances are it still would've been canceled out of legal necessity. Between this and Chumlee, maybe The History Channel should skip the middleman and just follow various criminals as they break the law.