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Fired ‘Storage Wars’ Star Scores A Win Over A&E In Lawsuit

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 10:24am PDT

Dave Hester can move forward with the wrongful termination portion of his wide-ranging lawsuit against A&E and the producers of Storage Wars, a judge ruled today. In a hearing Tuesday in LA Superior Court, Judge Michael Johnson rejected the network’s free speech related attempt to dismiss the wrongful termination aspect of the former reality cast member’s nearly 10 month old legal action. Citing the First Amendment and California’s anti-SLAPP statute, A&E had argued that Hester’s suit would effectively hand him control over who they could put on the hit reality show. Johnson didn’t agree. “Plaintiff’s contract expressly states that Defendants had no obligation to use Plaintiff on the program during the term of their agreement. Plaintiff is suing to recover money, and not to inject himself into the program,” wrote Johnson in a tentative ruling issued before this morning’s hearing. Hester sued A&E and Storage Wars’ producers Original Productions back in December 2012. At the time he called the show a  staged “fraud on the public” and claimed he was suddenly kicked off  the storage locker auction series before the fourth season when he complained about their methods. Hester is seeking over $750,000 plus punitive damages that could add up to millions more. The judge today also rejected A&E’s motions to dismiss the punitive damages. … Read More »

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A&E’s ‘Storage Wars’ & ‘American Hoggers’ To Return In April

By | Monday March 25, 2013 @ 8:24am PDT

A&E announced today that Storage Wars and American Hoggers will be back next month for new seasons. Storage Wars, the abandoned locker bidding series, returns for a fourth season with back-to-back episodes April 16 at 9 PM and 9:30 PM. A big hit for A&E, Storage Wars was the network’s top show last year among adults 18-49 and the third-most-popular non-fiction show on cable adults 25-54. Its Season 3 averaged 4.2 million total viewers. American Hoggers is also back April 16 with dual episodes. Returning for a third season of hog hunter Jerry Campbell and his Texas family, the series will air back-to-back new shows at 10 PM and 10:30 PM.

Related: A&E Gains 1st Amendment Victory In ‘Storage Wars’ Lawsuit Read More »

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A&E Gains 1st Amendment Victory In ‘Storage Wars’ Lawsuit

By | Tuesday March 12, 2013 @ 3:47pm PDT

Round 1 of the Storage Wars legal battle looks to have gone to A&E. In a hearing today, a judge threw out the unfair business practices claims of the series former star Dave Hester’s wide-ranging lawsuit against the network and producers of the reality show. LA Superior Court judge Michael Johnson ruled that the claim fell short under California’s anti-SLAPP law. The Judge also sided with the defendants that their First Amendment rights would be violated if he were to agree to Hester’s attorneys’ request for an injunction against Storage Wars for alleged staging of the show.

A&E had requested that the unfair business practices claim be striped from the five-claim suit and their Constitutional rights affirmed in their January 28 response to Hester’s initial December 11 complaint. Johnson told the downtown hearing that in granting the requested injunction he would essentially be telling A&E what they could and could not programming on their network, something he did not agree was right or warranted. Additionally, he demanded more information on the wrongful termination aspect of Hester’s complaint for the suit to progress in the courts. Hester and his lawyer Marty Singer now have 20 days to amend their initial complaint. Read More »

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A&E Says Former ‘Storage Wars’ Star’s Lawsuit “Meritless”

By | Monday January 28, 2013 @ 4:44pm PST

A&E says that it isn’t Storage Wars that’s fake but the lawsuit from Dave Hester. A month and a half after Hester called the hit reality series a staged “fraud on the public and filed suit against the network and Storage Wars producers for more than $750,000, A&E fired back late last week. And they made their response (read it here) almost all about the money and free speech. “Original and AETN opposed Hester’s demands for more favorable contract terms, and he was notified that his participation was no longer needed in the Program. Hester then filed this lawsuit against AETN and Original. In a transparent attempt to distract from the issues – and maximize any potential recovery – Plaintiffs’ Complaint tries to convert a garden-variety breach of contract claim into a tabloid-worthy drama, in which Hester portrays himself as a crusading whistleblower. But setting aside the notable inconsistencies in his exaggerated self-portrait, the law does not permit such sophistry,” says the response A&E filed in LA Superior Court on January 24. Using Anti-SLAPP laws and First Amendment free speech guarantees as blunt objects, A&E goes on to say that Hester’s’ Unfair Business Practices cause of action is “meritless” and it wants the court to strip it from his suit.

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A&E’s ‘Storage Wars’ Sued; Former Cast Member Calls Reality Show A “Fraud”

By | Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 11:53am PST

Storage Wars star Dave Hester today sued A&E and the producers of the reality show, calling it a staged “fraud on the public”. Represented by attorney Marty Singer in his suit (read it here), Hester is seeking more than $750,000 in damages and fees from the network and Original Productions for their actions and for firing him from the show. “When Plaintiff David Hester (“Hester”) complained to producers that A&E’s fraudulent conduct of salting and staging the storage lockers was possibly illegal, he was fired from the Series. As further evidence of Defendants’ outrageous conduct, they purported to rescind their written exercise of an option retaining Hester’s services this coming season,” says the 14-page complaint, which is suing for wrongful termination, breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices and declaratory relief.

Reality shows are often accused of sleight-of-hand manipulation of events, contestants and other participants, but Hester’s suit tarnishes Storage Wars almost from top to bottom. “Nearly every aspect of the Series is faked, even down to the plastic surgery that one of the female cast members underwent in order to create more “sex appeal” for the show, the cost of which was paid for by Original,” the suit claims. “Original regularly ‘salts’ the storage lockers that are the subject of the auctions portrayed on the Series with valuable or unusual items to add dramatic effect, even going so far as to stage entire storage units. Original also manipulates the outcome of certain auctions by paying for storage units on behalf of the weaker cast members who lack the both the skill and financial wherewithal to place winning bids,” it adds. Hester is seeking a jury trial.

Related: TLC Admits ‘Breaking Amish’ Bends Truth Read More »

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A&E Renews ‘Storage Wars’, ‘Storage Wars: Texas’ And ‘Shipping Wars’

By | Thursday April 12, 2012 @ 2:41pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: A&E Network in staying on the “war”path. The cable network has ordered new 26-episode seasons of its flagship series Storage Wars and hot freshmen Storage Wars: Texas and Shipping Wars. All three will launch this summer. The season 2 premiere of Storage Wars last summer became the A&E’s most watched series telecast of all time with 5.1 million total viewers and the highest-rated in adults 18-49 and 25-54 with 2.9 million viewers in each demo. The series’ second season averaged 4.7 million total viewers, up 68% from Season 1, with Storage Wars ranking as A&E’s No.1 series of all time and the No. 3 non-fiction show on cable among adults 25-54.  Spinoff Storage Wars: Texas premiered this past December with 4.1 million total viewers and 2.1 million adults 25-54 for the most-watched original series launch in the network’s history in both categories. A month later, Shipping Wars debuted to solid 3 million total viewers. Read More »

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‘Storage Wars’ Season Premiere Sets Ratings Records For A&E

By | Thursday July 21, 2011 @ 12:48pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

A&E’s reality series Storage Wars launched its second season last night with back-to-back epsodes at 10 PM and 10:30 PM. The 10:30 PM episode drew 5.1 million viewers, 2.9 million of them in each of the 18-49 and 25-54 demographics, to become A&E’s most watched telecast of all time in total viewers and in the 2 key demos. The 10 PM episode was watched by 4.5 million viewers.

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CABLE RATINGS: Solid Numbers For ‘Sam Axe,’ ‘Lemonade Mouth,’ ‘Storage Wars,’ More

By | Monday April 18, 2011 @ 5:03pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

On a very competitive night, with NBA playoffs and baseball luring male viewers, the premiere of USA Network’s Burn Notice movie prequel, Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, did OK, drawing 3.6 million viewers, 1.4 million of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. Also last night, A&E’s unscripted series Storage Wars hit a series high with an audience of 3.8 million, 1.9 of them in the 18-49 demo. Meanwhile, AMC’s drama The Killing had a strong Week 3 showing with 2.5 million viewers, down only 2% from last week, and 1.1 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic, up a big 19% from last week and a rare double-digit week-to-week increase for a heavily serialized drama. Reliable ratings for the premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones will be available tomorrow.

On Friday, Disney Channel’s movie Lemonade Mouth became the most-watched cable movie of the year with 5.7 million viewers. Also on Friday, History’s American Restoration was off to a strong start with 3.3 million viewers, 1.5 million of them in the 18-49 demo.

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A&E Renews ‘Storage Wars’ For Season 2

By | Friday January 7, 2011 @ 6:01am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: A month into the freshman run of A&E’s unscripted series Storage Wars, the cable network has renewed the show for a second season with a 20-episode order. Production on Season 2 is already under way for a premiere in the second quarter of this year. In its Dec.1 hourlong debut, Storage Wars drew 2 million viewers, A&E’s best premiere numbers for an unscripted series last year. The series has been growing since, averaging 2.3 million viewers to date. “Storage Wars has garnered critical acclaim and has risen above the competition,” Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E and BIO Channel said. “Premium storytelling and amazing characters have set our show apart.”

Storage Wars, from Thom Beers’ FremantleMedia-owned Original Prods., follows fast-talking auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson and the group of loyal bidders that frequent their storage unit sales. It is one of 2 cable reality shows about storage unit auctions that launched in the fourth quarter, along with Spike’s Auction Hunters. Both series earned 20-episode second-season pickups a month after their premieres. Storage Wars is executive produced by Beers and Philip D. Segal.

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Solid Debut For A&E’s ‘Storage Wars’

Nellie Andreeva

Storage Unit auctions is turning to be the hottest new area in reality television. On the heels of Spike renewing its freshman Auction Hunters with a 20-episode order, the largest ever for a second season on the network, A&E’s Storage Wars, executive produced by Thom Beers, posted the network’s best premiere numbers for an unscripted series this year. The series averaged 2 million viewers for its hourlong premiere last night, 1.2 million of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. (Auction Hunters debuted earlier this month with 1.1 million total viewers.)

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