||This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
||This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. (May 2013)|
||It has been suggested that this article be split into articles titled Les Gold and Hardcore Pawn. (Discuss) Proposed since March 2013.|
|Starring||Leslie "Les" Gold
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||103 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||RDF USA / Zodiak USA
Richard Dominick Productions
|Original run||August 16, 2010 – present|
Hardcore Pawn is an American reality television series produced by RDF USA (later Zodiak USA) and Richard Dominick Productions for truTV about the day-to day operations of American Jewelry and Loan, a family-owned pawn shop in Detroit, Michigan.
American Jewelry and Loan is owned by Leslie "Les" Gold, the son of a pawnbroker who once owned Sam's Loans, a now-defunct pawnshop on Michigan Avenue in Detroit. Les first opened American Jewelry at the Green Eight Shopping Center on 8 Mile Road in Oak Park in 1978, moving to its present location in 1993..
In 2011, American Jewelry expanded to its second location when it acquired Premier Jewelry and Loan in Pontiac;[a] the new location was featured in the first few episodes of Hardcore Pawn's fifth season, and in two episodes of the sixth season, where Seth considers selling the Pontiac location behind Les's back.
Les's only son, Seth, a graduate of the University of Michigan is the general manager and handles the shop's marketing. Seth claims that if it wasn't for him, the shop's only marketing would be "an ad in the Yellow Pages". The co-manager is Les's daughter, Ashley (a college graduate from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in business administration) who returned to the shop after taking time off for maternity leave. The sibling rivalry between her and Seth is a common element of many episodes.
On January 25 2013, it was announced that the show had been renewed for a seventh season by TruTV. The show averaged 2.6 million viewers during its sixth season.
Comparison to Pawn Stars 
The show has been largely compared[by whom?] to Pawn Stars on History, but in the vein of similar programs (Operation Repo and All Worked Up for example), the focus is mainly on the human aspects of drama, rather than the significance of the items being brought into the shop.
Due to similarities to Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn has been described as simply being a knock-off and a capitalization on the breakout success of Pawn Stars. Les Gold claims that his show is a true representation of what a pawn shop does, focusing on the human element and showing that people are suffering tough times and need money for food and rent.
According to Marc Juris of truTV, any similarities between the shows are coincidental. He also noted that Hardcore Pawn was in development for more than a year and two test episodes aired in December 2009. Regarding the initial identical time slot with Pawn Stars, Juris claimed the choice was made because Hardcore Pawn fit well with Operation Repo. The second season debuted in December 2010, in the Tuesday at 9 pm ET timeslot.
Reality versus scripting 
Owner Les Gold said at the launch of the show that there would be no staged antics, products or characters on the show. However, New York Post writer Linda Stasi has opined that some situations in Hardcore Pawn are set up.
|Season||Episodes||Season Premiere||Season Finale|
|Pilots||2||December 21, 2009||December 21, 2009|
|1||8||August 16, 2010||September 27, 2010|
|2||8||December 28, 2010||February 8, 2011|
|3||13||February 15, 2011||May 24, 2011|
|4||13||June 21, 2011||October 4, 2011|
|5||26||November 15, 2011||June 19, 2012|
|6||26||July 10, 2012||February 5, 2013|
|7||N/A||March 26, 2013||N/A|
As of May 7, 2013, a total of 103 episodes, including two pilots, have been broadcast.
Repeats of Hardcore Pawn are also seen on occasion on TNT.
Hardcore Pawn has generated two spinoffs:
- Combat Pawn, a series about the employees and customers at Guns Plus, a gun shop located near the Fort Bragg military installation in North Carolina. Originally developed under the title "Hardcore Pawn: Fort Bragg", Combat Pawn debuted on truTV on Sunday July 15, 2012 at 10:30PM ET/PT.
- Hardcore Pawn: Chicago, which features Chicago's Royal Pawn Shop, a pawn shop owned by two brothers, Randy and Wayne Cohen, whose family has been in the business for over 100 years. The series debuted January 1, 2013 and is produced for truTV by Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment, with Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey as executive producers.
Les Gold's autobiography, For What It's Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker, is due to be released June 13, 2013 by Portfolio Hardcover. Les's book deals with his personal experience in establishing a successful pawn shop, and gives details on how he did it, and how anyone in any field can "think like a pawnbroker".
See also 
- Pawn Stars – a reality television program based in a pawn shop in Las Vegas
- Pawn Queens – a similar series with female pawn shop operators, airing on TLC
- Bauder, David (August 11, 2010). "'Hardcore Pawn' Follows in Wake of 'Pawn Stars'". boston.com (The New York Times Company). Associated Press. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- "'Hardcore Thaw Charity Feb 8th 2013'". Retrieved February 10, 2013.Location verified with Google Maps Street View.
- Hammerstein,, B.J. (August 15, 2010). "Masters of pawn get a reality check". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- Cassell, Karen (August 17, 2010). "'Hardcore Pawn' Delivers 2 Million Viewers, Setting New Record as truTV's Most-Watched Series Premiere Ever" (Press release). Time Warner. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- "Gold at Gunpoint". Hardcore Pawn. September 27, 2010. truTV.
- "Pawn Detroit". American Jewelry and Loan.
- "Aftermath". Hardcore Pawn. November 15, 2011. truTV.
- "Premier Jewelry & Loan". Yelp.
- "Total Meltdown End Days". Hardcore Pawn. October 4, 2011. truTV. At the end of this episode, Les tells Seth and Ashley that he plans on opening a second location, with one of them running it.
- "Oh No He Didn't". Hardcore Pawn. September 25, 2012. truTV.
- "Oh Yes He Did". Hardcore Pawn. October 2, 2012. truTV.
- "Pilot #1". Hardcore Pawn. December 21, 2009. truTV.
- Pennington, Gail (25 January 2013). "Hardcore Pawn picked up for Season 7". St. Louis Post-Dispatch via website. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- Hibberd, James (August 17, 2010). "TruTV’s ‘Pawn Stars’ knock-off scores big ratings". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
- Harrison, Stacey (July 3, 2012). "7 Questions With Les Gold of 'Hardcore Pawn"". Channel Guide Magazine.
- "Hardcore Pawn". Zap2it.
- Stasi, Linda (August 16, 2010). "'Pawn' spawn: New shop on the block feels the same". New York Post. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
- "truTV to Premiere 'Combat Pawn', 7/15". TalkTV World. July 9, 2012.
- "TruTV to Premiere 'Killer Karaoke', 'Hardcore Pawn: Chicago', 'Impractical Jokers', 'Black Gold', '& 'Full Throttle Saloon'". TV by the Numbers. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "truTV Greenlights ‘Hardcore Pawn: Chicago’ - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Les Gold (13 June 2013). For What It's Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-101-62155-4. Retrieved 21 March 2013.