In 2010, A&E launched a show that took over reality television in a way no one expected. Storage Wars quickly became the channel’s top-rated “non-scripted” series, with a remarkable average of 2.4 million viewers per episode. Who knew a show about people bidding to buy strangers’ abandoned storage units would do so well?
A show like Storage Wars didn’t just fall together by chance, though. A lot of thought, preparation and work went into creating this golden series. Everything from cast members to storage location and surprisingly, even what is found in the lockers seems to be planned perfectly.
There are a ton of things the producers of Storage Wars did behind-the-scenes to make this show become the hit it is today, but most of them, they wouldn’t necessarily want the audience to know about. But as chance would have it, we have some of those secrets right here.
20 Producers Like To ‘Salt’ The Lockers Ahead Of Time
In 2012, Dave Hester, one of Storage Wars’ original stars filed a lawsuit against A&E claiming he was wrongfully terminated. Within this lawsuit, Dave revealed several insider details about how the show works behind the camera.
Dave claimed producers “salt” and stage the lockers with those prized, treasured items to make the finds more exciting and entertaining for the audience.
19 Some Cast Members Are Compensated For Bringing The Gold Items With Them
Where do they get those prized items that Dave insists are planted in the lockers? Well, in his lawsuit, he also explained they work with a company called Off the Wall Antiques who would supply A&E with access to their items.
A&E would feature the items on the show and provide the antique store with an unnamed compensation.
18 The Show Paid For Units On Behalf Of Weaker Cast Members
When the show first got started, it was clear some of the cast was more experienced in the bidding game than others. According to Dave, the show would go as far as paying for the storage lockers bid on by some of the cast members, but not others.
This was to “give the weaker cast members an advantage over the more experienced and successful bidders.”
17 Female Cast Members Might Have Been Encouraged To Alter Their Appearance For Ratings
A show about a bunch of men bidding on dusty old lockers was missing one thing, and that was the woman’s touch. Over the seasons, Storage Wars did get some more of the feminine touch with female cast members.
However, according to Business Insider, Dave claimed the network would pay for certain (unnamed) female stars to receive plastic surgery.
16 A Lot Of The Show Is Staged For Entertainment Purposes
From the items placed in the lockers to which items to open first, a lot of the show is staged for pure entertainment.
After Dave revealed that not all the items in the units are authentic to the locker, he explained producers would even push him to opening some boxes before others. Most of what happens on Storage Wars is part of a larger design.
15 Producers Are Known To Play Favorites
According to ScreenRant, Dave Hester’s lawsuit went beyond just planting the good items in the lockers. He claimed the producers would play favorites with the cast members.
He may have been bitter, but Dave expressed they would put the good items in the units of those they liked most, and he was hardly ever that person.
14 Half Of What The Cast Says Is Scripted
During a panel discussion, according to Looper, the show’s creator, Thom Beers all but reiterated all of Dave Hester’s claims. Thom Beers also admitted the show scripts about 50 percent of what its characters’ say.
If you take into account all the dorky puns the cast makes, this one makes sense.
13 And Producers Like Push The Cast Members To A Breaking Point
Bidding on storage units is a high-pressure situation for anyone. When you add the stress of producers breathing down your neck to be more entertaining, things can get heated.
During season eight, Dave reached his breaking point when auctioneer, Dan Dotson missed a bid and producers pushed Dave to confront Dan. They kept pushing Dave until things turned physical and Dave was kicked off the set.
12 The Cast Isn’t Allowed To Get Sentimental About Lockers
The show set several rules for the cast to follow while taping takes place. One of these is that they do not get sentimental about the lockers or what is in them.
The lockers the cast bid on for the show once had owners. The things they search through belonged to someone before the show, but they aren’t allowed to talk about that aspect.
11 Dave Hester Thinks He Was Fired For Questioning Production
Before he got fired and created his lawsuit against the network, Dave Hester actually approached the producers with his accusations.
In his lawsuit, Dave explained that he previously approached the producers telling them that the “salting” of the lockers was likely illegal and very dishonest. In return, Dave believes that is the reason they fired him from the show.
10 But Dave Wasn’t The Only Cast Member Fired
Dave wasn’t the only cast member that A&E fired from the show, though. In 2010, the show made the decision to let go of Brandon Sheets, the son of original cast member Darrell Sheets.
After ratings started dropping, fewer advertisements were sold, and they needed to save some money. So they dropped Brandon to save a few bucks.
9 Barry Weiss Chose To Leave While Still On Top
Barry Weiss was one of the show’s fan-favorites. He brought a lot of entertainment to Storage Wars. So, why did he leave after four seasons?
Barry was not fired from the show, but rather he left by choice. “It was fun, but I had enough and I kind of wanted to leave while it was still popular,” explained Barry in an interview, according to Distractify.
8 Jarrod Schulz Was Encouraged To Get Into Storage Hunting By His Aunt
Jarrod Schulz was having a little trouble finding a job before landing his gig with Storage Wars. According to Diply, Jarrod was actually encouraged to get into storage hunting by his aunt, who happened to own a storage facility.
Now, Jarrod is one of the top dogs in the storage hunting game.
7 Brandi Passante And Mary Padian Are Good Friends Outside Of The Show
During episodes of Storage Wars, we see cast members battle it out to win the best lockers. Sometimes low blows are thrown and enemies are made. However, Mary Padian and Brandi Passante are actually good friends in real life.
Cast members spend a lot of time together during tapings, so it’s easy to understand how some of them would form strong bonds over time.
6 Auctioneers Dan And Laura Dotson Met Each Other At An Auction
Auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson run the show on-camera. As fate would have it, this cute couple met and fell in love at auctions. According to Diply, Laura started seeing Dan at several different auctions and knew he was the man she’d marry one day.
In 1996, she made the first move and they soon fell in love.
5 Darrell Sheets Almost Walked Off The Show
In 2015, Darrell Sheets, one of the original cast members, threatened to jump ship after rumors of heavy pay cuts. Darrell heard A&E was planning on cutting his pay in half and cutting down his appearance to only four episodes a season.
This new contract didn’t sit right with Darrell, and he was ready to walk.
4 Jarrod’s Criminal Past Is Always In The Background
Long before A&E picked up Brandi and Jarrod for Storage Wars, Jarrod had problems much bigger than locker bids.
Jarrod actually spent 16 months in prison during the ‘90s and has a pretty wild past full of illegal substance dealing and breaking the law, according to Starcasm. But since then, Jarrod has been determined to stay on the straight path.
3 Women Flocked To Filming Locations To See Barry
Barry Weiss may have been the oldest original cast member on the show, but that didn’t stop the ladies from flocking to set for a chance to see him.
According to Diply, a source close to the show admitted: “women of all ages often visited filming locations in hopes of meeting Barry.” Some would even give their numbers to Dave to pass on to Barry.
2 Someone Made A Fake Adult Film Of Brandi
Just like her partner, Jarrod, Brandi has dealt with a little bit of darkness in her past, too. Brandi became a victim of stolen identity when adult film producer, Hunter Moore paid a Brandi look-a-like to pretend to be Brandi in an adult film.
Brandi refused to let this slip by and sued Hunter.
1 The Show Ended When They Found A Live Moose In A Unit
There was an ongoing joke throughout the Storage Wars series that the show would keep on opening storage units until they found a live moose in one.
Well, executive producer, Elaine Bryant stated in a press release, “Now everyone can go home and no one has to work on Storage Wars ever again, because we finally found a moose in a storage unit.”
Reference: Looper, The Hollywood Reporter, Business Insider, TheRichest, Diply, ScreenRant, Distractify, Clickhole, Starcasm