Small business reality TV shows at a glance
This undated photo provided by A&E, shows Willie Robertson, star of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” at his desk in his office at the Duck Commander warehouse in West Monroe, La. Turning small business owners into stars has become a winning formula for television producers, but some businesses featured in them are cashing in, too. Sales explode after just a few episodes air, transforming these nearly unknown small businesses into household names. In addition to earning a salary from starring in the shows, some small business owners are benefiting financially from opening gift shops that sell souvenirs or getting involved in other ventures that spawn from their new-found fame. (AP Photo/A&E)
Small businesses are getting a lot of the reality TV spotlight — for good reason: A starring role on a reality TV show can dramatically boost a small company's sales. The shows get big national exposure, turning a tiny restaurant or hair salon into a household name.
Below is a sampling of reality TV shows that feature small businesses and the average number of people that are watching. The numbers are from Nielsen, which provides information and insight into what consumers watch and buy, and are an average of the show's most recent or current season.
Viewers: 8.3 million
"Duck Dynasty" revolves around the Robertson family as they hunt, camp and make duck calls for Duck Commander, the West Monroe, La.-based business that the family's bearded patriarch Phil Robertson founded in 1972. The shows season 3 finale was the most watched program in A&E's history.
Viewers: 4.9 million
Cameras follow people as they bring in everything from gold coins to classic cars to pawn or sell at Las Vegas' Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on this History reality show. Viewers watch as owner Rick Harrison, his father, son and an employee tell customers how much their stuff is worth.
Viewers: 3.8 million
Mike Wolfe and business partner Frank Fritz drive around the country looking for antiques and collectibles to buy and then resell at their store Antique Archeology. The show has aired on History since 2010.
Viewers: 2.7 million
Danny Koker restores and sells classic cars in his Las Vegas-based garage, Count's Kustoms. "Counting Cars" is a spinoff of History's "Pawn Stars," where Koker made several appearances before getting his own show on the network.
Viewers: 2.4 million
TruTV's answer to "Pawn Stars" focuses on American Jewelry and Loan, a family-owned pawn shop in Detroit. "Hardcore Pawn" has been on the air since 2010.
"BLACK INK CREW"
Viewers: 1.6 million
Debuting earlier this year, this VH1 reality takes viewers inside the lives of tattoo artists from Black Ink Tattoo Studio in New York's Harlem neighborhood.
Viewers: 1.6 million
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump lets cameras into Sur, her West Hollywood, Calif. restaurant, to document the salacious lives of the restaurant's employees. Bravo renewed the show for a second season.
"WELCOME TO SWEETIE PIE'S"
The show, which airs on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, follows Robbie Montgomery as she and her son run two restaurants in St. Louis and work to open a third. A fourth season of "Welcome To Sweetie Pie's" is currently being filmed.
Style's "Jerseylicious" gives viewers a peek into the lives and drama of employees that work at The Gatsby Salon, in Green Brook, N.J.,