Fox News Network Sues Pawn Stars Producers Over Fake Reality Show Scheme

Last month, Pawn Stars’ production company Leftfield Pictures dropped a hefty $4.5 million lawsuit against Fox News Network for halting production and payment on an estate sales reality series set for Fox Business. Now, FNN has opened some increasingly weird floodgates with a counterclaim against Leftfield, charging the company with fraud and saying that the series in question concerned everything but reality. Get ready to scratch your heads, guys.

Back in 2014, Fox Business’ Brian Gaffney met with Leftfield owner Brent Montgomery and general counsel Chris Silvestri (who had a long and respectable relationship with Fox’s legal department), and it was made very clear that any reality series that FNN got involved in would be held to a higher standard than most networks, and must be free from any falsities that could later reflect negatively on the company. So what did Leftfield offer them? A show based almost exclusively on falsities, apparently, and one that revolved around a Florida real estate business run by Silas Pierce and his family. Combined with a sizzle reel, it was a concept that Fox liked at first, but then a few discrepancies were discovered, according to THR.

For one, the “two fathers working with their sons” concept was allegedly garbage right out the gate. It became clear that Silas’ “wife Barbara” wasn’t actually his wife at all, as Silas is apparently gay. Silvestri allegedly told Fox execs that the children on the show, Matt and A.J., were actually Silas’ adopted sons. When it was brought up that gay men couldn’t adopt in Florida at the claimed date, Leftfield switched its story to say Silas was a legal guardian of the boys, as it was actually his now-deceased parents who had adopted Matt and A.J. As you might imagine, there’s no legit relationship between any of these people, and Silas’ parents are definitely alive and well.

Want more strangeness? It turns out the other father and son that were originally a part of the show had to be dropped because, according to Silvestri, there was an “allegation that the purported father had molested his purported son.” We all know how well reality shows tied to molestation do.

Also, apparently another family company for the show, Dan & Suki, were brought in, but they were deemed “dishonest and incompetent” after allegedly selling a piano to a white couple for $3,000 soon after agreeing to sell it to a Hispanic woman for $900, telling the later potential buyer that she didn’t offer up a large enough deposit. And the icing on the cake? Leftfield was actually the ones doing the estate sales for Silas, as the family had allegedly left the business. Sheesh.

Now, we all know that unscripted TV is almost never as ”real” as it’s projected to be, and that things go on behind the scenes that viewers shouldn’t see. But this sounds like a sham from one end to the other. Leftfield, who claims they will be responding to Fox’s countersuit soon, will soon have the NFL Network series Northern Lights on the air, so we can’t wait to see how authentic that one is.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.