There is almost nothing that somebody won't make into a television show nowadays. There are shows about people picking junk, guys buying stuff on pawn, crazy bastards who collect junk in their homes and people who make money buying the junk that those crazy bastards collect in their homes. I guess it's because there are so many channels on cable that it's necessary to fill 24 hours of programming with stuff that people might like to watch.
I'm not sure where it started. Maybe it was the American Chopper guys who started our fascination with regular people doing odd jobs? Maybe it was that Mike Rowe guy and his "Dirty Jobs," or maybe it was the "Mythbusters?" All of them are running out of bikes, jobs and myths, so perhaps their time has run out also? Pioneers often give way to copycats, just like Phil Donahue gave way to that Oprah person.
The thing that amazes me about the "Pawn Stars" show (starring the 4 fattest people on TV) is that people with significant historical artifacts choose to run them to a Las Vegas pawn shop rather than an auction house or (God forbid) selling it themselves on Ebay or some other online service. I suppose there is some charm to being on TV, but the value they lose by selling it to a reseller is more than lost on that. Just by walking into the store they're losing 40% of the object's value.
My ideal hybrid program would be a "Hoarders" show about a person who collects junk to the point that his friends have an "Intervention." Once he's done, he puts the junk in a storage locker that is later abandoned. The "Storage Wars" guys would bid on the contents and take it to the "Pawn Stars" shop to re-sell it. One crazy bastard could provide 3 hours of television.
I give credit to the producers of these programs who have found appeal in people who are a little outside the mainstream (the polite way of saying it) and leave the rest of us with the feeling that we are somehow better than the guy with a house full of newspapers.
I suppose that was the pitch to get those shows on TV in the first place.