After binging on dramas, streaming services target reality TV

When Brent Montgomery, a TV producer behind the popular reality series "Pawn Stars," first met Ken Goldin, a colorful, trading-card mogul, he sensed an opportunity to create a new show.

The Netflix logo on a laptop computer on Oct. 16, 2021. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Gabby Jones.

Earlier this year, after teaming up with former ESPN executive Connor Schell, Montgomery began pitching an unscripted series that would take viewers into Goldin's weirdly compelling subculture of hawking baseball cards, signed jerseys and movie props. While making the rounds to potential buyers, his team met with CNBC, ESPN and the History Channel, the network that turned "Pawn Stars" into a long-running hit. But ultimately, despite his past success on cable TV, Montgomery decided to go a different route. He sold the show to Netflix, one of several streaming services bidding for the rights.

Such is the state of competition in Hollywood in 2021. Across the industry, in an effort to hold onto fickle, restless subscribers, streaming services are jockeying over a longtime staple of cable and broadcast TV, aggressively loading up on various forms of unscripted programming, including reality TV shows...

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