Summer TV: History Channel, Not Just for History Buffs Anymore

August 2, 2012

Pawn Stars. Photo credit: History Channel

If you’re a reality TV fan looking for a fix, the History Channel is the place to be. Known more for uncovering the secrets of the Maya than for documenting the lives of ordinary people, the History Channel has shifted its focus from historical documentaries to a lineup of reality shows that showcase American cultural history. Here’s our list of the channel’s best bets.

Pawn Stars
This show chronicles the daily activities of the Harrison family, owners of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. With its addictive drama and the riveting history behind the artifacts pawned or sold, the show received the network’s highest ratings when it premiered in July 2009. Mondays at 10 p.m.

American Pickers
Follow Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they travel through the rural towns of the Midwest in search of antiques and collectibles. Lurking around people’s homes, barns, and garages, they prove that one person’s junk is someone else’s treasure. The duo has a particular fascination for antique motorcycles, penny-farthings, and toys. Mondays at 9 p.m.

Ice Road Truckers
Follow a cast of veteran and rookie truck drivers as they steer monster eighteen-wheelers across frozen lakes and rivers in the coldest regions of Canada and Alaska. Sundays at 9 p.m.

Shark Wranglers
As part of a group of researchers dedicated to learning more about one of the world’s most dangerous predators, Chris Fischer and his crew try to catch and tag 50 great whites in 40 days. They’ll face rough weather, menacing ocean conditions, and come face to face with this ferocious creature. Sundays at 11 p.m.