TruTV has quietly given a 13-episode back order to one of its top series, Hardcore Pawn. The pickup comes four months after the network announced a complete programming overhaul at its upfront presentation in April. In conjunction with the upfront, TruTV ran a very provocative newspaper ad (on left) featuring quotes from critics’ reviews panning its programming for being too derivative and fake. One appeared to reference Hardcore Pawn: “I want to hardcore punch whoever made this show.” TruTV’s statement — “We heard you, and we’re making big changes. We are revamping the entire network with new shows that are smarter, funnier and more creative than anything we’ve done before. This is the new TruTV.” The network, which identified its new demo target as young, dual-gender “fun-seekers,” has been aggressively adding to its original slate, announcing six new series at the April upfront and four more last month and launching nine new shows so far this year.
Along with the rapid expansion, TruTV has been scaling back on its existing series. Hardcore Pawn‘s Chicago-based offshoot, whose debut broke TruTV ratings records for a new series debut last year, was cancelled in January, with Operation Repo ending its run the following month. The mothership Hardcore Pawn is the first established TruTV series known to have gotten a renewal since the network brass signaled the change in direction. Word is that Hardcore Pawn’s strong C3 ratings, good repeatability and TruTV brass’ plan to use the veteran as a launching pad for new series were behind the decision. Still, I hear the series, about the workings of a family-owned pawn shop, is being given a creative facelift to try to fit with TruTV’s new brand, focusing more on the pawn transactions and looking for more organic storylines. Hardcore Pawn is produced by Zodiak New York, with Mike Gamson and Richard Dominick executive producing.