Reality TV's new stars: Small businesses

9:46 AM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
Si Robertson of "Duck Dynasty"/photo by Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images
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By Joseph Pisani, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Reality-show producers are finding that there's no business like small business.

Mix the high stakes of running a small business with a dash of family drama and throw in a camera crew and you get hit reality television shows such as "Pawn Stars," "Welcome to Sweetie Pie's" and "Duck Dynasty."

Turning small business owners into stars has become a winning formula for television producers and the businesses are cashing in, too. Sales explode after just a few episodes air, transforming unknown small businesses into household names. Some small business owners are opening gift shops that sell souvenirs or getting involved in other ventures that spawn from their new-found fame. The season finale of one of the most popular shows, "Duck Dynasty" recently attracted 9.6 million viewers.

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