Family Trade

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Family Trade
A logo for the American television series Family Trade, featuring orange letters on a dark red and brown plaque over a yellow backdrop
Genre Reality television
Starring
  • Gardner Stone
  • Todd Stone
  • Darcy Stone
  • Travis Romano
Theme music composer Jamie Lee Thurston[1]
Opening theme "We Trade for Anything"[1]
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Eli Frankel
Producer(s)
Production location(s) Middlebury, Vermont
Running time 20–21 minutes
Release
Original network Game Show Network
Original release March 12 (2013-03-12) – April 16, 2013 (2013-04-16)
External links
Website
Production website

Family Trade is an American reality television series broadcast by Game Show Network (GSN). The show premiered on March 12, 2013; its eighth and final episode aired on April 16, 2013. Filmed in Middlebury, Vermont, the series chronicles the daily activities of G. Stone Motors, a GMC and Ford car dealership that employs the barter system in selling its automobiles. The business is operated by its founder, Gardner Stone, his son and daughter, Todd and Darcy, and General Manager Travis Romano. The series features the shop's daily interaction with its customers, who bring in a variety of items that can be resold in order to receive a down payment on the vehicle they are leasing or purchasing. Commentary and narration are also often provided by the Stones during the episodes.

Family Trade was a part of GSN's intent to broaden their programming landscape since the network had historically aired traditional game shows in most of its programming. The series was given unfavorable reviews by critics, and its television ratings fell over time; Family Trade lost almost half of its audience between the series premiere and finale.

Format

The series depicts interactions and negotiations between customers and staff at G. Stone Motors, a car dealership in Middlebury, Vermont that allows its customers to bring in anything they believe is resalable[2] (including pigs, maple syrup, and collectible dolls)[3] to the dealership to help cover the cost of a new or used vehicle rather than paying for it with cash. Gardner Stone, founder and owner of the dealership, explains, "I feel everything is worth something. Lots of times you'll get into the middle of a deal and the customer won't be able to go any further. So we always ask them, 'What else you got that you're not using?'"[4] His son Todd also claims that the barter system creates deals that would otherwise not be possible: "It's helped us get some deals that we wouldn't have gotten, and most of the time we do make good money. Even if we break even, we still sold the automobile, and we made money on that."[4]

The customers negotiate the value of their items, usually with Gardner, but occasionally also with other members of the shop's staff. The trade usually is not enough to cover the full value of the car or truck;[5] because of this, the value of the trade provides the customers with a down payment on the vehicle. Once the trade is completed, Gardner's son and daughter, Todd and Darcy, work with Travis to resell the items they have acquired,[3] which is where the dealership either earns an additional profit or loses some of their earnings.[6]

Cast

  • Gardner Stone – President and founder of G. Stone Motors. Born and raised in Middlebury, Stone started the company in 1974 before moving it to its current location in 1983.[7] He is a staunch supporter of American-manufactured cars.[7][1]
  • Todd Stone – Gardner's son and the dealership's Vice President.[8] Stone began working at G. Stone Motors in 1985 by washing cars while he was still in school.[7] Stone often has the task of reselling the items the shop takes in trade.[3] He and Gardner often disagree on what makes a good trade, which can lead to minor conflicts between the two.[3] Stone also competes for his family's racing team, G. Stone Motorsports, in NASCAR's Whelen All-American Series,[9] winning the series' national Rookie of the Year award in 2013.[10]
  • Darcy Stone – Gardner's daughter and General Manager of G. Stone Commercial Group,[8] who also works as a service coordinator.[11][12] Stone occasionally is involved in helping Gardner take in items customers have to trade, and is often seen helping to resell those items.[3][6]
  • Travis Romano – The dealership's General Manager, who began working at the shop in 2002 as a sales consultant.[7] Romano oversees many of the business's daily operations by working with both the sales and finance departments of the shop,[7] and also sometimes works with Todd on reselling many of the shop's acquired items.[6]

Production

A view of the G. Stone Motors dealership building in Middlebury, Vermont, taken from U.S. Route 7 in Vermont, with some trees and a telephone pole in the foreground
A view of the dealership from its location on U.S. Route 7 in Vermont

Production for Family Trade began when Lionsgate executive Eli Frankel approached the dealership in early 2011[13] proposing the idea of filming a reality show.[4][8] The Stones initially thought the pitch was a hoax, though once they recognized the validity of the offer, Gardner agreed to do the show provided the deals aired were truly representative of how the business operates.[8] Before the show premiered, Gardner made this desire clear, saying, "I'm very adamant about making this a legitimate thing. I can't stand these reality shows that you just know aren't right. We don't know where any of the deals are going to go prior to negotiating on the air."[4] Todd echoed his father's desire, remarking, "He made a big point of making this a real show, not a fake show."[8] The Stones eventually agreed to have Lionsgate film a fifteen-minute clip of various trades performed at the dealership. Lionsgate pitched the idea to a few networks, such as History, but Game Show Network (GSN) eventually picked the series up after ordering a pilot episode.[8] David Schiff, GSN's senior vice president for programming and development, expressed excitement at the prospect of working with the Stone family: "Gardner is a great businessman, and he really goes by his gut. The variety of things that come in that door are so unique and so interesting and so much fun."[4]

In the network's 2012 upfronts, GSN announced plans to launch a new category of programming entitled "Real-Life Games," which would include series that "take place in real-world settings and feature real-life risk and reward, winners and losers, joy and disappointment."[14] Family Trade first appeared in the network's upfronts on March 21, 2012, as a half-hour reality show under the new category,[13][14] then under the title The Family Trade.[15] Despite this, the Stones insisted that there were no "game" aspects of the series, rather that everything seen on the show was related to business.[5] After three test audiences gave positive reviews of the pilot,[13] GSN proceeded to order eight episodes of the series on August 9, 2012.[3][16] Filming for the eight episodes, which began September 1, lasted for around five or six weeks.[8] The series was originally expected to premiere on March 5, 2013;[17] on February 1, GSN pushed the premiere date back a week to March 12 (a specific reason was not given).[18][19] Although the network never made an official cancelation announcement, the show has not aired on GSN since the end of the first season and is thus presumed to have been canceled.[20]

Episodes

No. Title Original air date US viewers
(millions)
1 "Episode 1" March 12, 2013 (2013-03-12) 0.388[23]
Trades featured include thirty gallons of maple syrup and six pigs.[4][21][22]
2 "Episode 2" March 12, 2013 (2013-03-12) 0.418[23]
Trades featured include dolls, an antique tractor, and various items from a pawn shop.[21][24]
3 "Episode 3" March 19, 2013 (2013-03-19) 0.242[26]
Trades featured include sheep, pigs, and a hot air balloon, while an item previously taken in trade is destroyed via explosives.[21][25]
4 "Episode 4" March 19, 2013 (2013-03-19) 0.183[26]
Trades featured include six antique kiddie rides and a bridge.[21][27]
5 "Episode 5" March 26, 2013 (2013-03-26) 0.249[29]
Trades featured include spa certificates and an antique post office front.[21][28]
6 "Episode 6" April 2, 2013 (2013-04-02) 0.222[31]
Trades featured include cheese, as well as factory carts modified to serve as coffee tables.[21][30]
7 "Episode 7" April 9, 2013 (2013-04-09) 0.277[32]
Trades featured include a box of tattoo equipment and Adirondack chairs made primarily from skis.[21] While trading the tattoo equipment, Todd decides to get a tattoo of the G. Stone Motors emblem on his arm.[6]
8 "Episode 8" April 16, 2013 (2013-04-16) 0.213[33]
Country music artist Jamie Lee Thurston writes a jingle for the dealership (which is used as the show's theme song) in exchange for a new truck. Other trades featured include two horses and a donkey, as well as a wedding dress.[1][21]

Reception

Greg Braxton of the Los Angeles Times considered Family Trade to be a "game-changer" for GSN due to the network's history of primarily airing game shows. Braxton also called the show a "key part in [GSN's] strategy to broaden its programming and brand".[34] The day after the series premiere, Michael Tyminski of Manhattan Digest gave a negative review of the show, calling it "incredibly bland", and stating that it appeared to lack much of the family drama that had previously been advertised.[35] Writing for the Star Tribune, Neal Justin added, "The toughest sell of all [is] convincing me to watch more than one episode."[36]

Ratings

The series started off with decent television ratings by GSN's standards, averaging 403,000 viewers for the two episodes shown on the night of the show's premiere, slightly above the network's primetime viewership average.[23] The show quickly fell in the ratings, with all new episodes airing in the first quarter averaging 296,000 viewers, and only 40,000 viewers (with a 0.0 rating) among adults 18–49.[37] When averaged as a whole, the series dropped even lower in terms of total viewers, with an average of 274,000, and only improved by a negligible amount among adults 18–49, with 46,000 viewers (again with a 0.0 rating).[38]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 8. April 16, 2013. Game Show Network.
  2. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (March 12, 2013). "Testing the Limits of "We'll Take Anything in Trade"". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2017. I've had all kinds of opportunities to take in husbands, wives, in-laws...They are absolutely not salable. I have to take in things that are salable.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "GSN Greenlights New Original Series Family Trade" (Press release). GSN Corporate. August 9, 2012. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Bunkley, Nick (October 29, 2012). "Cows, pigs, maple syrup all work as a trade-in at Vt. dealership". Automotive News. Crain Communications. Archived from the original on December 30, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Orange, B. Alan (March 12, 2013). "Exclusive: Gardner and Todd Stone Talk Family Trade Series Premiere". TV Web. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 7. April 9, 2013. Game Show Network.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Our Employees". G. Stone Motors Inc. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Flowers, John (August 30, 2012). "A Penchant for Bartering Lands Car Dealership on TV". Addison County Independent. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  9. ^ St. Louis, Justin (June 26, 2013). "Todd Stone on a roll". Times Argus. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  10. ^ St. Louis, Justin (December 19, 2013). "NASCAR honors driver Todd Stone". Sun Community News. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Vaughan-Hughes, Pip (November 3, 1999). "Hot Wheels". Business People Vermont. Mill Publishing Inc. Archived from the original on January 28, 2000. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Green, Susan (March 31, 2013). "Middlebury's Cigar-Smoking Wheeler-Dealer in a Stetson". Burlington Free Press. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Baker, Isaac (September 19, 2012). "Reality TV Comes to Local Dealership". The Middlebury Campus. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "GSN Unveils Its New Programming and Development Slate During Network Upfront Event in New York City" (Press release). GSN Corporate. March 21, 2012. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  15. ^ Elliott, Stuart (March 21, 2012). "GSN Plans to Add Reality TV to Its Game Show Roster". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  16. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 9, 2012). "GSN Orders Barter System Series Family Trade". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  17. ^ "GSN Announces Premiere Dates for Original Series" (Press release). GSN Corporate. January 9, 2013. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  18. ^ GSN Corporate (February 1, 2013). "GSN Announces New Premiere Date for Family Trade". The Futon Critic (Press release). Futon Media. Archived from the original on December 21, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  19. ^ The Deadline Team (January 9, 2013). "GSN's American Bible Challenge Back In March, Family Trade To Debut Same Month". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  20. ^ "Showatch: Family Trade". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h "Family Trade: Season 1 Episodes". Moviefone. Oath Inc. Archived from the original on December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  22. ^ Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 1. March 12, 2013. Game Show Network.
  23. ^ a b c Berman, Marc (March 13, 2013). "Decent Start for Family Trade on GSN". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  24. ^ Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 2. March 12, 2013. Game Show Network.
  25. ^ Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 3. March 19, 2013. Game Show Network.
  26. ^ a b "Tuesday's Cable Ratings: Tosh.0 Leads Demos, Pretty Little Liars Tops Viewers". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. March 20, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  27. ^ Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 4. March 19, 2013. Game Show Network.
  28. ^ Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 5. March 26, 2013. Game Show Network.
  29. ^ "Tuesday's Cable Ratings: Tosh.0 Leads Demos, Hardcore Pawn Tops Viewers". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. March 27, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  30. ^ Family Trade. Season 1. Episode 6. April 2, 2013. Game Show Network.
  31. ^ "Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Hardcore Pawn" Tops Viewers, "Tosh.0" Leads Demos". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. April 3, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  32. ^ "Tuesday's Cable Ratings: Women's Basketball Championship Tops Viewers, Tosh.0 Leads Demos". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. April 10, 2013. Archived from the original on December 21, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  33. ^ "Tuesday's Cable Ratings: "Deadliest Catch," "Storage Wars" Returns Top Charts". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. April 17, 2013. Archived from the original on December 21, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  34. ^ Braxton, Greg (March 12, 2013). "Family Trade a game-changer for GSN, former Game Show Network". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  35. ^ Tyminski, Michael (March 13, 2013). "Family Trade is a Bad Bargain". Manhattan Digest. Archived from the original on May 28, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  36. ^ Justin, Neal (March 11, 2013). "TV picks for March 12: 19 Kids, Family Trade, In Play With Jimmy Roberts". Star Tribune. Glen Taylor. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  37. ^ "Q1 in Review: How 280 Original Primetime Cable Series Fared in the Ratings". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. April 2, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  38. ^ "Q2 in Review: How 436 Original Primetime Cable Series Fared in the Ratings". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. July 8, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2014.

External links

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