Rogersville’s “World Famous Swap Shop” radio program on WRGS will be even more World Famous beginning Nov. 9 when Netflix premiers a reality TV show about the show’s treasure hunter listeners.
“The World Famous Swap Shop” is a buy, sale, trade radio show that has been on the air in Rogersville since 1954. It’s also a WRGS owned trademark, and the program airs 9:35-11 a.m. Monday through Saturday at 1370 AM and 94.5 FM.
Folks call in with something to sell, describe what they’ve got, how much they want for it, and how to get in touch with them.
The new Netflix show follows nine couples who monitor the show religiously, waiting for the next great deal they can snag on the cheap and flip for a big profit.
It’s been exactly three years since WRGS owner Debbie Beal received an email from Hit + Run Productions about starting a TV show.
“They said they’d had a producer up in our area, and he was driving through and he heard our Swap Shop program, and they’d been recording it and they wanted to talk to me about it,” Beal told the Review last week. “They said they were interested in doing a reality show. They had a lot of ideas, and wanted to know if we wanted to be a part of it. At first I was skeptical because ‘I don’t want you making fun of all my people’. But, they assured me that would not be the case. I think it’s going to be a cute show.”
The producers asked Beal to run an ad asking for people who buy and sell on Swap Shop to contact the production company.
They got some names for the ad, and through word of mouth other people started calling. Eventually the show picked nine couples.
There are some local people involved in the show including local historian and antique collector Rodney Ferrell, Surgoinsville antique dealer Mike Ringley, and Jennifer Seals, who currently lives in Tazewell, but previously operated an antique shop on Church Street where Bull Babies is now located.
“We don’t know what made the episodes and what ended up on the cutting room floor, but they (Ringley and Ferrell) were sellers,” Beal said. “In the trailer you see a lot of old creepy dolls. I think Rodney has a lot of old vintage dolls and puppets that might have been up for sale. (Mike) had dealt in antiques for a long time, and he was the first person I thought of.”
Beal added, “They didn’t come to our station until August of last year. And apparently they had already filmed in some other places. They selected people from Knoxville to Tazewell, to Johnson City to Newport. And then they found things to sell all in that area, so they’re filming all over East Tennessee.”
The first day they filmed at WRGS former Swap Shop host Steve Waller was there, along with current hosts Tom Davis and Monica Cisbani, and station news/sports director Jay Phillips.
“They sat and told Swap Shop stories for about two hours, and we had them on the floor rolling in laughter,” Beal said.
They were notified on Oct. 12 that Netflix had released the trailer for the show. That trailer can be seen in the online version of this article at www.therogersvillereview.com
Beal added, “This has been a real experience for us at WRGS watching the whole process with the film crew and the magic of television. We haven’t seen the episodes, so we don’t know what made it into the show and what ended up on the cutting room floor. But you might find you know some of the cast, and it is a family friendly, funny show.”
The first season of six episodes will air on Netflix on Nov. 9, and the second season will air sometime after January of next year.