One of the stars of “Down East Dickering,” master junk buyer Tony Bennett of Bethel, has a theory on why the History cable channel canceled the Maine-centric reality show after 16 episodes.

“On our show there was no hate, no sex, no violence, no discontent, just people buying and selling stuff,” said Bennett, 49. “I guess it was too clean. It was one of the few shows everybody in the family could watch together.”

Whatever “Down East Dickering,” had, people want it back. Since new episodes stopped airing in January, Mainers have started a “Bring Back Down East Dickering” campaign that includes a Facebook page with more than 6,600 “likes,” as well as public events designed to bring attention the show.

The next public event is a “meet and greet” with some 15 cast members of the reality show. It’s scheduled for May 17 at America’s Mattress in Windham, from 1 to 3 p.m.

“After I saw the show got canceled, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. So my wife and I started a Facebook page and it got 3,500 ‘likes’ in 24 hours,” said Jason Perkins, 43, a restaurant cook from Pittsfield. “We’re hoping if we get some public attention, it might get back on.”

The show was conceived by the Augusta-based publication “Uncle Henry’s Swap or Sell It Guide,” and followed the exploits of real Mainers as they bought and sold anything they could find in order to make a living. It ran on History from April 2014 to January.


Kevin Webb, general manager of “Uncle Henry’s,” said he was given no formal explanation of why the show won’t continue. He said he had been told the show had between 1.5 million and 2.5 million viewers each episode. His take on why the show was dropped is that History wants to refocus its programming more directly on history, after years of “getting flak” for shows that have little to do with history.

Webb had shopped the concept of the show to other companies and networks before History agreed to air it, and he is shopping it around again now. Webb said “Uncle Henry’s” has the rights to do a version of the show, but it’s not clear if it could be exactly the same or have the same name.

Publicists from History did not reply to requests for comment.

The show was cast with people from Maine, and other parts of New England, who answered an ad in “Uncle Henry’s.” They were picked for their ability to buy and sell anything from manure to manhole covers. Webb is hopeful that the show will live on, and feels that what Perkins and other supporters of the show are doing could help. The show’s supporters have held one other “Bring Back Down East Dickering” event, in Bangor in March.

“I feel a lot of people could relate to the guys on the show. I found myself really liking those guys,” said Perkins. “There are very few shows I have to watch. This was one.”

For more information, go to Facebook: Bring Back Down Dickering.

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