If the words ‘Operation Repo’ ring any bells then one must immediately think of its quirky cast and the shenanigans they had while they would repossess the vehicles pawned as collateral.
The over-the-top reactions of car owners whenever they met the repo agents would leave one thinking, is Operation Repo real or fake?
If someone followed the show closely, they must wonder why Operation Repo was canceled. Subsequently, what happened to the cast of Operation Repo?
The show’s premise was pretty basic. A team of repo agents from a family-owned business would go on to repossess a vehicle (mostly a car) on behalf of rental car agencies, banks, and other financial institutions.
These cars were towed away from the owners if they failed to pay the loan they had taken against the car as collateral.
And the family business in focus here is named EG Auto Recovery run by Luis Pizarro (better known as Lou).
And the rest of the team included Sonia Pizarro (Lou’s sister), Froylan Tercero (Sonia’s ex-husband), and Lyndah Pizarro (Lou’s daughter) amongst others.
Originally, the show was produced in 2006 in the Spanish language. And it was aired on Telemundo, a unit of NBCUniversal. ‘Operación Repo’ catered to Latin American audiences and it quickly became the number 1 show the network had to offer.
After its meteoric success in just a year’s time, the show caught CourtTV’s attention and was about to be rebranded as truTV.
When the rebranding took place on January 1, 2008, Operación Repo became Operation Repo and it was televised for American audiences in the English language.
truTV was looking to change its identity by moving toward reality TV shows which were more action based.
And the network let go of legal or crime-themed shows. A few legal dramas & live trials were made available for a short window of 09:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m under the name ‘In Session’. The ‘In Session’ category was completely phased out by 2013.
As expected the English version of the show did wonders for truTV. This show which focused on the lives of repo agents was the first of many to come on the same as well as different TV channels.
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Is Operation Repo Real or Staged?
The show’s disclaimer reads “The stories that are portrayed in this program are based on real events. The names of the characters were changed in order to protect their identities…and some honor”
The disclaimer makes it apparent that the show’s inspiration is merely derived from real events and not a re-enactment.
It may not explicitly state that the program takes a lot of creative liberty but the actions of the team members (more like actors) make it crystal clear that they were acting.
The supposed car owners would always create a ruckus and act rowdy every single time they met with the repo guys. Not one debtor had a will to reason or act decently for once in the span of 11 seasons.
Repo agents in this show confront, threaten and assault the debtors in nearly every episode of the show.
If violence of this magnitude were to take place on a regular basis, the show makers along with the repo business owners would have been slapped with lawsuits time and again.
And the carefully staged recording devices be it cameras, boom mics, or the filmmaking crew, no one seemed to ever miss a beat. All the moments captured were picture-perfect with great lighting and perfect audio.
Any decent filmmaker or enthusiast could quickly tell that this kind of staging and placement of props and characters could only be possible through proper effort and planning.
Nonetheless, this show had a huge viewership and devoted fans but the community of real repossession agents was thoroughly disappointed with the portrayal of their profession.
All the real professionals ridiculed the reality TV drama for showing unrealistic scenarios and outlandish reactions on both sides.
Interestingly, in an online forum, a few professionals pointed out that the agents never wear uniforms in this show.
Also, the showrunners couldn’t care less as they did not even bother to arrange an actual tow truck because the one featured on the show is a Ford F-250 with a make-do towing unit.
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Is Operation Repo Still in Business?
Not only the show is staged but the company featured in the program seems to be bogus as well.
The Spanish/original version had different members and cast. And Lou Pizarro was credited as the director and executive producer of the show.
Hence, it is highly unlikely for someone to start a family business just to produce a show in a different language. If that’s not a piece of compelling evidence then check out the licenses of the star cast (click here).
No company exists under the name of EG Auto Recovery in the records of San Fernando Valley, California where the docusoap is based on. Though EGA productions, a showbiz company exists and it is owned by Lou.
However, his IMDb page (Internet Movie Database) says that before he started his career in showbiz, he was a seasoned repo agent with 13 years of experience.
His interest in filmmaking coupled with an interview on a local news channel in Los Angeles pushed him to take the plunge and create the show.
What Happened to Luis on Operation Repo?
Luis is an actor, filmmaker, and TV producer now. His career as a creative took off after the success of the show.
As part of the film fraternity, Luis has 26 credits as a producer, 8 as a writer, and 15 & 21 for direction and acting respectively.
A lesser-known fact about him is that he tried his hand at boxing in his late teens and early twenties.
He did not make a big name for himself in the adrenaline-filled sport but young Lou scored a silver medal in the Pan American Games (1979) in the featherweight category.
Lou also helmed the responsibility of representing Puerto Rico at the 1980’s Summer Olympics which took place in Moscow. Unfortunately, he could not win any medals for the country.
He directed both the projects and they are out of post-production and are scheduled to be released soon.
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What Happened to the Cast of Operation Repo?
Sonia had a stroke on May 9, 2018, and she is supported by her children. It seems they were struggling financially and that’s why they created a gofundme campaign for her medical expenses (which is not receiving funds anymore)
The last post on her Instagram account suggests that she was slowly on the road to recovery. But there aren’t any updates on the social media platform but the website deadorkicking.com claims that she is alive and healthy.
And her ex-husband Froylan Tercero a.k.a. Froy will be starring in an action drama ‘Ride or Die’ which is in the post-production stage along with Matt Burch (the Operation Repo co-star).
Lyndah Pizarro lives in Malibu, California with her son and no longer accepts acting gigs. In order to sustain herself, she designs concept shoes.
Her products are sold under the brand name ‘Pink Pizza Kicks’ along with that she’s an Uber driver on a part-time basis.
Why was Operation Repo Canceled?
Operation Repo got canceled after Chris Lynn (then president and head of programming) joined truTV.
He noticed that the cable channel was heavily reliant on overtly dramatic and conflict-driven shows and this stagnated the growth potential of the television network.
truTV and its competitors had multiple shows with derivative premises focusing on repo agents and it had become redundant at that point.
Under his leadership, truTV was rebranded as a lighthearted & comedy-oriented cable channel and they phased out the action-themed, violent shows eventually.
This led to the launch of hit shows like ‘Impractical Jokers’ which still enjoys great success after 11 years of its launch.
Is Operation Repo Coming Back?
Operation Repo is unlikely to come back as the show gave its viewers a proper ending and closure.
Moreover, the theme of the show does not fit well with the current line-up of truTV’s shows which includes sketch comedy, improv, semi-scripted series, and reality competitions.