Is the tv show "Moonshiners" real or staged?
Although Discovery Channel's Moonshiners is hyped, and shot to look like a reality show, it is purely a dramatization; it is staged.
Tim Smith really is a Fire Chief in Virginia, but as you might imagine, if they were actually broadcasting footage of an illegal activity, they would have been arrested in a very short time. Spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Kathleen Shaw assured The Associated Press that "the show is a dramatization, and no illegal liquor is actually being produced."
Smith himself said that "the show is made up of real people and maybe some added drama," but nowhere did he claim that the "real people" were making real liquor.
That hasn't stopped the show from being a huge hit for Discovery, their season finale broke their previous viewership record, drawing in some 3,650,000 fans, making it the #1 show for the night.