PBS on Wednesday officially announced its upcoming 20-episode Market Wars, at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. In it, four antiques experts search cross-country for unique items to take to auction. Whoever makes the highest total profit at auction in each episode is named the winner. “With affectionate humor, Market Wars follows the combatants, gleaning the best tactics from the battlefield and arming viewers to pursue their own successful treasure hunts,” PBS said. Executive producer is Antiques Roadshow’s Marsha Bemko. Pubcasters first heard details of the show at the NETA convention in Kansas City, Mo., last October (Current, Nov. 7, 2011).
“I think it’s clear,” Kerger assured reporters at the press tour, “that reality shows have not taken over public television, but we think that there’s a place for smart reality programming.”
“Antiques Roadshow continues to be such an important destination for so many of our viewers that we thought to expand upon that work a little bit on Monday nights and to give another opportunity for people to look a little behind the scenes at the antiques business — and to really learn from people that are doing great work around the country would be an extension of that,” Kerger said.
Noted the Washington Post’s TV columnist Lisa de Moraes: “If you take that sentence and replace Antiques Roadshow with Pawn Stars, you’ve got History Channel’s announcement of its Cajun Pawn Stars spinoff, debuting Sunday. And replace Antiques Roadshow with American Pickers and you’ve virtually reenacted History’s announcement of its plans for an American Pickers spinoff.”
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