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FOX TV Jumps into the Antiques & Collectibles TV Fray with ‘Buried Treasure’

by Gregory Watkins (08/26/11).

Identical twin brothers Leigh and Leslie Keno of “Antiques Roadshow” fame are the hosts of Fox TV’s “Buried Treasure,” which has them traveling across the country trying to help ordinary people discover the unknown treasures in their homes.

Following on the heels of NBC’s antiques and collectibles game show, “It’s Worth What?,” Fox TV is going to try it’s luck with “Buried Treasure,” which premiered earlier this week. Based on the talent, “Buried Treasure” may stand a chance to survive, but based in the number of people who watched the first episode, the show may simply be buried.

“Buried Treasure” combines two popular reality televisions genres—antiques and collectibles shows and programs about people who hoard things—and two popular antiques and collectibles experts, identical twin brothers Leigh and Leslie Keno of “Antiques Roadshow” fame. “Buried Treasure” has the Kenos traveling across the country trying to help ordinary people discover the unknown treasures in their homes, employing both high-tech and low-tech in their endeavors. When they have their “eureka moment”—when the dig up something that has value—the owner then has to decide whether to sell the piece to help them out of some terrible financial circumstance.

Ah, but these people are hoarders, remember, and getting someone like this to part with anything—from hundreds of those little plastic devices that keep pizzas from being crushed in the delivery boxes, let alone a doohickey that could net them $500,000—is nigh-on impossible.

According to media releases, some people with have actual treasures, such as a rare, 300-year-old violin, while others times the brothers’ treasure hunting will simply turn up trash.

You can watch the trailer here.

When it debuted on Tuesday evening (Aug. 24), “Buried Treasure” drew 3.65 million viewers, which sounds like a lot, but in television ratings speak, it scored only 1.0 for adults in the 18-49 demographic. If it doesn’t draw better in coming weeks, “Buried Treasure” will simply be buried.

‘It’s Worth What?’ Painful to Watch

I watched the first couple episodes of NBC’s antiques and collectibles game show “It’s Worth What?” and realized why something like “Storage Wars” or the venerable “Antiques Roadshow” works and network attempts fail.

“It’s Worth What?” has all the production value and glitz anyone could want in a show like this. Unfortunately, for those of us starved for the stories behind the antiques and collectible, this show is nothing but empty calories. Throw in some truly obnoxious and annoying contestants, and it’s unwatchable.

Cedric the Entertainer, the show’s emcee, was bearable as a Budweiser pitchman, but on “It’s Worth What?” he grates, which is an understatement. Having him yell out the show’s name before revealing the value of every single item on the show is beyond torture.

For those of you lucky enough not to have seen it, Cedric introduces a series of old and supposedly interesting items, provides no real background, and asks a two-person team of contestants to guess which is worth more: “Is this gizmo, that was once owned by so-and-so celebrity, worth more than this platinum-plated thingamajig?”

If you are like me, you watch these shows to learn a little something about the items being discussed. Imaging looking through an auction catalog that was filled with beautiful photographs, but the captions were simply labels, telling you that this gorgeous watch is a “watch.” You’d end up getting more and more frustrated the longer your flipped through the pages. Watching “It’s Worth What?” is exactly like that, only with someone dragging their fingernails down a chalkboard in the background.

Gregory Watkins is the editor of WorthPoint.

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6 Responses to “FOX TV Jumps into the Antiques & Collectibles TV Fray with ‘Buried Treasure’”

  1. I really enjoyed the first episode of “Buried Treasure.” The Keno brothers did a fine job, and not all of the owners were hoarders. There was a nice mix of items, ranging from a Minoan copper bowl to rare comic books — a little bit for everyone. I’m not sure if this show can last on a major network, but if not, I hope one of the cable networks will pick it up.

  2. mollie mccloud says:

    I enjoyed the episode I saw, but came upon it by accident. It wasn’t publicized much around Indpls IN. I believe it would have been better watched if more knew about it.

  3. Suzanne says:

    I have a whole house full of stuff large and small. Now what?

  4. Marilyn says:

    I watched the first episode, by accident. I’ll watch the show again, found it interesting. It wasn’t advertised in Michigan that I know of. I’m a fan of Antiques Roadshow also. I too have many items that I would like to research and sell, things like 200 year old chairs with 5 kinds of wood in them, how do you research something like that?

    • Gregory Watkins Gregory Watkins says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      If you can take some digital photographs of the chairs, along with a list of all the facts you know about them (Auntie Kate bought them in 1930 from a guy in North Carolina who said they once belonged to so-and-so, etc) and submit them to our Ask A Worthologist service (https://www.worthpoint.com/askWorthologist/index), we can help solve the mystery for you.

  5. Lisa Mull says:

    Well, phooey! I remember seeing the title of this show as my husband scrolled past it at the speed of light, but that was the first I’d seen it. Until I read this article, I didn’t know what it was! Where was Fox’s advertising? A show can’t garner viewers, much less succeed, if no one knows about it. The Kenos deserve better than this; I will certainly be one of the viewers come tomorrow. Thanks for the info!

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