Some things age, but never get old enough, at least for “Antiques Roadshow.” Last summer at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, a production crew from the PBS series welcomed crowds for appraisals of 10,000 wares.
The consultations, revelations and stories behind 60 to 70 of those items caught on camera will air for three episodes beginning at 8 p.m. Monday on both Carolinas PBS affiliates: ETV in South Carolina and UNC-TV in North Carolina. ETV will carry the second and third hours on Feb. 25 and March 25, respectively; check local listings for UNC-TV.
ETV – carried locally on WHMC-TV 23 of Conway and WITV-TV 7 of Charleston – also will broadcast “Antiques Roadshow Myrtle Beach: Myrtle Beach Behind The Scenes” at 9 p.m. Monday.
The show host, Florence native Mark L. Walberg, treated the tour stop last year as a homecoming, which included the married father of two visiting Brookgreen Gardens and Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown County for footage incorporated into the three hours of “Roadshow” to air nationwide.
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The series, in its 17th season, and Walberg’s ninth as host, also has shared the spotlight on the landmark NBC sitcom “Frasier,” on an episode from 1999 called “A Tsar Is Born.”
Question | Including the filming last summer in Myrtle Beach, what realities come to play in making so grand a production into a TV show spread over three episodes?
Answer | Organized chaos is the best way to say it. ... In any given city, we get 5,000-6,000 people to show up, and each person brings two items. Of these items that get an appraisal, we pick only 1,000 of them on site to be taped for a later segment. Then from about 1,000 of them, we narrow it to 100 to 120. So already at the beginning, we whittle it down to a small percentage, then with these episodes, we whittle it down some more. By the time it’s all set, some things don’t make the cut.
Q. | With older audiences more into antiquing, how is the business attracting younger patrons these days? How is this pastime exposed to new generations, so they don’t wait so long to enjoy this hobby?
A. | I think people are surprised when they look at our demographics. We do have a really older audience, and for them, most of the things are of value. But in every city we go to, we see several 10- to 12-year-old kids. You’d be surprised how many kids are collectors.
Kids’ collectible stuff starts with marbles, and Matchbox cars. That’s a kids’ thing ... then people grow up and have careers and families, but later, they get interested in antiques and collectibles, and our show sort of transcends that.
What you’re getting here is ... a little history lesson that connects to a person or something related to the person, and that becomes fun for all ages.
Q. | Does the History Channel show “Pawn Stars” and other such programs provide an avenue to catch younger people in history and antiques?
A. | I think there are several shows now ... with picking and collecting and hunting the genres. ... I think it’s awesome that with these shows, flattery has emulated what we’ve done. Often these shows show the voracious appetites of people in America for finding a good deal. ... Also, it’s not just Americans, but worldwide, with the feeling of nostalgia and emotion about these items. ... When you see something you like, it’s about how you feel about it ... the rarity of the item, and if you want to purchase the item to have this.
Q. | How is the business trending, and what might be the next hot thing? Glassware? Furniture?
A. | I couldn’t tell you. That’s one of the things I’ve learned – how much I don’t know. Value is a subjective thing. While there are certain things that hold their value year after year after year ... some things go in and out of value. ... Styles and people’s interests change.
Q. | What guideline means the most when considering an item for purchase?
A. | Buy something you love because it’ll have value to you. ... And for an amateur, novice everyday collector, don’t spend more than you have, but buy things that you love.
Q. | Where will “Antiques Roadshow” film this year?
A. | We’ve added two cities. We’ll do eight cities this summer, instead of six: Detroit, Jacksonville, Anaheim, Boise, Knoxville, Baton Rouge, Kansas City and Richmond. ... Normally we do two a month, but we’re adding two more, just in June. ... It’s summer camp; we do it only in summer.
Q. | How valuable a role do crews and appraisers in each town play to make the whole experience complete?
A. | It speaks to why this show is successful; you need to realize what all the appraisers do. ... They come on their own dime. ... They fly themselves there; they pay for all their own hotels, and they volunteer their services. We also pick up 100 volunteers in each city. ... Then you have your staff year-round. .... The reason the show is successful is that everybody is there for beyond just the short-term gain. Everybody does their job. ... It’s that inherited family feeling.
Q. | How often do you have time to return to the Palmetto State?
A. | Every year or so, maybe once or twice, if I’m lucky.
Q. | Did you have time to vacation even while on a business trip to Myrtle Beach?
A. | I’m a Florence boy, and I remember spending family time ... driving into Myrtle Beach and hanging out there. Last year, I brought my whole family ... and my mother was there.