Back in May of this year, NPT held our first Antiques Appraisal Day at the Factory in Franklin. It was a great event, and wildly successful, with almost 1,000 people showing up to have their paintings, pottery, guns, memorabilia and more appraised. We had never done anything like that before, and while there were certainly a kink or two in planning, it all went quite smoothly. While the event had nothing to do with the popular PBS show Antiques Roadshow, which airs on NPT on Monday nights at 7:00 p.m., we benefited from having several appraisers at our event who are frequent appraisers on the show. They offered helpful tips on how to make our event successful for the station, the attendees and the appraisers and how to best utilize the space at The Factory. We also learned some interesting bits about the show, like the fact that appraisers don’t get paid, and have to jockey a little for TV time.Tidbits like this and more make me wish that back in May we had The Collectors Weekly‘s wonderfully exhaustive look at Antiques Roadshow. While our event had nothing to do with Antiques Roadshow, and we weren’t filming it for television, we certainly could have benefited from getting an inside look at how it’s done. Professional envy aside, reading the day-by-day, hour-by-hour account by The Collectors Weekly staff reads like a reality show about the making of a reality show. It’s one thing to be told that appraisers have to make their case for face time, it’s another to watch the jockeying unfold before you in vivid detail.
Especially fascinating is the thought that goes into an appraiser pitching a producer an item to be considered for the camera. In one instance, jewelry appraiser Barry Weber talks to a colleague about a guest’s item.
“The conversation is mostly about what the guest may already know about the item, and whether they should pitch it to go on camera.
“As (executive producer Marsha) Bemko told us the day before, the show’s dual goals include informing a guest about his or her item, as well as documenting the guest during what she called a “vulnerable” moment. If the guest knows too much, it doesn’t make for great TV. Weber knows this, and they want to be sure not to waste anyone’s time with a pitch that might get shot down.”
Hence, those wonderful “Roadshow” moments when a jaw drops or a heart is broken. Besides, how much fun would someone saying, “yeah, I knew that,” or “yeah, I figured as much,” be?
If you’re a fan of Antiques Roadshow (and our ratings indicate that many in Nashville are), you’ll love “An Inside Look at Antiques Roadshow: A Collectors Weekly Special Report.”