Monday, May 9, 2011

More television shows....

Apparently, when tv production companies are developing new ideas, they spend much of their time Googling. We've had several folks call us about in-production antiques-related shows after they've found our blog. At first, we were flattered. We even submitted a video to the casting director. But several calls later, we're just getting annoyed.

Back in January, a guy calls looking for someone to act as a buyer in a new show that he was casting for. The premise? They find someone who has "valuable antiques" to sell, get in them in line to send their items to auction, and then bring in "collectors" to see if they could make them an offer they can't refuse. Basically, take the cash now or see what happens at the auction. When he referred to the sellers as "contestants" is when I stopped listening. I pointed out to this gentleman that as an auctioneer, I believe in the auction process and really don't want to be involved in poaching auction consignments.

Then last week, someone else calls, different company and different show. This time, the premise is to identify younger collectors who may be willing to part with some of their "valuable antiques" if the price was right. This guy wanted leads. Seriously, this guy wanted me to hand over names of folks who have stuff to sell. If I had such leads, I explained, I'd be calling them myself.

Dont' get me wrong, and as we've stated in our column before, we readily acknowledge that these programs are putting antiques in front of mainstream America. And we are grateful for that. We just wish they all weren't all gameshows. True, the get-rich-quick model is more likely to elicit better ratings, but isn't there any production company out there with a little more creativity who can come up with an antiques-related program that doesn't focus on the dollars and cents?


Vintages said...

I, too, have grown tired of the reality shows ... not just the antiques ones, but the foodie ones as well, although I am a Roadshow fan. Several years ago there was a classy show (Collectible Treasures with Sharon Anderson). Well done, not hyped, yes it had some prices, but was a learning experience as well. Too bad no one has picked up the format. Bob

Cassandra said...

Great blog, first of all. My husband and I are young collectors as well. I was raised in the business and I'm still in it! I run a website for antique dealers and collectors to sell online. It's called Collectivator (

Anyway, because I'm also online I've been contacted by the exact same people! I had the same reaction as you. At first I was flattered, but pretty soon I became frustrated. It was the "see if someone will sell their collection" idea. They told me they were looking for an expert on all collections (from Hot Wheels to insects). The expert would have some time to research but basically they had to know everything about everything. Oh, and they had to be young, and "cool looking", and (at the end anyway) a guy. So after a few discussions I told them I wasn't interested in helping them find this mythical, motorcycle riding hipster dude who happens to know a lot about Wade tea figurines. I certainly didn't fit the bill :)

I'm glad I'm not getting contacted by them anymore. I would be interested to see if the show ever makes it to air. I agree that it's nice to at least see some antiques shows on TV. Do you get the BBC show "Cracking Antiques" in America? It's the best one I've seen so far that aims to introduce young people to collecting. Check it out if you get the chance.