So many reality TV formats have started with regular contestants and then turn to celebrity cast members, from The Mole to Marriage Boot Camp, Big Brother to Worst Cooks in America.
Now a beloved PBS reality series is doing the same thing.
PBS’s popular and long-running Antiques Roadshow, which is currently airing its 25th season, will air three special Antiques Roadshow: Celebrity Edition episodes late this spring.
Those will premiere May 3, airing Mondays at 8.
PBS and GBH, which produces the show, announced that at the Television Critics Association winter press tour today, and said that the episodes “were filmed using small production teams” and followed safety measures.
The celebrity version was filmed “during the second half of 2020 and early 2021,” and at the celebrities’ homes, meaning that only the appraiser and celebrity are on camera, versus Antiques Roadshow’s traditional large-scale gatherings of people who line up to have their items appraised.
During a virtual press conference, producer Marsha Bemko told critics she thinks the show could continue another 25 years.
“We are, I think, one of America’s first reality television shows, but we are a smart reality television show,” she said. “You cannot watch a season of Roadshow without learning something. And the people on it aren’t actors. They are everyday people, you and me, who are coming to learn more, and we like learning vicariously with them.”
“Good things are rare, and you learn about them one at a time,” she added. “So, we have another 25 years of touring and searching the basements and attics of our country alone, never mind the world, because the really good and rare stuff is hidden away, still.”
The 17 celebrities of Antiques Roadshow: Celebrity Edition
Executive producer Marsha Bemko said that Antiques Roadshow: Celebrity Edition will be different because, “when we are on tour, we keep our owners’ identities confidential so no one can find them and their treasure. With our Celebrity Edition shows, we wanted to make sure you know who our owners are—and, if you’re like me, in addition to being curious about what they consider treasures, hearing them tell us why.
“I like to think of these shows as Antiques Roadshow amplified,” she said. “We get to ask our nosy, tacky questions, such as, What did you pay for that? and not appear impolite, with the added layer of seeing and discussing objects that would never come to us on tour.”
Here are the 17 celebrities who will share their possessions across three episodes:
- Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe
- Musicians Ruben Blades and Luba Mason
- Author Marc Brown
- Actor Ronny Chieng
- Musicians Paquito D’Rivera and Brenda Feliciano
- Chef Carla Hall
- Humorist John Hodgman
- Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan
- TV personality Carson Kressley
- Comedian Jay Leno
- Actress S. Epatha Merkerson
- Broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien
- Pro golfer Dottie Pepper
- Humorist Mo Rocca
- Author Jason Reynolds
- Fashion designer Christian Siriano
- Author Mo Willems
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