Film and TV

Antiques Roadshow takes viewers behind the scenes

This past March, Antiques Roadshow aired three episodes taped in Denver in July, 2009 -- and those episodes were the most-watched of the Antiques Roadshow season. Way to go, Denver couch potatoes! But the experience isn't over yet: Tonight at 8 p.m., Rocky Mountain PBS will air Antiques Roadshow: Behind the Scenes Denver.

The show will cover how the crew moves the roadshow from one city to the next, how the featured items are chosen, some candid reactions from people who have just learned their "priceless" family heirloom isn't worth the attic space it's taking up -- and much more in the thirty-minute special, narrated by Keith Riker from Studio Bear Creek in Evergreen.

Antiques Roadshow executive producer Martha Bemko explained some of the process to us: "Because America's such a big country, we will see Hawaiian objects in Boston and Boston objects in Hawaii, and in every show, we see things that come from all over the world. That being said, you will see more Hawaiian objects in Hawaii,and items that were made in Colorado, we'll see more of in Colorado. But that's the kind of stuff where, regionally, you will expect to see more. For instance, a lot of people retire to Florida, and what we see a lot in the Florida area is jewelry, because people take their portable wealth with them, wealth that's small. They sell their house full of things but keep their jewelry. So, you see, objects congregate, but everywhere we go is a surprise, and it's unpredictable."

Unpredictable, indeed: One of the highlights of the Denver episodes did involve jewelry, a moment with appraiser Kevin Zavian. "Kevin Zavian does a collection of watches. A guest comes in and she had inherited these watches. She really wasn't interested in anything but having these watches appraised; they were made by a man named Paul Flato. And Kevin Zavian really likes the watches and he tells her about them, and she has some good value there in the watches, $10,000, and then he asks her what she has on her finger, which she had no intention of getting appraised. And she said the same person who had given her the watches had given her the ring, it had been appraised in the mid-' 70s for $35,000. So she walks out of there, her auction estimates between $215,000 to $270,000. That was our biggest find."

It's doubtful that woman was one of those complaining about the amount of her appraisal -- so see what the disappointments of the day looked like tonight at 8 p.m. on your Rocky Mountain PBS channel; the episode will also be available tomorrow at

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen