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Sell Your Hoard: The Canny Cocktail Of Fox’s ‘Buried Treasure’

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
August 24, 2011

There are two kinds of household-junk reality shows at the moment.

One is valuable-stuff shows, where people’s stuff turns out to be worth a lot of money. Whether it’s Pawn Stars or the more upscale Antiques Roadshow, the hook is the promise that whatever is lying around the house might be secretly valuable.

The other is too-much-stuff shows, like Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive. (Also Animal Planet’s Confessions: Animal Hoarding, though that’s quite different.)

Now, Fox has brought them together with Buried Treasure, in which identical twin appraisers Leigh and Leslie Keno, who were regulars on Antiques Roadshow itself, travel around to figure out whether what people are hoarding their homes is valuable. They’ll tell the people what their stuff is worth, and then find out whether they’re “ready to sell.” As revealed in this “supertease,” which is all Fox has released of the show (at least to me), some of the drama is in copper bowls that are secretly valuable, but some is in the packed-full houses and depressing piles of junk that fuels hoarding shows. It’s partly about whether people’s stuff is valuable, and partly about whether they can let it go.

(I have to say, as someone who has sometimes watched Hoarders, I do find it tempting to learn whether people with giant hoards who insist that they’re keeping it because it’s all so valuable will turn out to own anything of value at all.)

There are currently only four episodes of Buried Treasure on the schedule, and Fox has buried it in this kind of not-quite-fall period that we’re in right now, where there’s a lot of disposable reality premiering and not much else. But they’ve found a genre here in which mainstream hits have been elusive for the big networks (basic cable still owns this stripe of show), so who knows? Maybe they’ll be as surprised as the collectible-egg-cup collector on whose idle fantasies they are preying when they discover that they’ve found the perfect junk formula. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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