`Antiques Roadshow' rolling into town

Television: On the popular PBS series, appraisers examine items from the attics of real people. They'll be here Saturday

Radio and Television

June 16, 1999|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Chris Jussel isn't really surprised by the success of "Chubb's Antiques Roadshow." But he does admit to being a little taken aback by the depth of some people's devotion to him and his roving band of antiques appraisers.

"The intensity of people's commitment to it, the people that we have attracted, the people who go from city to city to participate, that has surprised us," says Jussel, who was a recently retired antiques seller before being tapped as host of what has become one of PBS' highest-rated programs. "We get so many people we see over and over again. I talked to a couple this past weekend in Birmingham, and they were saying, `Oh, we saw you last week in Tampa. Where are you going next?' I told them Baltimore, and they said: `Oh, that's too far. But we do hope to see you again soon.' "

Saturday, Jussel and the gang will be at the Baltimore Convention center beginning at 8 a.m., offering free appraisals of all manner of stuff, from centuries-old family relics to Viewmaster reels from the 1960s and everything in between. Some will be happy just to find out more about these objects that have been gathering dust in their attics. Others will be astonished to find that sword they've had hanging over the mantle since forever is worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And some will be crushed to learn the Tiffany lamp they were so happy to buy for only $100 is a forgery worth only half that.

Therein, Jussel believes, lies the show's appeal.

"These are the faces of America telling America's stories about their possessions," Jussel says. And with neither the owner nor the home viewer knowing what's coming next -- the appraisers don't reveal their conclusions about an object until the cameras are rolling, so those looks of surprise and disappointment are genuine -- there's enough suspense for everyone to latch onto.

"It captivates you. It captures you. It's fun," Jussel says. "This is real life."

What's Jussel's favorite story from all the hundreds of appraisals that have aired over the show's three seasons? That's too broad a range, he complains, but he will talk about his favorite story so far from the current taping schedule.

"Two weeks ago in Tampa," he says, "this young woman came in with a lamp. Her mom didn't want to go on TV. They had absolutely no idea what the lamp was or what it was worth. When the appraiser said it was worth between $80,000 and $120,000, they burst into tears. They were just totally overwhelmed. Mom had bought it in 1970 for $125, which was a lot of money back then."

While they're in Baltimore, Jussel says, the "Antiques Roadshow" crew will also be visiting such Charm City landmarks as Oriole Park, the B&O Railroad Museum, Fort McHenry, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the American Visionary Arts Museum. Segments from some of those locations may work themselves into the shows from Baltimore, which should air early next year.

Baltimore is the show's third stop of eight this summer. From here, the crew will be heading to Salt Lake City, Des Moines, Toronto, Columbus (Ohio) and Providence, R.I. "Chubb's Antiques Roadshow" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on MPT, Channels 22 and 67.

WBFF on top in Emmys

WBFF, Channel 45, walked away the big local winner from Saturday's local Emmy Awards ceremony.

The Fox affiliate (which shares its production facilities with WB affiliate WNUV, Channel 54, both of which are owned by Sinclair Broadcasting) ended the evening with six awards out of 16 nominations. Runner-up WMAR, Channel 2, which led all local nominees with 17 nods, was awarded five Emmys. Maryland Public Television, which also had 17 nominations, earned three Emmys, while WJZ, Channel 13 (nine nominations), earned two and WBAL, Channel 11 (five nominations), received one.

The Emmys for WBFF were for news segment (Craig Demchak and Jody Weldon), spot news cinematography/videography (separate awards for Michael S. Cox and Steve Weinstein), sports news segment (John Barr and Scott Livingston), weathercasting (Kirk Clyatt) and news writing (Craig Demchak).

WMAR received recognition for children's programs ("It's Kindertime," Pete O'Neal and John Taylor, producers); public service announcements (Stephanie Tagliaferro); host, interviewer, moderator (John "Kinderman" Taylor); entertainment programs -- specials ("2 On The Air," George A. Stover III, producer); and features series ("Hometown Portrait," Peter J. Kulsziski, producer).

MPT was cited for public affairs programs -- specials ("Maryland State of Mind: Fall '98," Kenneth R. Day, producer), entertainment programs -- specials ("Inside Maryland: A Maryland Day Special," Krisa Haggins and Steve Kremer, producers) and audio ("Clickety Clack Christmas Trains," John R. Davidson).

WJZ's Emmys were for sports specials ("Riders Up," John Buren and Mike Pupo) and sports anchor (John Buren). WBAL won its Emmy for direction -- tape/film (Don Horner).

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