The Austin Chronicle

Found in Austin: 'America's Lost Treasures'

By Kimberley Jones, July 3, 2012, 2:51pm, Picture in Picture

Mashing Antiques Roadshow, U.S. history, and the reality competition genre, new series America's Lost Treasures debuts on the Fourth of July with an episode set at Austin's Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Airing on National Geographic Channel and produced by TV docu-reality king Thom Beers' Original Productions (Deadliest Catch, Whisker Wars), America's Lost Treasures touches down in ten cities over the course of ten shows. The premise rings a lot like PBS' Antiques Roadshow – that moth-eaten Navajo blanket you found in your great-grandfather's attic just may be a national treasure! – but then spins the idea out into a contest in which cohosts Kinga Philipps and Curt Doussett (weirdly bickering) each pluck three potential treasures and investigate them further, with historians, authenticity experts, and, in one instance, a Texas Revolution reenactor. At the end of the episode, a National Geographic rep chooses a victor to receive a $10,000 check, while the treasure in question will be displayed at the National Geographic Museum in D.C.

The show's hydra-headed format is a bit ungainly, but if you're going to clog the airwaves with yet anohter competition show, better it be about state lore and not live bug-eating, right? Lost treasures found in the pilot episode include a famous Texas Ranger's Colt Single Action Revolver, the Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata's framed single hair from Willie Nelson, and Santa Anna's personal map from the Battle of Zacatecas (the latter features in the clip below).

America's Lost Treasures, featuring the Bob Bullock and other local landmarks, premieres Wednesday, July 4, 8pm on the National Geographic Channel. Future episodes include searches in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Savannah.

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