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'Lost Treasures' explores American history with stories, artifacts

By Landon Walters

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, July 3 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

Curt Doussett, right, searches for treasures on National Geographic Channel's "America's Lost Treasures." He is also the host of BYUtv’s “Legends.”

National Geographic Channel

National Geographic Channel is adding a new show to its summer lineup with the brand new “America’s Lost Treasures” series. The concept behind the show is to find pieces of history that are a “celebration of America and the people who have been their secret curators.”

Created by Thom Beers, who has produced a number of shows over the past 20 years — notably "Deadliest Catch" on Discovery Channel and "Ice Road Truckers" on History Channel — the show travelled to 10 cities across America to find these lost treasures as their owners brought personal items and stories to be further explored and explained.

“America’s Lost Treasures” has two hosts who compete against each other to find the items that most represent America and its history. The first host is Kinga Philips. An actress and TV host, Philips was most recently a part of the Syfy network show “Legend Quest.”

The second host is probably familiar to many Utahns. Curt Doussett is also an actor that has appeared in films such as “Churchball” and “The R.M.” and is also the host of “Legends” on BYUtv.

As the two hosts travel across the country, they meet people with some extremely rare items from our country’s history. Their purpose is to find the items that most represent America and place those items in a special exhibit at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. Along with the benefit of finding out more information about their items, including value, the owners will receive a check for $10,000 if selected for the exhibit.

Items from major events and people in Texas history are included in the first episode, which was filmed in Austin, Texas. Those ranging from old guns to a signature of Sam Houston, who was the first president of the independent Republic of Texas. There is no doubt that the other episodes will have items with the same amount of history.

The National Geographic Society’s mission statement, according to its website, says the institution strives “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical and natural resources,” and the series will help to accomplish that mission by providing as much information about these historical items as possible.

The show is extremely well put together and the hosts are definitely likeable, including some funny stretches that seem to be genuine, even if they were scripted. Although the series will have a somewhat similar premise to the PBS show “Antiques Roadshow,” National Geographic Channel’s “America’s Lost Treasures” is different enough to have a faithful audience following. The episodes will be extremely interesting to casual observers of history and history buffs alike.

“America’s Lost Treasures” is set to premiere on Wednesday, July 4, at 7 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel (Comcast channel 109, HD 210, or DirectTV channel 276).

Landon Walters is a history and political science major at Salt Lake Community College. He is an avid sports fan and loves writing. Email: mavericksoccer_22@hotmail.com

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