Mark l. Walberg to Host PBS’s Antiques Roadshow - Veteran TV Host and Producer Joins Hit Series for Tenth Anniversary Season

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Mark L. Walberg will make his PBS debut when he becomes host of public broadcastingÂ?s top-rated series this summer. Walberg is well known to audiences for his roles as host and talent on some of AmericaÂ?s most talked about game and reality shows. He replaces current Roadshow host Lara Spencer.

I Want to Marry Ryan Banks.

Antiques Roadshow producer WGBH Boston announced today that Mark L. Walberg will make his PBS debut when he becomes host of public broadcasting’s top-rated series this summer. Walberg is well known to audiences for his roles as host and talent on some of America’s most talked about game and reality shows. He replaces current Roadshow host Lara Spencer when the series begins production of its tenth anniversary season with an appraisal event June 18 in Providence, Rhode Island. Episodes featuring Walberg will be broadcast on PBS beginning January 2006. Visit Antiques Roadshow online at http://www.pbs.org/roadshow.

Antiques Roadshow and Antiques Roadshow FYI host Lara Spencer will continue to appear on episodes broadcast in 2005. Spencer is stepping down as host of both series, citing the increased demands of her responsibilities on Paramount's "The Insider."

“We’re very fortunate to be able to pass the torch to someone as experienced and capable as Mark,” said Antiques Roadshow executive producer Marsha Bemko. “We’re sad to say goodbye to Lara, but grateful she was able to contribute her enormous talents to Roadshow and to the successful launch of our spin-off, Antiques Roadshow FYI.

Walberg started his television career as an assistant at Dick Clark Productions and quickly moved on to host a sports magazine show on ESPN. It was there that the late Brandon Tartikoff noticed his work, and that association produced the nationally syndicated "The Mark Walberg Show." Since then, Walberg has hosted and been featured in an array of popular talk, reality competition, and game shows, including home improvement competitions "The Mansion" and "House Rules" and knowledge quiz shows "Test the Nation" and "Russian Roulette"—and as a contestant playing for charity—won "The Weakest Link." He also hosted the relationship challenge "Temptation Island." He recently appeared in the ABC Family Movie of the Week "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks." Realizing a long-held ambition to produce, Walberg created and produced "Sunday Dinner," the first original series for the Odyssey Network, with long-time friend and television personality Mark DeCarlo ("Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Jimmy Neutron").

Walberg admits to being a long-time Antiques Roadshow fan who watches with his family. “With my twenty-year career in game and quiz shows,” he said, “I know Antiques Roadshow has a winning formula—the excitement and challenge of finding out how much something is worth gets viewers to tune in, and along the way they get hooked by all the incredibly interesting history.”

In addition to his successful television career, Walberg believes strongly in devoting time to create opportunities for young people. Currently he is on the Board of Directors of Goodwill of Southern California and the Board of Managers of the Hollywood/Wilshire YMCA. Both organizations are instrumental in providing hope and new futures for people who need help. He also is very involved with The Young Americans, a musical performance youth group that tours the world offering music workshops in underserved schools. Says Walberg, “the personal transformation that happens to people when they are given the ability to express themselves through the arts—specifically music and dance—is inspiring.”

Walberg and actress-wife Robbi Morgan Walberg make their home in Los Angeles, where Walberg coaches their two children’s various little league sports teams.

Antiques Roadshow's Summer 2005 Tour destinations include Providence, Rhode Island (June 18); Tampa, Florida (June 25); Houston, Texas (July 16); Bismarck, North Dakota (July 30); and Los Angeles, California (August 13). Programs taped in those locations will make up Roadshow’s tenth anniversary broadcast season in 2006. Antiques Roadshow premiered on PBS in January 1997.

Antiques Roadshow is sponsored by Toyota and Liberty Mutual Insurance. Additional funding is provided by public television viewers.

Antiques Roadshow is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston. Executive producer is Marsha Bemko. WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of one-third of PBS’s prime-time lineup as well as many public radio favorites. WGBH-produced Web sites generate 25% of the traffic to pbs.org, the most-visited dot-org on the Internet. WGBH is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored with a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence. For more information visit http://www.wgbh.org.

Antiques Roadshow press materials, including downloadable photos, are available at http://pbs.org/pressroom and at http://pressroom.wgbh.org.

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Judy Matthews
WGBH
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