Are you the next reality TV star?

It looks like more reality TV along the lines of History’s “American Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” are about to spread to a network television channel near you. It was announced Sept. 3 that a “major network” is currently looking for families in the New York/New Jersey area that have an item or an antique with a great story. Contestants would get an appraisal during a special media event. Isn’t that called “Antiques Roadshow”?

Just how far can producers spice up antiques collecting? For $50,000 would an audience be willing to watch how many vintage Kellogg’s Pep pins a collector would be willing to pin on his bare chest a la “Fear Factor”? Will a camera crew follow a spastic survivalist as he crawls through a flea market surviving on merely rainwater, haggling and assorted fried foods? Could we see a “Survivor”-like show that drops collectors on a deserted island and has them compete in bizarre, mind-bending feats of strength for pieces of Mount Washington glass and vintage watch fobs?

That reminds me of an old joke: Did you hear the one about the two antiques dealers stranded on a deserted island with nothing but a Chippendale chair? They both made a good living …

Whatever the plans for another antiques reality series you can bet on two things: It will push the envelope and I’ll be glued to my sofa opening night. If you want to apply for the casting call for the new reality show, just contact Reality Wanted at www.realitywanted.com or 310-496-1667.

Our own reality show (of sorts) is entering its final month. Entries for the second annual Antique Trader Favorite Finds Contest are due Sept. 30. To date, we have received twice as many compared to last year. This year’s prize is a free subscription to Antique Trader and a library of reference books. Send your entries to Antique Trader c/o Favorite Finds, 700 E. State St. Iola, WI 54990-0001 or eric.bradey@fwmedia.com.

A hearty ‘Thank You!’ goes out to those who have already sent their entries. Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed when these letters see ink. Every single entry will be published in a special section so here’s a great chance to see your name in print — who knows, it may be handy to mention when you apply to be on the next, hot reality show. ?

— Eric Bradley

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