Huell Howser, the California pubcaster whose popular destination shows ran on stations throughout the state for two decades, is no longer producing new programs, reports the Los Angeles Times. Because there's been no formal announcement, rumors have been swirling that Howser may be ill.
"Huell is retiring from filming new shows or making appearances (or interviews) but the show will continue to air in reruns for awhile," Howser's assistant Ryan Morris told the newspaper. "We have been gradually winding down all year but Huell has decided to stop, come Dec. 31."
As for Howser's health, Morris added: "I have heard the rumors and while Huell does not always tell me everything, he seems to be doing fine. He is just trying to get away from television and enjoy some free time."
Howser's original California's Gold program, featuring interesting personalities and places, sparked six related series that ran on PBS member stations statewide as well as in Oregon, Nevada and Tennessee.
In October 2011, Howser donated the program's archives to Chapman University in Orange, Calif.