PBS cancels Market Warriors series from Antiques Roadshow producer

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This item has been updated and reposted with additional information.

PBS is ending production of Market Warriors, the much-anticipated series that premiered in July 2012 as a partner program to longtime ratings hit Antiques Roadshow, according to a March 14 WGBH internal memo to employees.


Market Warriors pickers, from left, Bene Raia, Miller Gaffney, John Bruno and Kevin Bruneau, scoured flea markets for bargains that they later auctioned in an attempt to make more money than their colleagues. (Photo: WGBH/Anthony Tieuli)

Marsha Bemko, executive producer of both programs, today told Current the decision was PBS’s and declined further comment.

The demise of the series triggered several layoffs. The memo said that Field Producer Rebecca Donahue and Editors Peter Hyzak and Sean Sandefur left WGBH the week of March 4, while Senior Producer John Kalish, Associate Producer Joey Toppan, Production Assistant Rebecca Taylor and Assistant Editor Jim Fetela departed on Friday. Production Manager Heather Prince and Post Production Coordinator Maureen Fahey will stay through the end of the month and National Marketing Account Manager Jake Messier will remain until the final new episode airs April 22.

“I could not be more proud of this hardworking team,” Bemko said in the memo.

The memo noted that the station “continues to work with PBS on a range of new and ongoing series.”

The series was hit by controversy just a week after launch when original narrator Fred Willard was arrested and charged with lewd conduct, which led to his outster. He was replaced by Mark Walberg, Antiques Roadshow host.

The program was announced in January 2012 under the working title Market Wars.

79 thoughts on “PBS cancels Market Warriors series from Antiques Roadshow producer

  1. Seems PBS is becoming too much like the commerical networks, loosing patience too quickly when there were adjustments to be made that could have given the show a significant boost. Yes, there were problems, but there were also solutions less radical than the chopping block. Is it the demise of Market Warriors we’re seeing, or is it a sign of something larger and more problematic creeping into the PBS mindset?

  2. Does the squeaky wheel always have to
    get the grease? Unfortunately this is usually the case. The few
    enslave and manipulate the majority. It’s an odd and interesting
    psychological fact that often the majority will remain quiet and
    allow the few to conquer them. The reason for this strange phenomenon
    has yet to be understood. Is it that the majority become too
    complacent, lethargic, and self-centered to unite against any serious
    opposition? The few run on jet fuel while the majority often become
    mentally obese and fatally docile. I picture in my mind a mouse
    leading an elephant to his demise. In my opinion, what has happened
    here is PBS has been too sensitive to the whining self-ordained
    critics (bottom feeders). They have allowed the squeaking wheel to
    have its way by assuming its online comments accurately reflect the
    opinion of the majority in regard to Market Warriors. Personally I
    don’t believe the majority of Antiques Roadshow/PBS supporters agree
    with the recent decision to cancel this show. Market Warriors is a
    clean real world show for the whole family. Think about it, how many
    shows do we have like that today? It seems that far too often
    celebrities have to be rude, dirty, imbecilic, and generally
    obnoxious to achieve success in television. Market Warriors is
    honest, educational, and it motivates people to get off their butts
    and do something constructive. I say it’s high time we wake up and
    voice our true opinions. Why should we just lay back and let the few
    rob us of our fun? Contact PBS and let them know you do not agree
    with the decision to cancel Market Warriors. This goes double for
    those of you who are major supporters of PBS. If they have to cut
    back, let them cancel one of their lower rated cooking shows (like
    obese America really needs all those food shows). Don’t just think
    about doing it—DO IT!

  3. PBS: Heads will roll over this dumb-ass decision; NO MORE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ME! One of the other networks will pick up the cast and the show. Talk about bad management; Fire those bozos!

    • Dan, I’m with you, they need to bring the show back! I loved the show, those bone heads need to crack right in half! What should we do about this?

  4. well no wonder, it was bounced around all over the place on the schedule, put into hiatus before the presidential elections in november and supposed to come back. it finally did, then changed times again and had weeks in between before it aired. i thought this was supposed to be a “game show” type show with an ending and who wins the most money at the end. Will we ever see the final episodes and does it have a “winner”? very disappointed, love this show.

  5. As a fan of Antiques Roadshow and History Detectives, this show never really clicked for me. The competitors rarely made back what they spent at the flea markets at the auctions, so there wasn’t the excitement that comes with a big win. Anything tied to shopping usually attracts my attention, but Market Warriors never made it to my must watch list.

    • Love History Detectives too, but what’s with all the reruns? Market Warriors was a nice addition to the collecting theme. It wasn’t perfect, it should have been given time to improve.

    • I watched the show, while the whole time thinking “these people are stupid.” I don’t know much about vintage or antique things but they would consistently buy crap and lose money at the auctions. Really what is the point of that show. That is why PBS cancelled it. Bozo production with bozo cast. Of course, I say these things in the kindest way possible.

  6. I don’t think the Fred Willard controversy had a thing to do with the cancellation. The concept of the show was good. The warriors themselves were pretty bad at being pickers. Kevin seemed competent and is a successful dealer.

  7. I really liked this show, but I am very disappointed when it comes to the auctions. What is up with the bidders? Why is there only a handful of them at a time? I feel like there is no energy in the auctions and that works against our pickers. I am sad they are cancelling the show. I think it could have improved in time.

  8. I LOVE Market Warriors and learn so much from them. I go to yard sales every Saturday and then sale the items in my store. This show has helped me tremendously. Love all the cast. Is there anything that can be done to keep this show on the air. BOO to PBS for cancelling this GREAT show.

    • Market Warriors was one of the best shows on TV. It was a show that EVERYONE could relate to – pickers, dealers and shoppers alike. They bought items we see every day at antique shows and flea markets – not like Antique Roadshow where it’s virtually impossible to find anything they have appraised. I think the deletion of Bob Richter was a very bad choice, loads of people protested, but PBS stayed with Bene – who knew nothing about most of the items she bought – like that bayonet, and the toy bicycle – omg did she spend way too much????
      the trouble with these stations is that they NEVER listen to their audience – they just do what they want, and therefore a GREAT show is cancelled.
      Let’s all write to the travel channel – or any of the others who show those FIXED picking shows – maybe a true show with NOBODY staging items will find another home
      I am an antique dealer, I saw the Market Warriors in action at the show I was doing in Chantilly Va. (The DC Big Flea Market) NOTHING was staged, they bought from friends of mine, and it WAS on the up and up. Kevin Bruno has been back almost every time we have a show to buy for himself .

  9. too bad sorry to hear this. PBS don’t join the Networks with Mindless shows, we are senior citizens and enjoy this show their personalities are unique YUK 3 times, has anyone looked into BBC AR? Why are they still airing? Cmon PBS hang in there.

  10. Hope someone else does pick up Market Warriors. My favorite show. Watched it every week. I hate PBS anymore. Too political. They have expanded number of channels in my area but prime time is mostly their news hours or a show they can use to pitch their politics. Double yuck. Cannot stand you PBS.

    • Yes, Yvonne, there are many reasons PBS is under the wheels presently and is reflective in the axe on Mkt warriors. shame. However, there are some pretty good shows still on that network that I will continue to watch (don’t have cable and don’t need it either) because of the clean quality PBS does still bring. Well, others create with Public in mind, not $ signs. Still, shame on em for doing the stupid dance on Mkt. Warriors entertaining values…the stupidity (makes me feel pretty smart in different parts, heh) of the buyers and sellers and the many many faces of an art and artists all over our great country selling stuff over and over, making a little profit, making ends meet and meeting characters from Maine to Spokane…gone again.

  11. We enjoyed “Market Warriors” and even tuned in especially for it, something we’ve never done with “Antiques Roadshow” – in fact I was looking it up to see when it was next on when I read this. Now I’m sure our local PBS station will run “Doo Wop Cavalcade” endlessly in its place.
    The four pickers were the most normal people I’ve ever seen on TV.

    • Doo WAP!! LOL’s eliz.! yep, they are crankin em out now!!! I think this reflects the generation of who is really in charge….I also look at the waxy pale faces in the audience of those doo waps and get so grateful I am me…silver hair (what is left on the sides) and all.

  12. My years of donations to PBS are now a thing of the past. When the daytime shows are little more than what amounts to a baby sitting channel, to the excess of would be cook shows, to the extremely boring British soaps and then cancel something the folks can associate with, it shows PBS caring. As stated prior to this post the auctions could be better and the pickers better, but lets face it, its a form of reality show. I don’t care for the term, yet its the first one I could watch, enjoy, and look forward to the next episode.

    • Well said, Darryl. Thanks for my view too. Looked forward to each show, even though it was so unorganized and sometimes had to wait several weeks to see, I always looked forward to smiles and surprises.

  13. A shame on PBS’s once smart eyes. What could have been the brightest part of antiques at the end of the road (show), was some stupid decisions no doubt by admin folks who have no idea when it comes to being in the mix or bartering or scheming…ok they do scheme a lot…

    The Warriors were character building, and did not need big dollar name items, like on the Roadshow, to draw attention and interest. I’m a flea mkt vet, retired presently, and know fun when I see it. This involves mistakes, fopaws, etc. Not by the upstairs folks making this stupid decision to cancel a great show, but the HUMAN mistakes we all make in assuming things. That is why I loved this show. That being said, yes, the auction part was starting to fall apart and had to be an admin decision, not the characters doing the trench work…could have been much improved. What? Tell them they will be auctioning in CA and then hold it in east overshoe wherever in the east???
    What was that about!!!??? Pulled the rug right out from their best and almost last shows… OK, all things being not quite equal, perhaps a better show will be developed by someone smart enough to see the real value of what was a great thing.
    Sincerley, Born in Berkeley

  14. This was one of the few shows that I got excited about watching. I’m missing it. It would be great if another network would pick it up.

  15. I really LOVED Market Warriors! It was fun, exciting and a GREAT CHALLENGE finding an ANTIQUE that might be a WINNER and make a little profit! WAY TOO MUCH FUN!!! I also had a little crush on MILLER, she’s a BABE! haha! Hope it comes back!

  16. This can be a successful show, first you need to get rid of the find a particular item and only give them a hour. Why not give them 4 hours and let them spend $1,000 and bring in as many items they can buy that THEY think is worth money. This would really test their knowledge (and no IPhone either Miller). You could then edit the taping/production down. John, Miller and Bene kept bringing in items that any knowledge picker or antique dealer would know was not worth anything, the only people profiting were the attendees buying at the auction in the end. Kevin was the only decent one who actually knew what was good or not. When Bene bought the bayonet, that was it for me, she did not know anything about what she was buying and that whole transaction made her look like an idiot.

    I go to antique shows and it takes me from 3-4 hours to get good coverage and I usually always find something good. This is what people want to see, being able to find something good at these shows, not some piece of junk selling at auction for way less than what the supposed experts bought the items for.

    • Okay expert. The show was fun and it always tried to take the buyers out of their area of expertise, which I really enjoyed. AND it’s a tv show competition not a documentary. I knew Bene was making a mistake during the “bayonet episode” and was pleased to know my instincts were correct however that in my mind only showed that she was out of her element. Experts always make mistakes. I’m sure you would do just as well as the pickers, faults and all..

  17. We’ve been wondering where Market Warriors went… sadly, now we know. Hopefully the PBS folks are reading this and will give it another run. It was THE show for our family on Monday nights. So now the kids are bummed, the parents bummed… I think even our dogs are depressed.

    C’mon PBS- put it back on the schedule. This is a nice bookend to Antiques Roadshow, and we’ve gotten to love the cast.

  18. What a huge disappointment!You are losing a huge audience;it was my twenty-four yr old son who introduced me to the show and he along with his thirteen and seventeen yr old brothers watch it with me…..what are you people at pbs thinking?!?!!!!

  19. PBS, every time you run tired old music shows for fund-raising, I want my money back. How about an auction? That’s what Milwaukee PBS does and it’s interesting to watch.

  20. Sorry this goofy, offbeat show will be missing due to PBS cancellation. I enjoyed the grassroots business lessons, the awkward amateur moments and the fellowship among the competitors (seller vs buyer, buyer vs buyer). Americana at its best has lost its appeal over at PBS?

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  22. I only heard of this show for the first time yesterday. Some antiques dealers were discussing it in my earshot and none of them liked the show. They said the dickering on the part of the characters, when attempting to get a lower price, made them uncomfortable.

    There was a particular episode that was made at a big antique show in the Washington DC area, and apparently a lot of antique dealers said that next time they would cancel their reservation if Market Warriors or any reality TV show was going to be taped there. They did not want any part of it.

    The reality of it is, a whole lot of footage gets shot that never makes it on the air.

  23. Are you Serious! I run into people all over the place who watch and love that show. I’ve had conversations with strangers about it who enjoy it as much as I do. I really would like to know the reason for this decision. Is that too much to ask?

    • Amen, Chelsea! Those other two shows, and the majority (all?) of the other “reality” shows are fakes / faked. We always watched Market Warriors and I hope it comes back to PBS and not onto a cable channel.

  24. Arggggh…
    I saw one episode and was hooked. And now I learn the show is canceled!
    PBS didn’t give it a chance to succeed. I hope someone else will pick up the ball and run with it. My wife and I are fans of Antiques Roadshow, and even hauled some of our stuff from Abilene to El Paso (a mighty long drive) to see the show when it was taped there, and I was planning to do the same with Market Warriors.

    • I agree completely. They didn’t give the show enough time to succeed. It was well done and interesting. I love PBS and will continue to support them but wish they would reconsider this decision.

      • My TV is nearly “channel glued” to PBS on Dish Network…

        I too, hope they would relaunch this show. I liked the talent, and it was a grand adventure to see where they would be next.
        I love Antiques Roadshow and what I liked about Market Warriors was the fact that most of their scenes and locations were shoot outdoors, contrasting to Antiques Roadshow… Having worked in television myself, I know producing a show outside is challenging because of lack of control with weather, and scheduling, but I really enjoyed that aspect of Market Warriors.

  25. I kept waiting for this to reappear. DAMN…there’s so little good TV, and then this disappears too. it was really fun to watch! Had a good time trying to compare my own buying experiences with the cast members. Prices really fluctuate depending on geography! Sometimes I was surprised at their seeming naivete, and sometimes I was the naïve one. I wanted to go up against them to try my own luck. Come on, BRING IT BACK!!!

  26. Horrible decision by PBS! My husband found this show and we couldn’t wait to watch it every week! We would compete between the two of us given the items bought and we would try to pick the winner. This was a good show. REAL. We could relate and loved seeing antiquing done in a fun, modern way. Get your ducks in a row PBS and bring it back!

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  28. It was, by far, my favorite show on PBS. I’m SUPER bummed at that decision. I literally looked forward to that show every Monday at 8:00 cst. Horrible, horrible decision, as far as I’m concerned.

  29. I am upset as well! This was one of the few shows we looked forward to on Sunday afternoons and we would go out of our way to watch it, and then we got really confused when we suddenly couldn’t find it scheduled anywhere. What’s the deal with the cancelation?

  30. I was wondering why I wasn’t seeing any promos for Market Warriors for the coming season. Please bring it back somewhere, if not on the almighty PBS, then on your Create channel. I watch that channel more than PBS anyway. It was one of my never miss shows, right after Antiques Roadshow of course. In my opinion it was the perfect show to follow AR. I go to flea markets to try to find some of the things that I see on the AR. It was the perfect pairing of shows IMO. Now fix your screw up and bring MW BACK!

  31. We have been wondering what happened to Market Warriors…. gads, I am so bummed! I used to race home from a meeting in order to see the whole hour! Please let us know if it resurfaces anywhere else.

  32. I’m very disappointed!! I enjoyed watch Market Warriors very much, even more so than Antiques road show. I found to a lot more entertaining and looked forward to watching it. PBS canceled a great show!

  33. We love this show!!! Our kids would sit and watch it with us. We made a game out of it! So sad you took it off. One of our favorite shows!! Please bring it back!!

  34. Bogus decision; I think PBS is being taken over by the Koch Brothers and their moneyed cronies; look at NOVA, which used to be a SCIENCE show and now just does death and destruction. The Kochs have no class, no ethics, no compassion and now PBS is being dragged down. They had a good run, but money talks and apparently PBS listens.

  35. I am soooooooooooooooooo disappointed this show was cancelled. I absolutely loved it!!! I go to sales all the time and it was fun to get tips from all the “pickers”!!

  36. I am so bummed about this. My husband and I loved this show and always looked forward to watching it together. Please bring it back!

  37. The problem with the show is the four people buying and selling are not any good at making money at it on the show. I own and run the Wadena flea market in wadena MN. and I would win 3 out of 4 times. The 3 is for sure the one is a maybe. Corey Flagg

  38. This was one of my favorite PBS shows. I enjoyed it as much if not more than Antiques Roadshow. The concept was great, and the chemistry among the cast was spot on. Too bad…

  39. Citizen Koch…look that up and the influence they had squashing it from PBS.
    What happened is the right pushed for the heavy defunding of PBS. That opened the door for them to have a high level of control over there because PBS now highly depends on their “donations, foundations” & the grants that come from the 1%. So it goes hand in hand that their voice/opinions/policies/agenda are also now a part of what is being integrated into this “new PBS”.

  40. This show is ludicrous. I like these types of shows, but it angers me that on Market Warriors, the panelists routinely and chronically lose money at auction. Granted, it’s not the panelists money or mine, but I hate to see them buy a “whatever” for “$800”, then “it” goes to a small, badly advertised auction and sells for “$75”! “Oh well”, is what the panelists might say about their poor sale. Geeze!!! Time and time again! Every show?!!! It’s so frustrating to watch.

  41. Awww. I love this show!!!! It is my absolute favorite…. I don’t watch Antiques Road Show though. I think the Warriors and the competition aspect of the show is what drew me in. It was way more entertaining than ARS. The characters were fantastic and it was so cool to watch them haggle. The only thing I can think is maybe they should have made a bigger deal about the competition somehow…. But I was so sad to get online trying to find out when the next season will be and finding out it was canned. :( So sad.. – Hey cast!!!! You guys are my favs! I hope to see you on the telly again soon!!!!! In the meantime, keep getting those deals!

  42. This was such a great show. Big mistake. Huge. Way to NOT have your finger on the pulse. Hope another network picks up concept and crew

  43. My all-time favorite PBS program with great characters as well. The hippie guy. The cute little North Carolinian sprite with that cute lil accent…

    An informative show that those dumb arses at PBS will regret cancelling.

  44. the show was fun………… concept, what they presented. Miller Gaffney was one reason we HATED watching. in one word, annoying. too bad it’s gone.

  45. Sandy, I agree with you. This was absolutely one of the best programs under the PBS station. I love the entire cast and I too learned a lot from these four flea market shoppers. I would love to see the show come back. Sonya

  46. The show needs to come back ASAP it is a very educationaland great for public television nationwide it was 1 of the best shows on tv!

  47. Years later – I still watch the reruns and wish they had not cancelled this highly entertaining show. Please reconsider bringing it back PBS.

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