Maker of 'California's Gold' series for PBS to retire

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3B

Huell Howser, maker of upbeat PBS shows about California for public television, is retiring from producing new shows about his adopted state.

It's not "amazing," as Howser would say, that he has decided to hang up his microphone without issuing a news release. The 67-year-old host of the long-running series called "California's Gold" is known for his unpretentious manner and wide-eyed amazement.

"Huell is retiring from making new shows but does not want to make any formal announcements about it," said Ryan Morris, a Howser production company associate, in an email.

Reruns of the shows will continue to air on KVIE in Sacramento, and on other PBS stations. His shows, which also include "California's Golden Parks" and "California's Missions," appear in a time block between 8 and 10 p.m. Thursdays on KVIE.

"Huell programs are definitely one of the most popular series," said Sheryl Brown, marketing communications manager for KVIE. "They can find them, as Huell would say, on 'Good old KVIE.' "

The Tennessee native and Marine Corps veteran began his television career in Nashville on commercial television. After stints in New York City and Los Angeles, Howser joined public television station KCET in Los Angeles.

"California's Gold," after 19 years in production, has been called unslick and charming. His shows have spawned drinking games in which a glass is lifted every time Howser utters, "That's amazing!" or when he says something that might seem a tad obvious to a viewer.

KVIE's Brown has had the opportunity to spend time with Howser when he is not working. Off-camera, he is also charming and interesting, she said.

"He will certainly be missed," she said. "But he deserves some relaxation and rest."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Bill Lindelof



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