News Column

Huell Howser, Maker of 'California Gold,' Retiring

Nov. 27, 2012

Bill Lindelof, The Sacramento Bee

Huell Howser, the maker of upbeat PBS shows about California for public television, is retiring from making 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 press release. The 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 e-mail.

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 on Thursdays between 8 and 10 p.m. on KVIE.

"Huell programs are definitely one of the most popular series on our air," 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."

Source: (c)2012 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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