Two new TV shows feature Austin
A taxidermied flamingo's head, a gun believed to have been used by a well-known Texas Ranger and even a chunk of Willie Nelson's hair.
Those are just a few of the cool — and creepy — items producers of "America's Lost Treasures" discovered during a recent stop at Austin's Bullock Texas State History Museum, where they reviewed uniquely Texas goodies owned by more than 100 of our neighbors.
The best of the bunch will be seen Wednesday at 8 p.m., when the show debuts on cable's National Geographic Channel.
"These were some great treasures," executive producer Thom Beers told me. "It was cool, interesting stuff — stuff that was real Texas."
Other stops seen in later episodes include Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
Beers is the guy behind mega hits "American Hoggers," "Black Gold," "Deadliest Catch" and "Storage Wars," so he definitely knows what works — and what doesn't work — for reality TV. When it comes to the first season of "America's Lost Treasures," the Austin episode, he said, is the best of the bunch.
"It's just so darn good," he said. "That's why it leads the series."
New anchor at Fox 7
KTBC has wrapped up its search for a new morning news anchor.
On July 16, Greg Kerr is set to slide into the seat Joe Bickett vacated back in late May, co-hosting "Fox 7 News in the Morning" and "Good Day Austin" alongside Katherine Kisiel and Keri Bellacosa.
The two shows run weekdays from 4:30 to 10 a.m.
This won't be Kerr's first stint in Austin. He worked at KTBC nearly 20 years ago as a weekend sportscaster.
"We have a great team on ‘Fox 7 News in the Morning' and ‘Good Day Austin,' and we're looking forward to adding Greg," KTBC vice president and news director Pam Vaught said. "He brings years of experience in news and sports to Fox 7, plus it's a homecoming for Greg since he started his TV career here."
Since Austin, Kerr has spent time in places such as Greensboro, N.C.; Oklahoma City; and Springfield, Ill. Most recently, he was seen on Fox Sports Southwest.
"I've traded my sports hat and enthusiastically move over to the news side," Kerr said. "I couldn't be more excited about re-establishing myself with Fox 7 and the Austin area community."
Kerr's not the only sports dude to make the move to morning news here in Austin. KVUE's Bryan Mays and KXAN's Brian Sanders both took the leap recently.
4 times the drama
The TLC network's new "Four Houses" reality series has zeroed in on Central Texas for an upcoming episode.
Each hourlong episode of the show features four "design-obsessed" homeowners, who get to snoop around and rate their competitors' abodes based on "originality, style and livability."
The contestant with the highest score gets a $10,000 prize and possibly a magazine photo spread, as well.
"Four Houses" debuts Monday at 9 p.m., but you'll have to wait a couple of weeks to see our Austin, Cedar Park and Dripping Springs families compete. That installment isn't set to air until later this summer.
Stay tuned for more details when the network firms up an air date.
Channel surfing ...
A new investigative reporter starts next month at KVUE. Andy Pierrotti has been hired to replace Keli Rabon, who left for a job in Denver. Pierrotti arrives from a station in Fort Myers, Fla. ... Attention fashionistas: The producers of NBC's "Fashion Star" will be in Dallas on July 15 casting for the show's second season. If you're an up-and-coming designer looking for your big break, get more details at fashionstarcasting.com. ... Read my blog at austin360.com/tvblog or follow @gdinges on Twitter for updates on TV and radio.
Contact Gary Dinges at email@example.com or 912-5987
'America's Lost Treasures'