To be clear, I'm not against the idea that professional archaeologists can do good by appearing on television. I'm an advocate of professionals engaging with the public and being part of the conversation about what archaeology is and what we do and do not know about the human past. A quick look at the proliferation of pseudo-archaeology online and on TV will tell you that our de facto strategy of non-engagement hasn't worked particularly well. We need to be in the mix.
So, sure, if the right project comes along I'm open to it.
Last week I got an email "reaching out because we’re currently working on an adventure show and we’re looking to cast an archaeologist, anthropologist, or adventurer."
The email explained that they were going to look for another "lost city," in a part of the world where I have no experience or expertise.
Thanks, but no thanks. What could I possible contribute to this project except an unmerited gloss of credibility because I have letters after my name?
Maybe the food and the scenery would be nice.
If you're a television producer and really want real archaeologists to be excited to participate in what you're doing, you'll have to actually do some work. Believe it or not, most of us don't want to be on television just for the heck of it. I hope that someday someone can figure out how to blend responsible archaeological science with a hook that can draw in viewers and sell enough advertising to create a good program. That would be a nut worth cracking.
Good luck finding that "lost city." I have other things to do.