This spring is the TV season for the genealogy buff. There are two new programs for family historians to enjoy on television.
The first—Faces of America—debuted last Wednesday on PBS from 8 to 9 p.m. ET and will run through March 3rd. It features Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard scholar and will use the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 famous Americans:
- professor and poet Elizabeth Alexander
- chef Mario Batali
- comedian Stephen Colbert
- novelist Louise Erdrich
- journalist Malcolm Gladwell
- actress Eva Longoria
- musician Yo-Yo Ma
- director Mike Nichols
- Her Majesty Queen Noor
- television host/heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz
- actress Meryl Streep
- figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi
We watched it last weekend and it made me ponder on the life experiences of my ancestors in a way I never really had before. Fascinating stuff!
The second—Who Do You Think You Are—is produced by Lisa Kudrow and will be airing on NBC for seven episodes on Fridays starting in March. This show is an adaptation of a popular English television series. It, too, features celebrities on voyage of discovery through an examination of their family histories, including:
- Matthew Broderick
- Lisa Kudrow
- Spike Lee
- Sarah Jessica Parker
- Susan Sarandon
- Brooke Shields
- Emmitt Smith
Here’s a trailer for Who Do You Think You Are, featuring Brooke Shields and Sarah Jessica Parker (please excuse the commercial content…).