Watch Finding Your Roots

Finding your roots is a new production of a 10 part series with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This is to be a continuation of Gates' quest to uncover and discover more of our pasts. These discoveries are sometimes surprising; sometimes disturbing, but for enlightened family members the knowledge is truly welcomed. Something about knowing who you are; about where you've come from.

Each episode features well-known people who are somehow, in some way connected. Henry Gates takes the viewer down the road in the discovery of a link between the two that has sometimes been hidden; is usually surprising and often times, life changing. The audience gets to experience the discoveries of Robert Downey Jr. through his mother's family all the way back into the 1400's. It's thrilling for him and almost as much for those watching as well.

Gates is the show's executive producer and he along with experts in genealogy and family ancestry scour through family histories and stories to find relatives and events the guests have never known. And after they have exhausted all of those avenues, they can then tap into the knowledge and expertise of geneticists and DNA diagnosticians. With a sampling of DNA these specialists can determine specific bloodlines and possibly debunk generations of misconceptions.

As a side treat the audience is encouraged to look into their own pasts. Gates gives plenty of incentive and enthusiasm for questioning families; poking through archives and generally keeping your eyes and ears open to the past. Sending in your own story might not get experts to pick up your trail for you, but it will put it out there for others to hear and possibly inspire a portion of their own tale. There are avenues of rich heritage out there ready to connect.

Tuesday 8:00 pm EST on PBS
3 Seasons, 26 Episodes - Currently Airing
Family, History
2.3/5
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Finding Your Roots Full Episode Guide

  • Discover how the ancestors of business mogul Richard Branson and architects Maya Lin and Frank Gehry took audacious risks to create opportunities, and how their luck, ingenuity and chutzpah was passed on to these three visionaries.

  • Uncover a history of tragedies and triumphs in the families of three of America's funniest men--Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear and Bill Hader—as they learn how comedy truly has its place in all aspects of life.

  • Learn how the ancestors of Maya Rudolph, Shonda Rhimes and Keenen Ivory Wayans struggled for freedom, and how each of these cultural trailblazers gain a new understanding of how they fit into this proud trajectory.

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