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Kimberly Powell

Who Do You Think You Are? Coming to U.S.

By March 12, 2008

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NBC has picked up a version of the hit BBC television show "Who Do You Think You Are?" which traces the roots of celebrity family trees. Each episode takes viewers on an emotional, personal journey into the past of a well-known celebrity, revealing the struggles, successes, and yes, intrigue (it is television after all), faced by their ancestors. Former "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow is said to be the new co-host of the show. In the UK version of the show, celebrities are often moved to tears as they learn about their ancestor's hardships and triumphs.

It has been reported that the series is contingent upon finding a suitable celebrity cast. Producers at NBC are researching the family trees of several interested celebrity candidates to see if their stories are compelling enough to make the show a hit. I applaud this opportunity to introduce more people to the fascination and excitement of genealogy research, although I can only hope that the producers temper the sensationalism with good, solid genealogical research.

March 12, 2008 at 2:29 pm
(1) Carol says:

That’s great news! Hope public figures, authors, & academics are eventually included, not just pop culture celebrities.
PBS should have created an American version several years ago.

March 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm
(2) Penny says:

Canada finished airing one season of the Canadian version of WDYTYA, but that’s all it lasted. One season. It was abbreviated to half an hour, instead of the full hour as in the UK, and it just didn’t catch on. Can’t think why. Maybe the celebs didn’t appeal.

Meanwhile, we have Ancestors in the Attic on the History Channel. That’s great fun, and I really hope they renew.

April 6, 2008 at 4:48 am
(3) Lyn Evans says:

The program became a great hit over here in the UK and I for one was an avid viewer. I can well imagine the guests would not appeal to everyone around the world as they are mainly only well known over here. I can think of one where it transpired a guest did not know why his mother spent most of her life in a mental institution only to find he had a little sister who died that nobody ever mentioned to him,this was the cause of his mothers hospitalisation – I have to say, I like many others, was moved to tears by this. Another had murder in their tree it was a program definitely not too be missed. The series did not stay in the UK as many of the guests had histories which took us around the world – mainly Europe it has to be said. We have now had two series and I for one am hoping they find enough interesting histories to carry on. Many more people became interested in their roots because of it.

January 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm
(4) apehangmom says:

BBC did a series and I read the the bios of the people,. I am a Pilgrim Decendant. I know my family ( all of it back and forwards) Back to 1500. And I know that many of the celebrities Baldwins / Monroe/ al gore / Are all related to the John Alden / Priscilla Mullens line. I am so intrested in this I will be glued to every show, No doubt. I wish I could help do the research for the show. thanks

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