It’s a genealogy homecoming! It has just been announced that the hit TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” is returning to its original home network NBC after 7 years. Read on to learn more about this exciting transition and what’s in store for the new season.
After 7 years of airing on TLC, the celebrity family history TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” is transitioning back to NBC, where it originally aired from 2010-2012. The producers are excited about this homecoming and you should be, too!
“Who Do You Think You Are?” Returns to NBC
From the NBC Press Release, Universal City, Calif. May 6, 2019:
The Emmy Award-winning documentary series “Who Do You Think You Are?” returns to celebrate all new journeys of self-discovery, connection and diversity on NBC with 13 episodes. A new group of celebrities will celebrate culture and set sail on their mission to connect with their personal history.
From executive producers Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, and Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, the series returns to NBC at a time when ancestral and genealogical exploration is enjoying unprecedented popularity. Cutting-edge research tools and billions of digitized records from Ancestry will provide remarkable insights into the star’s background and illustrate the cultural mosaic that connects us all together.
“Dan and I could not possibly be happier to be back at NBC where we get to work with Paul Telegdy, George Cheeks and Meredith Ahr. It honestly feels like we’re back home,” said executive producer Lisa Kudrow.
“Now, more than ever, people are looking to connect with their ancestry to uncover a deeper understanding of who they are,” said Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative and Reality Group, NBC Entertainment. “We’re excited to once again travel around the world with some of our favorite celebrities as they get answers and surprises about family members who came before them.”
Each week a different celebrity will go on a poignant search to trace their family tree with the help of historians and experts, unlocking past mysteries and unbelievable real-life stories across the world and through time.
“Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, along with our team at Shed Media, have made ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ not only a great television show but a genre-defining brand. We are thrilled to come back home to NBC. It couldn’t be a more perfect fit,” said Mike Darnell, President, Warner Bros. Unscripted and Alternative Television.
“Who Do You Think You Are” will be produced by Shed Media and Is or Isn’t Entertainment. Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, Pam Healey and Stephanie Schwam will executive produce.”
Lisa’s Exclusive Interview with Lisa Kudrow!
Check out this exclusive interview from season 5 of The Genealogy Gems Podcast, episode #81 where Lisa Louise Cooke interviews Lisa Kudrow, executive producer of Who Do You Think You Are? and star of the hit tv show Friends. Click the YouTube video player to listen to the interview in its entirety.
Who Do You Think You Are? season five (and second on TLC) will feature six popular celebrities from TV and film. The Wrap just posted an article announcing the following:
Valerie Bertinelli (a personal fave of mine from childhood days on One Day At a Time to Hot in Cleveland)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (ABC’s Modern Family)
Lauren Graham (Wonderful in Gilmore Girls, and currently starring in NBC’s Parenthood)
Kelsey Grammer (best known for Cheers and Frasier )
Rachel McAdams (known for movies such as Mean Girls, The Notebook) and her sister, Kayleen McAdams.
Cynthia Nixon (HBO’s Sex in the City) Here’s an sneak peek at Cynthia’s episode:
Most family historians devoured the previous seasons, but if you missed any there is good news: TLC has been said to have acquired ten episodes from the show’s previous NBC seasons. You can look forward to episodes featuring:
Lisa Kudrow(listen to Lisa talk about her episode and the series in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 81 and Premium members can hear exclusive audio in Genealogy Gems Premium episode 41
Sarah Jessica Parker
Vanessa Williams (also featured in Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 63)
Set Your DVR: Who Do You Think You Are? Season 5 begins Wednesday, July 23 at 9/8c.
If you’re like me, you were happy to see the return of Who Do You Think You Are? to our TV lineup this past summer. You might have thought to yourself as you watched, “They make it look so easy! I wonder how long it took them to find that record?”
Well there have been some great articles written by the researchers behind the scenes at WDYTYA? For example, this post tells how it took more than 1000 hours of research for Cindy Crawford’s one-hour episode.
“It took months to research Cindy’s tree,” says the post at ProGenealogists, Ancestry’s official research arm. “Only the records that were essential stepping stones could be included in her story, and a few important steps we took along the way didn’t make the final cut.”
A post on Matthew Broderick’s episode, which aired in 2010, introduces us to using military records to find our family history. Matthew appeared in the 1989 Civil War film “Glory” but his great-great-grandfather experienced the real thing: he died while serving as a Union soldier. Other episodes bring up other episodes in the history of the world: Lisa Kudrow’s past includes the horrors of the Holocaust, Rosie O’Donnell’s covers the experience of a poor family in an Irish workhouse that was able to escape to Canada; Emmitt Smith’s probes the dark depths of African-American slavery. The post on Emmitt is a particularly detailed account of how this family was found.
You can click on similar posts relating to other WDYTYA guests, both past and present: Chris O’Donnell, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Handler, Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Tim McGraw, Vanessa Williams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lisa Kudrow, Brooke Shields, and Susan Sarandon.
If you haven’t tuned in to WDYTYA yet, check it out on TLC on Tuesdays at 9pmEST. Or learn more about it and watch episodes at TLC’s website.