Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Returns January 5, 2016

Finding Your Roots

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited that Finding Your Roots is back again despite the Ben Affleck controversy. Oh yes! You see, when the decision was made to “scrub” any mention of Affleck’s slave-owning ancestors from his feature story last year, the truth still came out. Then producers found themselves in a very AWKWARD place of having to defend the integrity of the show to the public (you can read more about the controversy here). So, hopefully everyone involved has learned a valuable lesson here. And to Ben Affleck, slavery happened. Deal with it because you’re not the “only” white person in America to have slave-owning ancestors in your family tree! Well enough said about the past, check out season three details below!

The Stories We Tell
Season Three — Preview
Premiere date: January 5, 2016 @ 8/7 CST (check your local listing)

Since the première of his groundbreaking series, African American Lives, in 2006 through the first two seasons of Finding Your Roots, noted Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has unearthed the family histories of influential people helping shape our national identity. Professor Gates uses a team of genealogists to reconstruct the paper trail left by our ancestors and the world’s leading geneticists to decode our DNA and help us travel thousands of years into the past to discover the origins of our earliest forebears.

In season three of Finding Your Roots, Henry, Louis Gates, Jr. traces the ancestral trails of 28 new guests including Maya Rudolph, Richard Branson, Soledad O’Brien, Bill Hader, Julianne Moore, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Senator John McCain, Norman Lear, Shonda Rhimes, and more.

Temple University Photo

Share Your Story

Every family has a unique genealogical journey just waiting to be unlocked. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. asks you to share your own online at this link –

Press Release: Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Returns September 23, 2014

Donna Williams, WNET, 212.560.8030
Charlie Guadano, Sunshine Sachs, 212.691.2800
Whitney Kuhn, Sunshine Sachs, 212.691.2800

Acclaimed PBS Series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Returns Tuesday, September 23 at 8pm ET for its Second Season

This season’s 10-part series explores the heritages and ancestries of 29 of today’s leading entertainers, athletes, chefs, and media personalities, including: Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Khandi Alexander, Tom Colicchio, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Derek Jeter, Stephen King, Nas, Anna Deavere Smith, Sting, and Courtney B. Vance

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from was at the core of the first season of the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  In the second, 10-part season, Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, continues his journey into the past to illuminate the familial histories of 29 of today’s most recognizable names in sports, music, film, television, theatre, and literature.  Filmed on location around the world, season two of Finding Your Roots, premieres nationally Tuesdays, September 23rd – November 25th at 8 p.m. ET on PBS(check local listings).

The premiere of the second season of Finding Your Roots comes on the heels of Professor Gates’ Peabody Award-winning PBS series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, which debuted in the fall of 2013 to critical acclaim.  In each hour-long episode of the second season of Finding Your Roots, Gates continues his quest to, as he says, “get into the DNA of American culture.”  By weaving a group of celebrity stories together, each episode takes viewers on a journey through layers of ancestral history, uncovering familial secrets and sharing life-altering discoveries that ultimately reveal an intimate bond that links each individual’s story together.

“We hope that viewers will find Finding Your Roots to be a moving, uplifting, entertaining and enlightening experience,” says Gates. “Genealogy is more popular than ever, but it’s far more than a solitary pastime. It’s a fascinating endeavor that alters both the way we think about historical events (because of our ancestors’ roles in those events) and the way we think of ourselves.”

You can read the rest of the official press release online here! 


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