Posted by Ancestry Team on September 26, 2017 in Website

A brand new season of PBS’ hit show Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., premieres on Tuesday, October 3 at 8/7c.

This star studded season features some of our favorite comedians, journalists, and A-list celebrities. Catch the season teaser below:

Episode 1 | The Impression

Guests: Larry David and Bernie Sanders. Two guests linked by one hilarious impersonation trace their roots from 1940s Brooklyn back to Jewish communities in Europe. Premieres Tues., Oct. 3, 2017

Episode 2 | Unfamiliar Kin

Guests: Carly Simon, Christopher Walken, and more. In this episode, three guests each learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them. Along the way, two of them also discover that their close relatives were on the wrong side of history. Premieres Tues., Oct. 10, 2017

Episode 3 | Puritans and Pioneers

Guests: Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy. Three mainstays of modern-day Hollywood discover family legacies that predate the United States itself. Premieres Tues., Oct. 17, 2017

Episode 4 | The Vanguard

Guests: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ava DuVernay and Janet Mock. Three guests who have helped to redefine Black America in the last decade find their identities challenged as they learn about their family origins. Premieres Tues., Oct. 24, 2017

Episode 5 | Immigrant Nation

Guests: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, and more. In this episode, three guests explore the tremendous challenges faced by their immigrant forebears. Premieres Tues., Oct. 31, 2017

Episode 6 | Black Like Me

Guests: Bryant Gumbel, Tonya Lewis-Lee, and Suzanne Malveaux. Three African-American guests delve deep into their family trees, discovering unexpected stories that challenge our assumptions about black history. Premieres Tues., Nov. 7, 2017

Episode 7 | Children of the Revolution

Guests: Lupita Nyong’o, Carmelo Anthony, and Ana Navarro. Three guests explore how their family trees were shaped by political turmoil and violence, discovering sometimes unexpected ancestry along the way. Premieres Tues., Nov. 14, 2017

Episode 8 | Relatives We Never Knew We Had

Guests: Téa Leoni and Gaby Hoffman. Two guests whose lives have been shaped by family mysteries are introduced to biological ancestors they never knew they had thanks to genetic detective work. Premieres Tues., Nov. 21, 2017

Episode 9 | Southern Roots

Guests: Questlove, Dr. Phil, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Three guests of disparate backgrounds dig into their Southern roots, where slavery and its aftermath shaped families both black and white. Premieres Tues., Dec. 12, 2017

Episode 10 | Funny Business

Guests: Garrison Keillor, Amy Schumer, and more. Three guests who have found fame mining their family stories for comedy learn about ancestors who overcame immense suffering. Premieres Tues., Dec. 19, 2017

About Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Professor Gates has authored or co-authored twenty-two books and created eighteen documentary films, including Wonders of the African World, African American Lives, Faces of America, Black in Latin America, Black America since MLK: And Still I Rise, Africa’s Great Civilizations, and Finding Your Roots, his groundbreaking genealogy series, now in its fourth season on PBS.

Catch behind the scenes photos, watch clips from past seasons on Finding Your Roots.

Which celebrity are you most looking forward to watching this season? 


  1. Jane

    Terrific! Can’t wait for more fascinating stories from FINDING YOUR ROOTS ~ the star line-up looks good too! How do we locate local tv channels? Thanks!

      • Sue

        Yes, I keep having hopes because the host is really good, but the guests are not ones I’m interested in (except perhaps to see them struggle when their roots are not leftist enough).

        • Monika

          Oh, come on guys! Do you have to make everything about politics. You can’t just enjoy the process of tracing down ancestors? What a sad world we live in!

    • Charlotte Easter

      I would watch even if the subjects were people I didn’t like although there would be some exceptions like David Duke. This show has always had prominent people including entertainers. I see no reason to think it is going downhill. Perhaps more conservative people were contacted and were not interested.

  2. Eva Sokolek

    So exciting! I have learned so much history from Dr Gates, so much not taught in school. Thank you! Dr Gates if you read these messages…I’m a fan.

  3. Rosalyna Tidwell

    I’m very interested in watching this show it will give me insight on where people come from and information on their ancestor.

  4. Gloria

    Excited about the new season. An interesting show that presents each guest with a story and documentation to support the story.

  5. I love this show and really want to see this season, but when I checked my local PBS station so that I could set my DVR, it’s not there. 🙁 I hope the episodes will be available at their website.

  6. Denise

    I truly love watching Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. Each season he takes us on new journeys with a full range of celebrities. Cannot wait to watch it. Welcome back! Love the genealogy hints along with learning some U.S. history.

  7. paula vogel

    I thought the first show with Larry David and Bernie Sanders was very entertaining. I will think of that when I see them.

  8. Patricia Babros

    I look forward to this show every year, thank you.
    Someday, I need my genealogy and DNA done. Which DNA company do you recommend?

  9. Pam

    Love seeing the “Aha” moments of the show. Took the DNA test only to discover my “Aha” moment. At the age of 59 I discovered I was adopted. Through Ancestry DNA matches, I’ve connected to the possible birth family. Reminded me of the LL Cool J episode. Looking forward to the new season.

  10. Vidal Cortez

    I’ve watched several episodes, and each time a guest of the show has been told he/she has Ashkenazi Jew dNA I’m puzzled (SMH)….. How is it that is able to tell a person which religion their ancestors practiced, yet we latinos cannot be told which Indigenous tribe our ancestors belonged to ? Whenever I hear Dr Gates speak of Ashkenazi Jew dNA it blows my mind… Last time I checked “Jewish” was a faith, and not a race/ethnicity….. I’ve heard white guys of the Jewish faith say being Jewish means they aren’t white ! Huh??? Now that says there is Ashkenazi Jewish dNA It makes me wonder….. I guess will someday be able tell people their ancestors were Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, or atheists…. Hopefully will also tell latinos which Indigenous tribe they belong to !!!!

    • Jolan

      Being Jewish can be in reference to ethnicity. People who are Jewish ethnically have ancestors from Judea. That’s why Jesus was Jewish, you can also be Jewish by faith. That’s the only religion that is doubled as an ethnicity. Hope that clears things up for you but i also agree, there are tons of improvements ancestry needs to make. Technically low confidence regions shouldn’t be considered since you may not actually have those regions in your DNA. So, for mixed individuals like myself, there isn’t much we actually learn from these test. Also, the grouping of people together needs to cease, testing 16 people from a region is not a large enough reference panel. The more people you test the greater differences you may find. I’m disappointed in this company as a whole. Instead of marketing to get more money how about spending more time in the lab.

  11. Pat Egan

    Can you do some episodes about people whose ancestors were Irish slaves (peasants of English landlords in Ireland) in the 1800s?

    Please expose the genocide committed by the English against the Irish in 1800s.

    Reveal that the phrases “potato famine” and “the great hunger” are lies. Yes, there was a problem with potatoes. But real cause of the famine is that the British exported all the other available food and made a fortune doing it. Meanwhile, millions of Irish died.

    The truth has been hidden too long!


  12. Trisha

    Would much rather see ordinary people find their roots than the “beautiful” people who can afford to find out on their own. Bored with the “stars”.

  13. T Olson

    Love the show, but find myself being turned off because of the focus on “famous” people – tends to turn into a platform for them to spout off on their political beliefs. Would love to have the money to travel to locations where my relatives lived and do research in the unpublished archives.

  14. Rita Eldridge

    There are some Canadian actors who could (possibly) be featured on your show. I am deep into Canadian ancestry search. There are stories to be told there.

  15. Haya Eason

    The “stars” he has presented on the show may have sought him out and not the other way around. When I hear the subject say he or she knew nothing about a specific person or side of their family I hope the information is more than enlightening. I enjoy hearing other people’s stories especially if it is a person whose name I can recognize. Any part of their lives that shapes their view of things helps all of us to learn why they are the way they presently are. The Bravo series Inside the Actor’s Studio, Finding Your Roots, Who Do You Think You Are?, The History Channel, etc., are all helping to bridge us, unless of course, you don’t want to be bridged and remain disconnected and divided.

  16. Patrick F Egan

    Latest episodes have stayed close to the standard diversity challanged “find your roots” formula. All the people profiled are either descendants of slaves, decendants slave owners, descendants of nazis or descendants of Jews abused by nazis.

  17. D libby

    My grandfather is Paul e Pryor from hartord city in however he was born in tenn, can you find out if I’m related to a stone family in hartford city

  18. Dawn DeWitt

    Hello maybe you can maybe you can’t. I’m an 56 years and raised in the foster care in the 60/70,I’m looking to see if I have any family out there. I have 2 adult children and I’m looking for them. Cause when the good Lord takes me (I’m ok not dying or anything) I would like my children to have extended family,cause we don’t now.


    Professor Gates: Re: Episode 10 – Two young brothers (Amy Schumer’s distant ancestors) were captured and then adopted by Indians. Many years later these brothers were finally located, but they refused to leave their adoptive family and community. They did NOT want to return to their biological family and the white man’s way of living. Strange? Perhaps, but there are many accounts of children on the frontier who were taken in raids by various Indian tribes and who became what some called “white Indians”. Those who are interested in learning more about this can do a google search: “stories of frontier children taken by Native Americans.” Though there are quite a few accounts of such children, this bit of history doesn’t seems to be part of our American common knowledge. (Surprisingly, a friend of mine, a history professor at a community college, knew very little about this part of American [and Texas] history.) Interested? Check it out!!

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