Part detective story, part emotional journey, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will combine history and science to uncover the fascinating stories of diverse Americans. Each individual’s past will link to a larger community history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America. GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will air Mondays at 9 p.m. beginning September 23.
“GENEALOGY ROADSHOW is an engaging, innovative program that reveals the bigger picture of our nation’s past, present and future,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “With a diverse mix of stories in each episode, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW appeals to Americans interested in learning about their family histories. It also shows that no matter one’s heritage and background, everyone has a place in history.”
GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s premiere season will feature participants from four American cities — Nashville, Austin, Detroit and San Francisco — who want to explore unverified genealogical claims, passed down through family history, that may (or may not) connect them to an event or a historical figure. These cities were chosen as American crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history, with deep pools of potential participants and stories. After participants are chosen, experts in genealogy, history and DNA will use family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues to hunt down more information. These experts will enlist the help of local historians to add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes a clue in solving the mystery. Residents of Austin, Detroit, Nashville and San Francisco are invited and encouraged to submit their personal stories as GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will unearth family and community secrets, reveal notable relatives and discover unexpected stories that connect the past to the present. Many answers will be revealed on camera before a local audience, in a historic building relevant to the cities’ – and the participants’ – histories.
“It is rare and wonderful when one can produce a show in which literally everyone is qualified to be a part of it,” said executive producer Stuart Krasnow. “PBS is the perfect partner to produce a show that celebrates the richness of the individual, and the differences between us that make our country unique.”