Genealogy and Reality TV

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Genealogy and Reality TV

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1Vic33
huhtikuu 21, 2009, 12:38pm

Did anyone see Lisa Kudrow's new reality TV show titled, "Who Do You Think You Are?" It premiered on 4/20 but I missed it. The premise of the show is that each episode traces the family history of a guest celebrity. I was wondering if it was worthwhile from a genealogy standpoint. I am not usually a fan of reality TV but this sounded interesting.

2starzygal
toukokuu 3, 2009, 6:40am

This show is the American version of a UK series made by the BBC which aired on TV here (in New Zealand). I really enjoyed it so I'm hoping the American version is good and that they show it here as well.

3BrumleyCottage
toukokuu 9, 2009, 12:56pm

Is "Who do You think you are?" on free TV? If so, which station?

4PossMan
toukokuu 9, 2009, 2:22pm

The UK show is very popular and has spawned a number of associated book titles. I don't normally watch but about 3 years ago they "did" Jane Horrocks, a minor actress who did some ads for Tesco supermarkets. She's a distant relative of mine and connects with my Parkinson line but I was never able to make the link. Watching the programme and reading the book article about her gave me just enough information to tie everything up and sort out another branch of the tree. So I suppose the series helped me.

5TLCrawford
toukokuu 9, 2009, 2:30pm

6emmadhesi
toukokuu 15, 2009, 10:48am

Dear PossMan

I'm very envious of your relationship to Jane Horrocks, albeit distant. She is one of our (Britain's) best actresses, a really talented woman who can do the whole lot - a great dramatic actress, fantastic at comedy, brilliant singer, the list goes on!

I'm a big fan of WDYTYA. It makes family history look a bit on the easy side, but it does offer up some new ideas and a bit of inspiration when you hit that brick wall and need enthusing!

7PossMan
toukokuu 15, 2009, 2:35pm

#6 Emma: I was being a little bit nasty in referring to her as a "minor actress". I said much the same on a Lancashire genealogy list and was duly trounced. I actually enjoyed her Tesco ad appearances and also her role as a UK prime-minister in a series put on TV about a year ago. When she appeared on WDYTYA I thought she was more than a little unfair to her aunt and to some extent seemed rather dismissive of her background. Her mother, Doris Taylor, married Joseph Ashworth who was a nephew of my great-grandfather Joseph Parkinson. He was very well known in the area as a choral singer. But the programme did not mention her maternal background at all. But I understand that the programme editors/researchers have tough decisions to make as to how to structure each episode. And although I said Joey Ashworth (as our family knew him) was a a nephew of my great-grandfather he was born so much later than his sisters that I think he may have been an illegitimate child of one of them whatever the census claims.

As you say WDYTYA makes family history look easy and many newcomers will be encouraged. But the BBC funded by the hard-earned money of taxpayers has a bottomless pocket to send its researchers into every corner of the UK and, in many episodes, overseas as well. Again as you suggest we can all benefit from a new slant. Best of luck in your own researches.

8Vic33
toukokuu 17, 2009, 11:28am

Thanks TLCrawford. So I did not miss the show after all. Seems like the premiere has been delayed until the fall. From Diane Haddad's Genealogy Insider Blog:

"NBC's genealogy-reality TV series "Who Do You Think You Are?" will now premiere this fall, according to Genealogy Gems blogger and podcast host Lisa Louise Cooke.

Reports about the show surfaced last year (we covered it in the September 2008 Family Tree Magazine). Genealogists were thrilled when it was finally scheduled to begin in April, but the premiere was postponed. Let's hope this new date sticks.

The US version of "Who Do You Think You Are?", hosted by Lisa Kudrow of "Friends" fame, is based on Britain's successful show of the same name, which traces celebrities' family trees.

NBC's Web site for the show also says the network has partnered with Ancestry.com to produce a microsite where users can start their own family trees and learn more about the featured celebrities' trees."