Culture

Finding Your Roots

For more than a decade, renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has helped to expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom, and compassion. Professor Gates has explored the ancestry of dozens of influential people from diverse backgrounds, taking millions of viewers deep into the past to reveal the connections that bind us all.

Viewers Like You

52m 10s

After a national casting call that received over nine thousand submissions, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets 3 everyday Americans. Each has a family mystery that they have spent years trying to solve—only to reach dead ends. Using genetic genealogy and old-fashioned detective work, Gates unravels these mysteries, allowing each of his guests to understand themselves—and their families--as never before.

Episodes

  • Viewers Like You: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Viewers Like You

    S10 E10 - 52m 10s

    After a national casting call that received over nine thousand submissions, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets 3 everyday Americans. Each has a family mystery that they have spent years trying to solve—only to reach dead ends. Using genetic genealogy and old-fashioned detective work, Gates unravels these mysteries, allowing each of his guests to understand themselves—and their families--as never before.

  • In the Blood: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    In the Blood

    S10 E9 - 52m 10s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of actor Michael Douglas & writer-director Lena Dunham. Both guests are the children of famous artists—and both proudly followed in their parents’ footsteps. But their family trees contain a cast of characters whose lives were forgotten. Gates recovers them, telling fascinating stories from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the streets of colonial America.

  • Mean Streets: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mean Streets

    S10 E8 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. maps the family trees of comedian Tracy Morgan & actor Anthony Ramos—two native New Yorkers whose roots stretch to surprising places and contain inspiring stories. Moving from the Canary Islands to battlefields in Europe & Asia to slave plantations in Virginia, long-lost records reveal ancestors who laid the groundwork for Tracy and Anthony’s success by fighting to survive.

  • The Brick Wall Falls: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Brick Wall Falls

    S10 E7 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Dionne Warwick and actor Danielle Brooks break down the barriers imposed by slavery to learn the names and stories of their ancestors who endured bondage. Facing one of the greatest genealogical challenges, Gates uses his detective skills to piece together the lives of women and men who survived unimaginable ordeals—but emerged to forge families that thrived.

  • Far and Away: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Far and Away

    S10 E6 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of journalist Sunny Hostin & actor Jesse Williams—revealing the tremendous diversity hidden within their family trees. Sifting through stories of Swedish musical prodigies, Spanish slave traders, Southern plantations, and Salem Witch Trials, Gates unravels deep secrets and uncovers lost ancestors—compelling each of his guests to rethink their identities.

  • Hold the Laughter: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hold the Laughter

    S10 E5 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the roots of comedians Bob Odenkirk and Iliza Shlesinger—two very funny people whose family trees brim with stories that are more drama than comedy. Moving from Napoleonic France to Nazi-occupied Poland to the castle of a European duke, Gates introduces them to relatives who took great risks and overcame enormous hardships for the sake of their families.

  • Buried Secrets: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Buried Secrets

    S10 E4 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps singer Sammy Hagar and actor Ed O’Neill uncover their hidden roots, revealing scandals and secrets that their ancestors went to great lengths to conceal. Traveling from criminal underworlds to Civil War battlefields, they explore the meaning of family bonds—meet heroes and villains—and celebrate the virtue of accepting one’s relatives, whoever they may be.

  • Fathers and Sons: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fathers and Sons

    S10 E3 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi—two men who grew up without their fathers, haunted by questions about entire branches of their family trees. With only a handful of clues to guide him, Gates uncovers stories his guests have long wanted to hear, introducing them to ancestors whose names they’ve never known-—and revealing their connections to key moments in history.

  • Forever Young: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Forever Young

    S10 E2 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser—two actors who found fame when they were young and lived much of their lives in the limelight, cut off from their roots. Moving from war-torn Europe to the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the Amazon jungle, each discovers the places their ancestors once called home—providing new insight into what made them who they are today.

  • Born to Sing: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Born to Sing

    S10 E1 - 52m 12s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of singers Alanis Morissette and Ciara—using DNA analysis and genealogical detective work to trace lineages that run from shtetls in Eastern Europe to Jazz Age Harlem. Along the way, Alanis and Ciara reimagine their families and meet the people who laid the groundwork for their success—including one ancestor who was at the center of a song.

Extras + Features

  • Hold the Laughter Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hold the Laughter Preview

    S10 E5 - 31s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the roots of comedians Bob Odenkirk and Iliza Shlesinger—two very funny people whose family trees brim with stories that are more drama than comedy. Moving from Napoleonic France to Nazi-occupied Poland to the castle of a European duke, Gates introduces them to relatives who took great risks and overcame enormous hardships for the sake of their families.

  • Iliza Schlesinger Discovers Her Connection to the Holocaust: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Iliza Schlesinger Discovers Her Connection to the Holocaust

    S10 E5 - 7m 51s

    Iliza Schlesinger's great-grandmother Esther journeyed from Poland to New York in 1921, leaving behind five siblings who faced hardship during World War II in Poland. Eliza reacts to the emotional impact of discovering family history tied to tragic events such as the Holocaust.

  • Buried Secrets Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Buried Secrets Preview

    S10 E4 - 31s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps singer Sammy Hagar and actor Ed O’Neill uncover their hidden roots, revealing scandals and secrets that their ancestors went to great lengths to conceal. Traveling from criminal underworlds to Civil War battlefields, they explore the meaning of family bonds—meet heroes and villains—and celebrate the virtue of accepting one’s relatives, whoever they may be.

  • Sammy Hagar Discovers His True Biological Surname: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Sammy Hagar Discovers His True Biological Surname

    S10 E4 - 7m 20s

    Despite assuming a family connection, Sammy Hagar's DNA test results show he doesn't genetically belong to the Hagar lineage as expected. This discovery leads to the question of his true biological surname, introducing uncertainty and curiosity about his heritage.

  • Sammy Hagar Tears Up Over His Mother's Hard Life: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Sammy Hagar Tears Up Over His Mother's Hard Life

    S10 E4 - 1m 13s

    Sammy Hagar is overcome with emotion while reflecting on his family's difficult past and discussing the challenges his mother faced growing up with a traumatized grandmother and the lack of proper love and support.

  • Fathers and Sons Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fathers and Sons Preview

    S10 E3 - 30s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi — two men who grew up without their fathers, haunted by questions about their family trees.

  • Wes Studi's Discovers His Connection to the Trail of Tears: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Wes Studi's Discovers His Connection to the Trail of Tears

    S10 E3 - 7m 34s

    Wes hears the story of his how his ancestor journeyed on the Trail of Tears, which was a forced displacement of about 60,000 Native Americans, including Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes, from their homelands to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in the 1830s.

  • How Wes Studi Got Into Theater: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How Wes Studi Got Into Theater

    S10 E3 - 1m 22s

    Actor Wes Studi's friend Jay WhiteCrow recommended the American Indian Theater Company in Tulsa to help him navigate meeting new people after his divorce.

Schedule

  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Tuesday
    Apr 23

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Tuesday
    Apr 23

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Tuesday
    Apr 23

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Saturday
    Apr 27

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Sunday
    Apr 28

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Sunday
    Apr 28

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Sunday
    Apr 28

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Monday
    Apr 29

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Monday
    Apr 29

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Monday
    Apr 29

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Tuesday
    Apr 30

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Fathers and Sons: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fathers and Sons

    Tuesday
    Apr 30

    1 Hour

    Actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi, two men who grew up without their fathers, explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Fathers and Sons: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fathers and Sons

    Tuesday
    Apr 30

    1 Hour

    Actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi, two men who grew up without their fathers, explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Fathers and Sons: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fathers and Sons

    Wednesday
    May 1

    1 Hour

    Actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi, two men who grew up without their fathers, explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Fathers and Sons: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fathers and Sons

    Wednesday
    May 1

    1 Hour

    Actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi, two men who grew up without their fathers, explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Fathers and Sons: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fathers and Sons

    Wednesday
    May 1

    1 Hour

    Actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi, two men who grew up without their fathers, explore their family histories.

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