Today’s most compelling personalities discover the surprising stories buried within their own families in the seventh season of the critically acclaimed PBS series”Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” The new season will premiere on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 19, 2021 at 7 p.m. on Arizona PBS.
New episodes of “Finding Your Roots” will broadcast throughout winter and spring 2021, and will continue to feature exciting new guests who are game-changers in their fields, with family histories that illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience. Among them are actors Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Jane Lynch, Audra MacDonald, Christopher Meloni and Tony Shalhoub; acclaimed musicians Clint Black, Rosanne Cash and Pharrell Williams; groundbreaking directors Kasi Lemmons and John Waters; renowned journalists Gretchen Carlson and Nina Totenberg; hilarious comedians Lewis Black and Jim Gaffigan; popular late night personality Andy Cohen; and more to be announced.
In sharing their stories, “Finding Your Roots” uses every tool available, from cutting-edge DNA research to old-school genealogical sleuthing, to reveal long-buried secrets. Spanning the globe, the series compiles family trees in these new episodes that trace throughout the United States and Canada; across Europe and Africa; and more. Episode to episode, audiences will meet guests’ ancestors who were businesspeople and bootleggers, war heroes and criminals, farmers and immigrants, the persecuted and the persevering under the most extraordinary circumstances. Together, the arc of each guest’s family personalizes history while emphasizing the human connections that unite everyone.
At the center of it all, guiding every discovery, is host and executive producer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. “As we enter our seventh season on PBS, ‘Finding Your Roots’ continues to illuminate the past by unlocking the histories contained in our guests’ DNA,” Gates said. “Building on traditional paper trail research, genetic genealogy is a powerful tool for reconnecting branches on family trees eroded by silence and time. It also underscores one of the central themes of our series — that all of us, in one way or another, descend from immigrants whose travels across space are part of the larger human story of movement either through necessity, brutal force, escape or the search for a better life.”
Assembling the extensive family trees and family narratives alongside Dr. Gates are DNA expert CeCe Moore (Founder, The DNA Detective and host of ABC’s “The Genetic Detective”), and new lead genealogist Nick Sheedy, who carries on the work of founding series genealogist Johni Cerny (Founder, Lineages), who unfortunately passed away in early 2020.
In conjunction with the broadcast, viewers can explore and share their family histories via social media using the hashtag #FindingYourRoots on Facebook and Twitter, via Facebook.com/FindingYourRootsPBS and @HenryLouisGates, and on the series companion site, pbs.org/FindingYourRoots.