The acclaimed “Finding Your Roots” series returns with Professor Henry Louis Gates, JR exploring the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of popular figures.
Today’s most compelling personalities will discover the surprising stories buried within their own families in the sixth season of the critically acclaimed PBS series FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. The new season will premiere on Tuesdays beginning October 13th at 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.
The sixth season of Finding Your Roots on PBS features 27 fascinating 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 Jeffrey Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Melissa McCarthy and Sterling K. Brown; groundbreaking director Jordan Peele, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; acclaimed journalists Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell; musicians Queen Latifah and Jon Batiste; legendary fashion designers Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and Zac Posen; as well as a host of other luminaries, including Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini, Terry Gross, Marc Maron, Eric Stonestreet, Issa Rae, Amy Ryan and Justina Machado. Some of the guests whose stories we will revisit this season include actors Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Marisa Tomei; journalist Lisa Ling; radio talk show host Joe Madison; musician Questlove; and late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
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 that trace throughout the United States and Canada; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Germany, Poland, Ireland, Russia and more. Episode to episode, audiences will meet guests’ ancestors who were business people 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 us.
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.
“Hosting Finding Your Roots is not only profoundly rewarding as a scholar, It’s part of a larger mission to inspire us all to seek out the stories of our ancestors—to see history as something that we are all a part of, that we all have a stake in—and, in realizing this, to help us arrive at a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of the human family. Our series strives to show how all Americans are related, despite our present divisive politics, at the most fundamental levels of all: through our families, through our immigrant experiences, whether forced or voluntary, and at the level of the genome. I couldn’t be more excited to share Season Six with our viewers.”Henry Louis Gates, JR.
Assembling the extensive family trees and family narratives alongside Dr. Gates are DNA expert CeCe Moore (Founder, The DNA Detective) and expert genealogist Johni Cerny (Founder, Lineages).
In conjunction with the broadcast, co-producer WETA, the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, will work with stations across the country to encourage viewers to 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.
FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.,Season Six is a production of McGee Media, Inkwell Films, Kunhardt Films and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ark Media. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the writer, host, and executive producer. Dyllan McGee and Peter Kunhardt are executive producers. Dalton Delan and John F. Wilson are executive producers in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS. Sabin Streeter is the senior producer. Hannah Olson is the series producer. Sabin Streeter and Krista Whetstone are directors. Major corporate support for FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Season Six is provided by Ancestry, Johnson & Johnson and AT&T. Major support is also provided by the Ford Foundation, Candace King Weir, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.
FALL 2020 Episode List
- “Fashion’s Roots” with Diane Von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez, RuPaul
- “Breaking the Silences” with Gayle King, Jordan Peele, Issa Rae
- “DNA Mysteries” with Ann Curry, Téa Leoni, Joe Madison
- “War Stories” with Kehinde Wiley, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader
- “Flight” with Lupita Nyong’o, Lidia Bastianich, Scarlett Johannsson
- “Coming to America” with Nancy Pelosi, Norah O’Donnell, Zac Posen