Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

(Rochester, NY) – Twenty-one of America’s most fascinating people discover the rich history and tremendous diversity hidden within their families in the eighth season of the critically acclaimed PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The new season premieres Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

The eighth season features ten new episodes showcasing guests who have excelled in a wide array of fields, each with ancestral stories that touch on the human experience and bring insight into how they became the trailblazers they are today. Among the guests are stars of the stage and screen Amy Carlson (“Blue Bloods”), Terry Crews (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Tony Danza, Raúl Esparza (“Law & Order: SVU”), Kathryn Hahn (“Wandavision”), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Nathan Lane, John Leguizamo, Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) and Melissa Villaseñor (“Saturda Night Live”); multi-hyphenates Pamela Adlon, Lena Waithe and Regina King; filmmakers Lee Daniels (“Empire,” Precious) and Damon Lindelof (“Watchmen,” “Lost”); fashion legend André Leon Talley; journalist Erin Burnett; talk show and radio host Mario Lopez; restaurateur David Chang; and activists Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Anita Hill.

To uncover their stories, Finding Your Roots uses every tool available—from cutting-edge DNA research to old-school genealogical sleuthing—revealing long-buried secrets and hidden aspects of our shared history. Along the way, the series compiles family trees that span the globe—from the United States to South America, Europe to Africa, Asia and more. Episode to episode, audiences will meet guests’ ancestors who crisscrossed the globe to become businesspeople and bootleggers, war heroes and criminals, farmers and factory workers, all the while 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.

Assembling the extensive family trees and ancestral narratives alongside Dr. Gates are DNA expert CeCe Moore (Founder, The DNA Detective and host of ABC’s “The Genetic Detective”) and genealogists Nick Sheedy and Kimberly Morgan, who together have solved hundreds of mysteries and reconnected innumerable lost relatives over the past two decades.  

Photo: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 
Provided by PBS

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