If Genealogists Ruled the Television Networks

Genealogists everywhere are excited about the two upcoming television shows that will highlight genealogy and family history.  First we have Faces of America, which premieres on 10 February on PBS.  Then there is the long-awaited Who Do You Think You Are? which finally starts on 5 March on NBC.  Naturally we will all be watching, meaning “we genealogists”.  But secretly we hope that many non-genealogists will tune in and become so fascinated by what we do that they will all want to do it.  Did you ever wonder what would happen if millions of Americans discovered the joy of genealogy?  If these shows are successful, maybe the copies would begin – that’s usually what happens on network television.  Wouldn’t it be great if the evening television schedule had a genealogy-related program EVERY night?  I can see the schedule now…

Lost – a show about what to do when you feel completely lost in your search and provide examples of how to find those frustrating elusive ancestors.

Cold Case – an investigative show in which “madness Monday” and “brick wall” cases are analyzed and solved.

How I Met Your Mother – provides a special focus on marriage records and how to find them.

Law & Order – hosted by our own geneablogger and lawyer, Craig Manson, this show will highlight law-related genealogy topics like copyright issues as well as outline sources to find out more about those “Black Sheep” ancestors who served time.

Heroes – focuses on our ancestors who served in the military and will include how to find military records as well as present dramatized portraits of our veteran relatives.

The Forgotten
– brings Unclaimed Persons to the small screen to highlight the group’s efforts at using research tools to help identify “the forgotten” unclaimed in morgues.

The new NCIS spin-off, NARA, will be a dramatic series about a team of NARA archivists fighting to preserve our nation’s historical records.

Stay tuned!  Tell me your own ideas in the comments!


11 thoughts on “If Genealogists Ruled the Television Networks

  1. You’ve left out one of my favorite shows:

    “The Paper Chase” – follows the thrilling adventures of college-aged genealogists as they search for the records of their ancestors in courthouses, vital records offices, and archives.

  2. Great ideas! I should have thought about it a little harder.

    Thomas, they may be filming “Genealogists Gone Wild” in Salt Lake at the end of April. After all, Motha Superior Sheri and I will be roomies for the NGS conference. Without adult supervision, who knows what mischief we’ll get into. Do you have any extra “Get Out of Hell Free” cards we can borrow?

  3. That’s great that “Who Do You Think You Are?” is being adapted stateside (has been on the air over here in the UK since 2004). The BBC version is quite addictive viewing. Wondering if the American version will have the same format. After watching an episode of each show, one is quite inspired to go and research one’s own family tree…would probably do so if the BBC helped the way they help the celebrities!

  4. Why, “Genealogy’s Most Wanted,” of course. Featuring a photo and a bit of information. The audience tracks that missing ancestor to their last known associates and hopefully where they’ve been hiding all these years.

    We could keep a running total such as “1102 ancestors found worldwide.”


  5. Great ideas Donna! I invite your readers to hear from Lisa Kudrow the producer and star of Who Do You Think You Are? on the upcoming Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #81 which I’ll be publishing on Valentine’s Day – Feb. 14, 2010. You can’t help but get excited for more genealogy TV when you hear her talk about this new show!

  6. Pingback: Follow Friday - Zalewski Family Genealogy

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