Genealogy TV/Online Programs

35th Anniversary of “Roots.”

Thirty five years ago we were all sitting in front of our televisions watching the first episode of an eight episode miniseries called “Roots” based on the book by Alex Haley. The miniseries ran from January 23-30, 1977.

“Roots” held the attention of a continent for eight straight nights. I can’t think of a television show that would do that now. There were about 55 actors starring in the production. The time period was from about 1750 through to 1870.

This was a television show that changed a lot of lives. Many people began researching their family history because of watching “Roots.” It made people curious about those who came before them.

How did “Roots” change your life? Did you start researching your family history because of “Roots?” Do you remember sitting in front of the television to watch this epic story?

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

“Who Do You Think You Are?” – Kim Cattrall Episode

Last night’s episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” featuring Kim Cattrall was a repeat of the UK episode Kim did. The opening was different as they showed a timeline of her career which they did not do in the UK version.

They cut a whole section of the episode where she searched passenger lists to see if her grandfather had left the country. It turns out he stowed away on a ship to the USA. There were small snippets taken out in other parts of the show.

They put subtitles in the US version when Kim met Bella’s family. The note about the family being in touch with the family in Australia was at the end of the UK show.

Kim’s search was really interesting and all the twists and turns kept your attention. If the powers that be are listening it would be fantastic to see more of the British episodes of “Who Do You Think You Are?” on North American television.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

Who Do You Think You Are?

Rosie O’Donnell’s episode last night was great. The fact that her family arrived in the United States from Canada and not straight from Ireland highlighted an emigration pattern found in many families.

Next week’s episode features Kim Cattrall. The preview note says that “Kim unlocks the 70-year-old mystery behind her grandfather’s abandonment of his young family.” Kim Cattrall appeared on the original UK series and this seems to be the same episode.

The story itself is extremely interesting and takes quite a few twist and turns. I can understand why it is going to be repeated on American television. I wonder if they filmed some of the scenes again. The sad part is how much they will have to cut for the extra commercial time.

Now the question is will they be repeating the UK show for Jerry Springer as well?

©2011 – Blair Archival Research