I have this FANTASTIC idea. Wouldn't it be cool if we had our own genealogy cable T.V. channel? We could name it the Saving Crap and Finding Stories Cable TV Channel, or SCFS channel. Think about it. We have Who Do You Think You Are? [WDYTYA?] on Friday nights on NBC and starting this Sunday evening the PBS show Finding Your Roots will begin its season. If we had our own cable TV channel, we could rerun these shows a la USA cable channel or a la ion cable channel. Then? We could rerun the other countries' WDYTYA? TV shows.
And we could throw in Find My Past's BBC show where they take an historical moment, research it, and find 3 living descendants to tell them of their connection to the historical moment. [And we SO need the American version to this show. STAT.] We could call it something like, I dunno, You're Connected to History!
We could then throw in some forensic-related shows. I can just see it now. Who Shares Your DNA? [I dunno. Who?!?] I can see people getting their DNA tested for genealogy purposes and finding others they are related to. Some weeks, it'd be kinda scary. Do you really wanna meet them? ;)
And then throw in the I'm Not a Celebrity but I Wanna Know My Family History and Be On TV! TV show, which [and I know you're going to find this hard to believe] I totally just made up, but, darn, it sounds good, doesn't it? I bet we'd have NO problem finding people for this show.
Ooh. And what about the House Secrets TV show? I totally made that one up too, but can't you just hear the announcer saying, *in low bellowing voice* "Your house has secrets. It's time you found them out..."? Houses have histories too, and, boy, wouldn't it be fascinating to watch a house historian give us the lowdown on someone's house?
Late nights on the SCFS cable channel? One hour infomercials featuring gadgets researchers could use. Can't you just imagine your insomniac self [Don't lie. You were up doing genealogy.] watching the Flip-Pal infomercial? Yeah.
Then, of course, we could have Made-for-TV shows based on popular memoirs. I bet Melissa Gilbert and Genie Francis would be all over these shows in a skinny minute. And we could rerun them during the holidays a la Lifetime Channel.
Here's a personal favorite: Don't Throw Out That Inherited Crap! TV show. An Ephemera Rescuer saves family ephemera heirlooms from a certain fate worse than death by finding the stories behind all that crap families inherit and giving it meaning and thus, a new life.
Better yet? Bring the 48 Hour Ephemera Challenge to life on TV! Take a team of Ephemera Rescuers who comb antique stores and estate sales in search of identifiable ephemera, watch them research it a bit, tie it into history, and find descendants of those identified in the ephemera, and return it to them. Can you imagine the looks on the descendant's faces when we come a-knockin' with a part of their family history? And, of course, the overlying tension of the show comes from the ever tick-tock of the 48 hour countdown. Can you hear the announcer? *in low bellowing voice* "Can they do it? Can the Ephemera Rescuers put these people back into history where they belong with just...a postcard?" Yes! Yes, we can! [Oops! I totally just got wrapped up into this TV show concept. Heaven only knows why.] We could even have our own critics who chastise the show for not showing all the detailed research steps in each episode. ;)
*Big sigh* Oh, for the Saving Crap and Finding Stories Cable TV Channel to be a reality. But, alas! We have just our 2 TV shows to keep us company.
This Friday night at 7pm CST, Helen Hunt will be the celebrity spotlighted on NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? Will it be the Hunt kinfolk they pursue? Were they hunters? Anyone care to guess how many folks will chastise Helen and the show for doing a tombstone rubbing? Here's a sneak peek of Helen's episode:
Finding Your Roots
And then this Sunday is the season premiere of Finding Your Roots on PBS with Henry Louis Gates Jr. He'll be spotlighting 2 celebrities' family histories ~ Harry Connick Jr. [I think I might just faint. Love him.] and Branford Marsalis! Harry has a pirate in his family. And? So do I! [Not that that matters.] Here's a season preview of the show:
So. Provided you didn't just faint from seeing Harry Connick Jr. in the above preview [Um, like me.], do you have any ideas for TV shows? And most importantly, have you named them? Lemme know in comments below.
Tonight is Jerome Bettis on Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC at 7pm CST. Come join us on my Spreecast
as we watch it together and talk during commercials or chat in the chat room. Be on video if you want. We start at 6:45pm CST and end promptly at 8pm. This way we don't tweet our thoughts/spoilers for the other time zones.Here's the preview for tonight's show:
Area near where my 2nd Grt Grandfather's farm was on Galveston Island, TX.
Many of us have done it. Many more will. And last week on Who Do You Think Are? Reba did it. And in the upcoming episode this Friday, Jerome Bettis will do it.
What am I talking about? Walking where our ancestors walked trying to put ourselves in their shoes to see and feel the world of the past. It's a moving experience to try to get closer to our ancestors. And? It makes for good storytelling whether we're writing about our family history in a blog or whether we're watching someone on TV go through the experience.
Below are 2 episodes from Who Do You Think You Are?. The first is a deleted scene from Reba's episode where she tours a replica of the ship her 6th great grandfather sailed on as a 9yo indentured servant in 1698. In her episode, Reba exhibits characteristics of a natural family history detective. She's always asking questions, especially, "Why?" And in this scene it's no different. Also? Her emotional response to the tour is palpable. Take a look at the scene, "Standing on the Deck of the Past":
Something tells me that Reba will continue her family history searching. How can I tell? I can see it in her eyes. She's been bit by the genealogy bug. She won't have a choice. Like us.
And? The next video is a scene from this next Friday night's episode with Jerome Bettis! And in this scene, you can tell how moved Jerome is by walking on the land where his ancestors had lived. Take a look at the scene, "Walking in the Footsteps of the Past":
And whether you stand on a deck or walk in the footsteps, it's a moving and humbling experience to try to get closer to your ancestors. I've done both. I've walked a deck of a ship that one of my husband's great uncles served on in World War II. I've also walked the land on Galveston Island that was once farm land owned by a Prussian immigrant who also was my great grandfather, John Marschall.
Both times I was extremely moved, and you know what? I did feel closer to both of them as well as to their pasts. I felt like I understood their stories a lot better. So, if you get the chance, do it.And? This Friday night I will be hosting another Spreecast on my channel where we watch Who Do You Think Are? together. We start 15 minutes before the show starts [6:45pm CST on NBC] and we discuss the show at commercials. So please join us. It's very casual. You don't have to be on camera although I wholeheartedly welcome you to do so if you want. And if you don't want to be on video, there's a chat room where we continue the discussion.
We end promptly at 8pm CST for those who want to join Geneabloggers Blog Talk Radio.
I've not hidden my feelings when it comes to NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? I absolutely love it. As a researcher I think it's a wonderful tool being used to reach out to the non-genealogy world and exposing them to family history research. And that is why I really don't like what critics of the show are saying. For one, they're never happy.
In the first 2 seasons critics were SO concerned about the show showing too much story and not enough research. They wanted the celebrity to do some of the work, not the expert. And now? In the 3rd season, the celebrities are shown doing the work in the clips, and critics are crying out that they don't want to see the celebrities do the work. They're happy that more of the technical aspects are being shown instead of just the story.And this is just 2 of the complaints of the critics, and I don't think the criticisms from the different seasons are coming from the same people. [At least I hope not. However, I've not been taking names.] One thing I do know is that they're coming from the online genealogy world.
I realize that genealogists revel in the technical aspects of researching. After all, that's part of why we do what we do. However, WDYTYA? is not a show for researchers. WDYTYA? is a show for researchers-to-be and for those who will never be researchers. Putting the Ancestry.com, NBC, and business aspects aside [and don't kid yourself, it's a business], it's a national, if not world, platform that exposes people to the idea of family history. And we, as researchers, can use it as a tool
within our own families and communities to get people interested, but please don't think this show is for us and our detailed technical genealogical minds.And what does the general public like to see? They like drama, scandal, and celebrities. In story form. My proof? Well for one [and I CANNOT believe I'm about to mention this celebrity family on my blog],
the Keeping Up with the Kardashians. More proof? Ice Loves Coco, The Apprentice [celebrity version] and Kendra.And let's not forget shows like Dancing with the Stars where there are mini dramas popping up with every episode.But? The general public doesn't just love
stories involving celebrities. They like the everyday Joe [or Jane] who is suddenly propelled in front of the camera sharing their story full of drama and scandal. Of course eventually some of them become celebrities because of their story and some even achieve cult status. And here's some of the shows on the lovely reality TV shows list:
I could go on, but I think I can make my point with the above list. All of these shows have one thing in common besides the fact that I've watched them. [I may not have liked them, but I watched them and sometimes more than once.] What all reality TV shows have in common is that they tell a story and usually a pretty dramatic one. And let's take a look at one of them as an example ~ American Chopper. Now, Senior and Paulie entertained me for years. Their bike shop reminded me of my Dad's truck and trailer mechanic's shop and paint & body shop. [And Senior reminded me of my Dad. Sort of.] Surprisingly, I know my way around a mechanic's shop and the aspects of running one. I'm also quite familiar with the technical terminology. However, when I watched the show, I didn't sit there and critique every minute detail of the show [and I could have]. Why? Because it was about the ongoing drama between Senior and his son Paulie who practically never agreed on anything. I'm sure bike chop shops around the country watched the show because of their passion for building bikes, and I'm very sure they had criticisms with certain details of the show. But guess what? The show wasn't for them and in a way it wasn't for me either. It was for those voyeurs out there [and the voyeur in me] who wanted to escape our own drama for a while and watch someone else's drama for a while. That's right. Escape our story and watch someone else's story.
- Jersey Shore
- Swamp People
- Ax Man
- The Deadliest Catch
- The Amazing Race
- Fear Factor
- Big Brother
- American Idol
- America's Next Top Model
- Wife Swap
- The Apprentice [the non-celebrity version]
- The Real World
- Miami Ink
- American Chopper
- The First 48
- The Real Housewives [of various cities]
- American Pickers
- Ice Road Truckers
- The Generations Project
- John and Kate Plus 8
- Teen Mom
[For me, it was refreshing to see someone else working for their difficult father-boss.]And? In the process, we *all* learned something about building a bike whether we wanted to or not because they dovetailed the technical into the story. Not all of it, mind you, just enough to move the story along.
And I cannot and will never build a motorcycle. I can promise you that.And we need to remember that when it comes to the show WDYTYA?.
Yes, we need to watch and support it, but let's stop criticizing every detail of the show and embrace the fact that they're trying to tell a story [and the fact that our passion ~genealogy~ is being spotlighted on prime time TV.]. Stop quibbling over gloves or no gloves, too much story and not enough technical, let the celebrities do the work or don't let them do the work. How about we just let them tell the story? The name of the show is Who Do You Think You Are?, right? Well
, I'm not a tree nor a leaf with lines between me and my family members. I don't walk around with my vitals listed on my body. I'm a person with a family. And guess what? My family and I have a story to tell.Remember: It's not for us. It's for them.~CarolineAnd here's a clip of a deleted scene [That's right. Not shown in last Friday night's episode.] where the research is dovetailed into the story perfectly. Well, both stories ~ Blair Underwood's story of finding his family and his own family's story.
It's short, but very moving and revealing.
I absolutely cannot wait for this Friday night's episode of WDYTYA? with Blair Underwood. I missed WDYTYA? last Friday night. I really don't think it's such a good idea to start a series, run 2 episodes, and then have a "break" for an awards show. But? I guess you can't really do anything about scheduling. I just think you'd want to train your viewers, so to speak.Nevertheless, I'm thrilled it's back this Friday night at 7pm CST on NBC. However, I won't be tweeting throughout the show. Too many people on the West Coast complain about it. And even though Twitter is as much mine as it is theirs, I'm just not gonna tweet throughout the show.
[However, I'll be scheduling some tweets about the show to go post during the show for the benefit of my non-genealogist Twitter friends.However, I'll be hosting a Spreecast on my Spreecast Channel. What is Spreecast? It's a social video platform, where I can produce and host a broadcast, of sorts. I can have up to 4 people on screen at a time, and as many people as I want chatting in the chat room as possible. That's right. We'll have a chat room.So. It'll be like we're watching it together in person, but not.Why not do a Hangout on Google+?Spreecast is different than a Hangout in that this is a broadcast on my Spreecast Channel that will be archived on Spreecast. It also has some other capabilities to the broadcast. For example, I could have a second person be a producer [or several someones] and help me with who is on the screen so that I can run the show. This would be very helpful if I were interviewing someone, which I may want to do down the line among other things.
Plus, if people don't want to be on camera, they can still participate through the chat room. I'll be keeping up with the chat room while we watch and comment on the show. [And I hope you realize how much I don't want to be on camera, but I'm doing it because I like the idea of the video medium. And that desire is bigger than my hate of me on camera.]So. Who's in on this little venture of mine? We'll start at 15 minutes before the show [6:45pm CST] and end promptly at 8pm when Geneabloggers goes live on Blog Talk Radio.
It's gonna be casual. Nothing formal. Just a bunch of genealogists gabbing about NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?Helpful Links:URL for the Spreecast: http://www.spreecast.com/events/genealogyshowcommentarygoesonairInfo about Joining a Spreecast: http://help.spreecast.com/Spreecast FAQs: http://help.spreecast.com/faq
And you can RSVP below in the bottom right hand corner of the box below. If you want.
So, See ya' Friday night at 6:45pm CST!
And here's the preview to Blair Underwood's episode that will air this Friday night on NBC:
And if you're unable to watch the video here, here's the direct link to the video:http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/video/Preview-Blair-Underwood/1384511
Okay. I dunno about you, but I'm getting hungrier by the day. Yes, hungrier for Italian food which I plan to prepare on Friday night in preparation of Marisa Tomei's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC.
But? I'm also hungrier for more of Marisa Tomei's family story. I thought the highlight clip yesterday was fantastic. [Especially loved her on the sail boat. Cuz I totally plan to sail off on a sail boat to search for my ancestral lands. Don't you? I mean, if you're gonna dream, dream BIG.]
Anywho, just when I thought I was completely excited to learn more about Marisa's family story, then came along this clip of more of her family story.
See why I'm hungrier to know more about her family story? Absolutely can't wait for Marisa's episode to air Friday on NBC, 10 Feb 2012 at 7pm CST.
And? I'm a wee jealous of her Italian roots. I've uncovered absolutely none so far in my own family. Why, of why, do I have such a love for Italian food? Marisa is the closest I will have been to Italian research. So you bet I'll be watching Friday night.
And eating. ;)
Okay. Who absolutely loved the season premiere of Who Do You Think You Are last Friday night? Yeah. I know. I'm a wee biased, but I think this was the best one yet. It certainly was the first time I watched one with other genealogists. In the same room. What a difference that made. I was privileged to watch it with some awesome genealogy friends at the historic Peery Hotel in Salt Lake City. The bartender freely gave up the remote to the T.V. and we pretty much had the run of the place. WOW!
But not only was the company outstanding, but so was the show. Martin Sheen's story was fascinating, and it was interesting how they touched upon two different parts of his tree ~ the Irish and the Spanish. It was even more fascinating to see how Martin Sheen's life paralleled his ancestors' lives when it comes to activism.
I also think it was interesting to see that his ancestors' stories weren't so pretty and perfect and that their journey had, indeed, been very hard.
It doesn't matter who you are. Celebrity or everyday folk. Alive or dead. We're all alike when it comes to having a family story. A real family story chock full of the good times and the bad. Trials and jubilation. Tears and smiles.
The common thread through all of our ancestors' stories is their perseverance, which leads us each into our own family stories.
Following are a highlight clip and 2 deleted scenes from Martin Sheen's episode. Enjoy.
It's always awesome to see someone wowed by their family's history.
I agree with Reba, "This is really cool."
And I agree with Martin Sheen that if our family history was written in a novel, it would be hard to believe.
But isn't it incredible that we can discover that it is true?
Season 3 of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are
begins Friday, February 3rd. 8pm ET / 7pm CT. The last I heard the first episode will be featuring Martin Sheen. So, come see where your favorite celebs came from, and maybe get inspired to find out where you came from. Or not. It's up to you. ;)~CarolineNote: I am an affiliate with Ancestry.com, who is a sponsor of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are. For more disclosure information please visit my Disclosure Page.
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Genealogy is Back in PrimetimeI mentioned in my previous post that watching the 3rd Season Premier of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? makes a good reason for you to go to Rootstech
. However, even if you can't make it, you can watch the season premier on Friday, Feb 3rd at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT.3rd Season's Lineup
I'm really excited about this lineup!
- Martin Sheen
- Marisa Tomei
- Blair Underwood
- Reba McEntire
- Rob Lowe
- Helen Hunt
- Rita Wilson
- Edie Falco
- Rashida Jones
- Jerome Bettis
- Jason Sudeikis
- Paula Deen
- I'm a big fan of Martin Sheen's work. I do know his real last name is Estevez and I know who his sons are. It'll be interesting to see if we'll be learning more about his Irish roots or his Spanish roots. Either way, this will definitely be a winning episode.
- I LOVE Marisa Tomei. She tends to play such sassy characters, and for some reason, I like that. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that they'll uncover her Italian roots, which is good. The closest I ever get to Italian research is passing by the Italian section at Clayton Library and eating Italian food. I think I'm gonna have to serve Italian food for dinner that night. You know, to get in the mood. [And? Marisa Tomei was in the movie Somebody Like You with Ashley Judd, who appeared in the 2nd season of Who Do You Think You Are?.]
- Another great actor that I admire is Blair Underwood. I remember him in L.A. Law. [See how brave I am for revealing that? Goodness, I'm old.] And while I'm a fan of his work, I know nothing about him personally. Therefore, I can't wait to see what his family tree climbing reveals.
- And Reba McEntire? I'm a definite fan of her, and once upon a time, I read her autobiography and loved it. So, I can't wait to see this Oklahoman country music crooner's roots. Will definitely put on some Reba music that night in prep for the show.
- Rob Lowe's posters once graced my bedroom's walls back in the day. I know who his brother is and his parents because I remember reading about them in Tiger Beat Magazine right before I tore his and his brother's pics out to put on my walls. So, I think I'll enjoy looking at Rob Lowe that Friday night. Oops, I mean watching Rob Lowe climb his family tree in this episode. <grin> Wonder if I saved any of those posters and where would they be? Maybe I should look to St. Elmo's Fire to lead the way. [I know. *Groan*]
- I can't think of a t.v. show or movie that Helen Hunt has appeared in that I'm not mad about. Seriously. However, I know nothing about her personal life. So. Where will the hunt for her roots begin and lead to? [*wink*]
- And speaking of Helen Hunt, do you remember that she co-starred in the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks? Remember Wilson the volleyball and dear friend of Tom Hank's character in the movie? Well, Tom Hank's very beautiful and talented wife, Rita Wilson, will be climbing her family tree as well. [Can I make connections, or what?] I'm looking forward to the climb even though I don't know a thing about her family. In fact, it's pretty much Greek to me. [Um, that's a hint.]
- Loved Edie Falco in the Sopranos, and her character certainly put up with a lotta crap from her mob boss husband, Tony. It'll be interesting to see which branch she climbs in this episode. I mean, for dinner do I serve Italian food again or perhaps, oh I dunno, Swedish Meatballs? Oooh. Maybe I'll serve both!
- My daughter and I love the t.v. show The Office which Rashida Jones appears in. I'm not familiar with her personal life. However, a quick look at her bio tells me that perhaps we might watching her climb an African, Irish, or Russian branch of her family tree. Can't wait to find out which one!
- I am, among other things, a Steelers fan, and I'm thrilled to see Jerome Bettis on this season's lineup. Can't wait to see what his family tree climb reveals.
- Okay. While Jason Sudeikis' name didn't ring any bells for me, a quick look at his bio tells me that, duh, he's, like, everywhere. And? He has a long list of celebrity impressions that he can do. So. I've seen him, and he's most certainly made me laugh more than once. What his bio doesn't reveal is his ancestry. However, he IS the nephew of George Wendt. You know, Norm from my absolute most favorite t.v. show of all time, Cheers? [Oh gawd. I'm old.] So, it looks like Jason gets his funny bone from the family tree. Will definitely watch some episodes of Cheers from Netflix to help me get in the mood for Jason's climbing the family tree episode. [Like I need a reason to watch Cheers. *rolling eyes heavenward* ]
- Speaking of food, Paula Deen will be featured in this 3rd season. [Yes, we were talking of food. Remember that Cheers episode where Norm is eating Cheetos and complains about 'Cheeto fingers'? And remember how Norm loved to eat at The Hungry Heifer? So there.] I LOVE Paula Deen. I liked her Facebook page and I signed up for her email subscription mail list for recipes. And I've even made some of her dishes. So, it'll be fun to see if her cookin' is passed down and from what branch. I'm gonna have to make Paula Deen dishes that night to get ready for her episode. YUM! Down home Southern cookin'. Can't. Wait.
So. Can you tell I'm excited about this season's lineup? Which episode are you looking the MOST forward to seeing? And what are you gonna do to prep yourself for the show? I think it'd be cool to do some episode-related cooking. Who's with me on this?
Take a look at the complete press release from NBC on the Who Do You Think You Are? 3rd Season Premier
.~CarolineNote: I am an ad affiliate of
Ancestry.com, which sponsors NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?
series. Please visit my Disclosure Page
for more information on my disclosures with vendors.
A deleted scene, Walking Across History
, from Lionel Richie's episode from Season 2. Watch more deleted scenes from past episodes on NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?'s website