Friday, January 27, 2012

Family History TV

It seems as though there has been an explosion of genealogy or family history television programming over the past year. As a fan of these shows, it's a nice alternative to other types of "reality" TV and formulaic medical or police dramas.

The third season of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are begins next Friday, 3 February, 8pm Eastern. Full episodes from seasons 1 & 2 are available on NBC's website (and I believe, on their iPad app). The British original is also really good, and episodes can be found on YouTube (search for "Who Do You Think You Are BBC" and you can find many episodes broken into 4-5 parts). I really wish the BBC would make full episodes available online or through an app, but I can't find one through the US iTunes store. [Update - there is also a CBC version, and an Australian version on SBS.]

PBS has several series related to genealogy and history. A new 10 part series titled Finding Your Roots hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr begins on Sunday 25 March, 8pm Eastern. This series follows up to Faces of America from 2010, which was also hosted by Gates. PBS also has a program called the History Detectives. PBS has a nice new iPad app as well with segments from the show. It would be really great if you could see episodes from older seasons on the app, and maybe that will be a feature that will be introduced in the future (hint hint - please add more episodes!).

I have really enjoyed BYUtv's The Generations Project. If you have an iPad, I recommend the BYUtv app, where you can watch full episodes. Episodes in the first two seasons were longer (40-50+ minutes) and went into more detail on how the research was conducted and the motivation behind the episode subject. The current 3rd season has gone with a shorter 25 minute format. The central theme of "finding your why" remains, and it is still a good show.

And if you finish all of these episodes and are looking for more, try Ancestry's YouTube Channel. They have a very informative series of webinars and videos.

1 comment:

  1. I also stumbled across a show coming up called America's Lost Treasures http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/america-s-lost-treasures/

    It will look at treasures from the personal collections of everyday Americans and tell the story behind them...the treasure judged best will win $10,000. Sounds like Antiques Roadshow with more of a reality twist. Should be cool!

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