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Ottawa’s Own Alanis Morrissette Featured in First Episode of Finding Your Roots Season Ten -Premiering in January 2024 on WPBS-TV

WATERTOWN, NY (December 22, 2023) – In the new season of FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., 18 celebrities are joined by 3 non-celebrity guests, chosen for the series following a nation-wide casting call. The series unravels their deep ancestral histories and solves family mysteries in the tenth anniversary season of the historic FINDING YOUR ROOTS, hosted by celebrated scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. In recent years, the show has entered the mainstream cultural zeitgeist with questions on JEOPARDY!; Gates’s guest appearance on THE SIMPSONS; mention on RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE as RuPaul had his newly discovered cousin Cory Booker appear; inclusions on scripted shows including WATCHMEN and AND JUST LIKE THAT…; and countless mentions from celebrities in the press on the impact of the series. Season Ten continues to attract some of the world’s biggest names in culture in 10 new episodes, premiering on WPBS-TV Tuesdays at 8:00 pm, starting January 2, 2024.

Following years of overwhelming requests from viewers, season ten will also feature three non-celebrity guests in the final episode of the season. These special guests were chosen as part of a nationwide search in 2022 that garnered over 9,000 submissions from hopeful fans. The campaign was launched on social media inviting viewers of the series to submit an application and video for consideration. Series producers were looking for someone with a family mystery they hoped they could solve. Although the search initially launched to find one lucky viewer, three dynamic guests were ultimately chosen. Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. sat down with each of them, presenting them their book of life, and shared what was discovered. The viewers will appear together in the final episode of the new season airing on April 9, 2024.

At the center of it all, guiding every discovery, is host and executive producer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.

“The tenth season of Finding Your Roots is not only a milestone for the show. It signifies the bond we share with PBS and our viewers to tell stories that explore the fullness and diversity of humanity through the personal tales of our guests and their ancestors,” said Gates. “The family trees we unearth this season are especially fascinating and full of lessons and surprises from one generation to the next. It is an enormous privilege for all of us who work on the show to bring it to public television. After all these years, I continue to be amazed by the discoveries we make that in various ways illuminate how connected we truly are.”

Assembling the extensive family trees and ancestral narratives alongside Dr. Gates are DNA expert CeCe Moore (chief genetic genealogist for Parabon Nanolabs and host of ABC’s THE GENETIC DETECTIVE) and genealogists Nick Sheedy, Akosua Moore and Kimberly N. Morgan, who together have solved hundreds of mysteries and reconnected innumerable lost relatives over the past two decades.

Throughout the first nine seasons of the acclaimed series, Gates and his team have made life-changing discoveries for many celebrity guests. Highlights include finding the long-lost biological family of Andy Samberg’s mother (who had been adopted); Pamela Adlon learning the identity of her maternal grandfather; LL Cool J learning that his mother had been adopted (something she had not known); and Rebecca Hall learning of her maternal grandfather’s African American background, which he had kept hidden (a discovery that inspired Hall’s directorial debut, “Passing”).

In addition to the hundreds of familial information uncovered for the notable guests, dozens of celebrity DNA connections have been made throughout the show’s nine seasons, often a fan favorite part of the series. Memorable connections include Julia Roberts and Edward Norton; Larry David and Bernie Sanders; Andy Cohen and Scarlett Johansen; Bill Hader and Carol Burnett; Cory Booker and RuPaul; and Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore.

The public can explore and share their family histories via social media using the hashtag #FindingYourRoots on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, via Facebook.com/FindingYourRootsPBS and @HenryLouisGates, and on the series companion site, pbs.org/FindingYourRoots.

Season 10 Episodes Include:

BORN TO SING (Tuesday, January 2, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of singers Ciara and Ottawa-native Alanis Morissette, revealing their hidden connections to history and to music.

FOREVER YOUNG (Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser – two actors who’ve spent their lives in the limelight, never knowing about their roots.

FATHERS AND SONS (Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi – two men who grew up without their fathers, haunted by questions about their family trees.

BURIED SECRETS (Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps singer Sammy Hagar and actor Ed O’Neill discover the dramatic stories and deep secrets hidden within their own roots.

HOLD THE LAUGHTER (Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets comedians Bob Odenkirk and Iliza Shlesinger – two very funny people whose family trees brim with dramatic stories.

FAR AND AWAY (Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of journalist Sunny Hostin and actor Jesse Williams—introducing them to ancestors from very diverse places. 

THE BRICK WALL FALLS (Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces actor Danielle Brooks and singer Dionne Warwick to their distant ancestors—breaking down the barriers imposed by slavery.

MEAN STREETS (Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. maps the family trees of comedian Tracy Morgan and actor Anthony Ramos—taking the two New York City natives far from their hometown.

PBS PLEDGE BREAK

IN THE BLOOD (Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the surprising roots of two people who were raised by artists: actor Michael Douglas and writer/director Lena Dunham.

VIEWERS LIKE YOU (Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 8:00 PM)

After a nationwide search, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. solves deep family mysteries for three everyday Americans—compelling each to reimagine their identity.

FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Season Ten is a production of McGee Media, Inkwell Media, Kunhardt Films and WETA Washington, D.C. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the writer, host, and executive producer. Dyllan McGee and Peter Kunhardt are executive producers. John F. Wilson is the executive producer in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS. Sabin Streeter is the senior producer. Natalia Warchol is the series producer. Deborah Clancy Porfido is the supervising producer. Kevin Burke is the producer. Robert L. Yacyshyn is the line producer. Sabin Streeter and Krista Whetstone are directors.

Corporate support for season ten of FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. is provided by Ancestry®, Johnson & Johnson and AARP. Major support is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Support is also provided by Ford Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Candace King Weir and by members of The Inkwell Society and by public television viewers like you. 

About WPBS

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