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Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Photo Credit:  Simon Fanthorpe / TLC
  • Premiered: 
    March 5, 2010
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: NBC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Adapted from the UK series Who Do You Think You Are? 
  • Subject Matter: Family
  • Tags: genealogy

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  • Season 1
    • Amazon
  • Season 2
    • Amazon
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    Season 1

Plot Synopsis

Each week, a different celebrity is taken on a journey of self-discovery, tracing his or her family history. The journey uncovers surprising, inspiring, emotional, mysterious and sometimes tragic stories as America's best known celebs describe tales of heroism and tragedy, love and betrayal, and secrets and intrigue.

The following celebrities traced their family histories in Season 1: Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Emmitt Smith.

In the second season, celebs include: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O'Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd.

The celebrities featured in the third season are: Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Helen Hunt, Reba McEntire, Jerome Bettis, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen.

After completing its third season on NBC in May 2012, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? switched networks for its fourth season, which premiered on TLC on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9pm ET/PT. In Season 4, these celebrities revealed unknown details about themselves and their families: Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Handler, Chris O'Donnell, Jim Parsons, and Trisha Yearwood.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returned for a six-episode fifth season on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT on TLC, including these celebrities: Cynthia Nixon (in the season premiere); Valerie Bertinelli; Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Lauren Graham; Rachel McAdams and her sister, Kayleen McAdams; and Kelsey Grammer.

TLC premiered the sixth season of WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT. The season premiere featured Julie Chen, who never knew her maternal grandfather; he died long before Julie was born. All she had heard was that he was a wealthy playboy with a rags-to-riches story. Julie sets out for rural China to learn more about his life and uncovers a dramatic tale. Subsequent episodes of the new season featured the familial stories of these celebs: Melissa Etheridge, who heads to Quebec to trace the history of her paternal side and learns about the scandalous marriage of her 6x great-grandparents; America Ferrera, who brings the series to Honduras for the first time ever, learns about the father she barely knew, and unravels her great-grandfather's role in the violent Central American political system; Tony Goldwyn, who is familiar with his prestigious paternal Hollywood lineage, but knows little about his mother's side of the family, learning about his 3x great-grandparents, who fought for women's rights and westward expansion; Josh Groban, who discovers his 8x great-grandfather was a highly educated and renowned scientist that studied astronomy -- and was quoted by Isaac Newton himself; Angie Harmon, who meets a family member she didn't know existed, and learns that he fought under George Washington; Sean Hayes, who travels to Ireland to learn more about his father's side of the family; and Bill Paxton, who reads captivating first-hand accounts of wartime battles in which his 4x great grandfather was involved, and walks in his footsteps at the site where he fought a battle in the American Revolution.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returned for its seventh season on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on TLC, immediately following a four-hour marathon (5-9pm) of encore episodes. Executive produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, the new season features the following contributors: Ginnifer Goodwin; Tom Bergeron; Bryan Cranston; Alfre Woodard; and J.K. Rowling, as TLC aired the U.S. premiere of best-selling author's episode. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returned for its spring season on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on TLC, with a mid-season premiere highlighting Aisha Tyler's family history. Her journey reveals an ancestor who, as a politician, struggled to keep his illegitimate son a secret. Against all odds, her 2x great-grandfather exemplifies bravery and determination during one of America's most tumultuous eras of racism. Celebrities featured in subsequent episodes include: Scott Foley, who finds a relative risking his life for one of America's founding fathers, and an ancestor who suffered unspeakably during one of this nation's darkest times; Molly Ringwald, who explores family lore of Swedish royalty which uncovers her ancestors' harrowing lives and a brave woman who forever changed her family's fate; Katey Sagal, who is shocked to learn of her family's Amish roots, and digs deeper as she realizes the level of dedication to their faith.

Season 9 of WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? premiered on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on TLC. In the season opener, Courteney Cox traces her maternal line back to ambitious and ruthless relatives who plotted and murdered their way to power in medieval times, and she's shocked to discover an ancestor who's one of European history's most famous characters. Other contributors in Season 9 include (in alphabetical order by last name): Jessica Biel, who makes surprising discoveries that change what she thought knew about her heritage; Julie Bowen, who uncovers the story of two relatives whose moral codes are from opposite ends of the spectrum; Jennifer Grey, who uncovers new information about the grandfather she thought she knew, learning how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community; Smokey Robinson, who searches for answers behind the mystery of why his grandfather disappeared from his children's lives and finds a man tangled in a swirl of controversy; John Stamos, who digs into the mystery of how his grandfather became an orphan, and learns of tensions between families that led to a horrible crime; Liv Tyler, who learns that her family is tied into the complicated racial narrative of America; and Noah Wyle unravels the mystery of his maternal line, uncovering an ancestor who survived one of America's bloodiest battles.

On Monday, December 3, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returned for its tenth season with the first of four new episodes debuting on Mondays on TLC throughout the month of December: Mandy Moore (December 3 @ 10pm); Josh Duhamel (December 10 @ 10pm); Regina King (December 17 @ 9pm); and Matthew Morrison (December 17 @ 10pm. Other celebrities featured earlier this season include: Jon Cryer (May 21 @ 9pm); Laverne Cox (May 21 @ 10pm); Megan Mullally (May 28 @ 9pm); Hilary Duff (June 4 @ 9pm); Molly Shannon (June 11 @ 9pm); and Jean Smart (June 18 @ 9pm).

On Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 7pm ET/PT, NBC premiered a new season of WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? After nearly 10 years, the series return to its original NBC home. From executive producers Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? comes back at a time when ancestral and genealogical exploration is enjoying unprecedented popularity. Each week a different celebrity guest goes on a poignant search to trace their family tree with the help of genealogists, historians and experts, unlocking past mysteries and unbelievable real-life stories across the world and through time. Cutting-edge research tools and billions of digitized records from Ancestry provide remarkable insights into the star's background and illustrate the cultural mosaic that connects us all together. This season features Billy Porter (July 10), Nick Offerman (July 17), Allison Janney (July 24), Zachary Levi (July 31), Bradley Whitford (August 7), and Zachary Quinto (August 14).
On Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 7pm ET/PT, NBC premiered the season finale of WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Actor Zachary Quinto travels to Italy and the Midwest and discovers the story of his great-grandfather, who held a political career in Pittsburgh. Zachary discovers his great-grandfather rose to prominence during a labor dispute at the turn of the last century and is stunned when he discovers a "cosmic" connection to his relative -- his use of a phrase that would become synonymous with one of Zachary's screen roles.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Is or Isn't Entertainment
  • Produced by Wall to Wall Productions
  • Produced by Shed Media U.S.