Several countries have enjoyed genealogy television shows for several years. Most noticeable is “Who Do You Think You Are?” in the U.K., a hit series now in its fourth year. A Canadian show of the same name is now being broadcast weekly on CBC. The format has also been sold to television production companies in Germany, Poland, Sweden, Australia, France, Italy, and Spain.
Of course, the United States had the wildly popular Roots series in 1977, based upon Alex Haley’s novel of the same name. However, it was a television adaptation of a novel that was loosely (but not accurately) based upon Haley’s family tree. After all, it was a novel: a fictional work.
Other genealogy-based programs have since appeared on American Television, including two different Ancestors series on PBS. However, I have always been amazed that none of these programs generated the same enthusiasm as the weekly program from the United Kingdom. That may possibly change later this year as an experienced American television company is now planning to introduce a new genealogy-oriented program to the United States.
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