I would protest that it was really about a 35-minute program accompanied by 25 minutes of commercials. However, the fact remains that a program showing all the research performed would require hours and hours to show in its entirety. Only the records that were essential stepping stones could be included in her story and a few important steps taken along the way didn’t make the final cut. In the case of Cindy Crawford, 1,000 hours of research needed to be compressed into a 35 minute program. That means that much had to be omitted in the on-the-air broadcast.
I have read online comments stating that the researchers obviously didn't do a proper job of research or didn't follow all the paths expected. I would protest that such comments are untrue: the research is always exhaustive in all episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? Then, only the parts required to tell an interesting story are extracted and broadcast on-air. You and I only saw the tip of the iceberg of the research performed.
Just because you didn't see all the research exposed in the 35-minute program, please do not assume that research wasn't done.
I have also been told from other sources that each featured celebrity receives a book showing all research performed and all ancestors found, even those who were not mentioned in the on-the-air broadcast.
For more information, read Kristie Wells' interesting article,
Cindy Crawford: Turning 1,000 Hours of Research into One Hour of Television, at http://goo.gl/woBF75.
You can also watch the full episode featuring Cindy Crawford on TLC.com at: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are/videos/cindy-crawford-.htm.