‘Finding Your Roots’ will Return on PBS for Third Season

“Finding Your Roots” will return for season three, but whether the celebrity genealogy series that buried an uncomfortable fact about Ben Affleck’s ancestor continues after that remains in doubt, PBS’ chief executive PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said.

PBS conducted a “very thorough investigation” and is working with the show’s producers to ensure that its content is accurate, according to Kerger. You can read my earlier article at https://blog.eogn.com/2015/06/25/finding-your-roots-on-pbs-postponed/ for details.

PBS’ review found that co-producers violated standards by allowing improper influence on the show’s editorial process and failed to inform PBS or then-producing station WNET New York of Affleck’s efforts to affect the program’s content. Changes were made, including adding another researcher and an independent genealogist. Series host and executive producer Henry Louis Gates Jr. has issued an apology, saying he regretted forcing PBS to defend the integrity of its programming.

While the third season has been confirmed, the exact dates and times of broadcast have yet to be scheduled.


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14 Comments

I for one hope they renew the program. This whole PC thing is ridiculous. If PBS drops it hopefully another station will pick it up.

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Lesley K. Cafarelli August 4, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Is there a way to contact PBS to express the wish that the series continue? It is the best of all the genealogy TV series, to my mind.

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The “truth” was not “altered”. The truth remains the same. The truth of Ben’s ancestor owning slaves just wasn’t incorporated into the story line of his genealogy. He shouldn’t have made the request, but the whole idea of canceling the show over this is petty and ridiculous and I hope the TV show continues.

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Lillian Pike Cain August 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

I agree that this is a GREAT program and should be continued. I question why Ben wanted the slave ownership omitted. There is really no way we are responsible for–nor can change–what out ancestors did. What he did has just called everyone’s attention to it.

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I can’t understand his reasoning. My ancestors were slave owners. While it is something I am not proud of, I understand it was the era.

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Oh, I do hope they continue the show! Yes, they covered up factual information after pressure from one of the people profiled, but apologies have been made and steps taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Guests need to be told that it will all come out: the good, the bad, and the ugly. If they can’t accept those terms, then don’t profile them. But please don’t remove one of the really good shows as a way of “punishing” the offenders.

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Why punish the viewers? This is a good, worthwhile show that promotes genealogical research. Truth was concealed, apologies have been made, no one has been harmed by it (except, perhaps, Affleck’s image).

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I am so sorry about this situation and I am glad that the show has at least one more season. I have the highest respect for Gates who has used genealogy as a way to shed light on the issue of race in our national genealogical story.
I have a number of ancestors who were slave holders. When I first learned this it was shocking. Now I realize it is an important to understanding our colonial past. It is ironic that Ben Affleck could not handle the truth and now everyone knows of his ancestor’s slave holding.

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I do hope this show is not cancelled over Affleck’s poor judgment in his attempt to cover up what is part of our country’s history. We are in no way responsible for what our ancestors did. In doing so, he only brought more attention to his own family. Mr. Gates presents this show in a very interesting and refreshing manner, totally different from “Who Do You Think You Are”. Perhaps you can pass all of our comments along to PBS.

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“Finding Your Roots” choosing not to share a part of Ben Affleck’s family history did not compromise the show one bit. There’s probably a lot of discoveries that are edited and not shown because of time limitations. In the scope of things, knowing whether or not Affleck’s family were slave owners didn’t alter the quality of the show. I feel that Mr. Gates is an honorable and respectable man. To punish the cast, crew and viewers for Ben Affleck’s actions is just unfair.

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Ugh!!! So much about nothing. So what if Ben didn’t want that ‘fact’ included…it should have been his choice anyways. I don’t think I’m much interested in the show any more. My ‘trust’ level has been altered.

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Too much politically correct pressure from those who would revise history. Now a group is going to rename an annual dinner called the Jefferson-Jackson dinner because both Presidents owned slaves. To me that is ridiculous. We do not need to sanitize our past nor make it appear our warts were predominate in the development of our culture. Just ask yourself why so many from other countries, not just Mexico, want to come to our fair land.

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Regardless of the problems between Mr Affleck and the producers or whatever, I do not think those of us who are interested in genealogical methodology should be denied access to a well done series. I would urge PBS and the producers to do some sort of survey via social media, station subscribers, whatever, to see how those of us in the genealogical community would feel about its cancellation. Mistakes were made but I doubt that there are many people who would want the series cancelled for what was a series of misunderstandings

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