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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uses DNA to help comedian Niecy Nash solve a deep family mystery.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uses DNA to help comedian Niecy Nash solve a deep family mystery.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uses DNA to help comedian Niecy Nash solve a deep family mystery.

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV / Stream now with KPBS Passport!

On this episode, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uses DNA to help comedians Carol Burnett and Niecy Nash solve deep family mysteries.

FINDING YOUR ROOTS: Carol Burnett Learns Who Fought in Wars — and Who Fled
FINDING YOUR ROOTS: Niecy Nash Discovers Her Ancestor's History as Slaves

Season 9 highlights the genealogical backgrounds and ancestral stories of prominent guests that helped to define who they are today. The season features actors Jamie Chung (LOVECRAFT COUNTRY), Brian Cox (SUCCESSION), Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”), Claire Danes (HOMELAND), Jeff Daniels (AMERICAN RUST), Viola Davis (“The Woman King”), David Duchovny (THE X-FILES), Richard Kind (“Inside Out”), Joe Manganiello (TRUE BLOOD), Tamera Mowry (THE REAL), Edward Norton (“Fight Club”), Julia Roberts (“Ticket to Paradise”) and Danny Trejo (“Machete”); pop star Cyndi Lauper; comedians Carol Burnett and Niecy Nash; athlete and sportscaster Tony Gonzalez; journalists Jim Acosta and Van Jones; activist Angela Davis; and statesman Jeh Johnson.

FINDING YOUR ROOTS: Season 9 Extended Trailer

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.

Gates remarks, “I am deeply proud of this series—and especially this season. I think it is so important today to show what we have in common, as Americans, and as human beings, despite our apparent differences. The stories we find in our guests’ family trees demonstrate—repeatedly— that we are a fundamentally blended nation that draws strength from our diversity.”

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 and Kimberly Morgan, who together have solved hundreds of mysteries and reconnected innumerable lost relatives over the past two decades.

Finding Your Own Roots: 8 Tips for Creating Your Family Tree

Watch On Your Schedule:

This episode is available on demand now with KPBS Passport!


Seasons 6 - 9 are on demand now with KPBS Passport, a benefit for members supporting KPBS at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

FINDING YOUR ROOTS: Season 9 Inside Look

Join the conversation on #FindingYourRoots

Explore and share your family histories via social media using the hashtag #FindingYourRoots on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and @HenryLouisGates, and on the series companion site,


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. Hannah Olson is the consulting 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.