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Arts & Culture

FINDING YOUR ROOTS: Season 4

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., executive producer, host and writer of FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Season 4, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 at 8 p.m. on PBS.
Courtesy of Stephanie Berger
Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., executive producer, host and writer of FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Season 4, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

Airs Tuesdays, Oct. 3 - Nov. 21 and Dec. 12 & 19, 2017 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

The acclaimed series returns with Professor Gates exploring the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of popular figures including Scarlett Johansson, Ted Danson, Larry David, Ava DuVernay, Bryant Gumbel, William H. Macy, Suzanne Malveaux, Ana Navarro, Amy Schumer, Mary Steenburgen, Christopher Walken and more.

“We are all connected to larger stories that have played a role in shaping who we are as people and as a nation,” said Gates. “The DNA technology of today opens the doors to discovering the past in new ways, allowing us to learn more about our history than ever before. This new season will continue to inspire people to find out more about their own personal family stories, and spark an interest among young people in genetics, anthropology, history, and the pursuit of science.”

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1: “The Impression” airs Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. - Comedian Larry David and politician Bernie Sanders discover they have more in common than they thought as they trace their roots from 1940s Brooklyn back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Bernie Sanders on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.
Courtesy of Ark Media
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Bernie Sanders on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.

Episode 2: “Unfamiliar Kin” airs Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. - Actors Fred Armisen and Christopher Walken and musician Carly Simon each learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them — redefining how they see themselves.

Episode 3: “Puritans and Pioneers” airs Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. - Actors Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy trace their nonconformist ancestors through American conflicts — the Civil War and the American Revolution, all the way back to the Puritan establishment.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with William H. Macy on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.
Courtesy of Ark Media
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with William H. Macy on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.

Episode 4: “The Vanguard” airs Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. - Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and author and activist Janet Mock see their basic assumptions about their families challenged, placing their ancestors — of all colors — into the greater context of black history.

Janet Mock, author and activist, featured in FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Season 4, premiering Fall 2017.
Courtesy of Janet Mock
Janet Mock, author and activist, featured in FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Season 4, premiering Fall 2017.

Episode 5: “Immigrant Nation” airs Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. - Actors Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro, all with immigrant parents, gain greater understanding of the unique challenges their ancestors faced by way of prejudice and poverty at home and abroad.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Scarlett Johansson on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.
Courtesy of Ark Media
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Scarlett Johansson on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.

Episode 6: “Black Like Me” airs Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. - Bryant Gumbel, Tonya Lewis-Lee and Suzanne Malveaux discover a tapestry of the unexpected in their ancestry, revealing slaves and free people of color, Civil War legacies, and forgotten European origins.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Tonya Lewis-Lee on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.
Courtesy of Ark Media
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Tonya Lewis-Lee on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.

Episode 7: “Children of the Revolution” airs Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. - Lupita Nyong’o, Carmelo Anthony and Ana Navarro investigate the political choices of their fathers, discovering sometimes unexpected heritage as they trace their ancestry further back.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Carmelo Anthony on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.
Courtesy of Ark Media
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Carmelo Anthony on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.

Episode 8: “Relatives We Never Knew We Had” airs Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. - Actresses Téa Leoni and Gaby Hoffmann's lives have been shaped by family mysteries. They are introduced to the identities and life stories of their biological ancestors, thanks to DNA detective work.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Téa Leoni on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.
Courtesy of Ark Media
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with Téa Leoni on the set of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 4.

Episode 9: “Southern Roots” airs Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. - with Questlove, Dr. Phil and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

Episode 10: “Funny Business” airs Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. - Comedic guests Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Maya Rudolph take a serious look at their family trees, learning contrasting stories of assimilation, independence, hardship and success all over the globe.

WATCH ON YOUR SCHEDULE:

Catch up! Watch Seasons 1-4 on KPBS Passport now. FINDING YOUR ROOTS, Season 1-4 DVD Combo is available for purchase at SHOPPBS.org.

Full episodes from Season 4 will be available to view on demand for a limited time after broadcast. Extend your viewing window with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:

Explore and share your family histories via social media, using the hashtag #FindingYourRoots.

FINDING YOUR ROOTS is on Facebook.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @HenryLouisGates on Twitter.

CREDITS:

A production of McGee Media, Inkwell Films, Kunhardt Films and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ark Media. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the writer, host, and executive producer. Dyllan McGee and Peter Kunhardt are executive producers. Dalton Delan and Anne Harrington are executive producers in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS. Sabin Streeter of Ark Media is the senior producer. Hanna Olson is the series producer. Hazel Gurland-Pooler, Josh Gleason, Hannah Olson, Sabin Streeter and Jamila Wignot are directors.

Major corporate support for FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. Season Four is provided by Ancestry, Johnson & Johnson and AT&T. Major support is also provided by the Ford Foundation, Candace King Weir, Dr. Georgette Bennett and Dr. Leonard Polonsky CBE, Hutchins Family Foundation, Rattner Family Foundation, Daryl and Steven Roth, Anne Peretz, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.