Two shows focused on finding well-known Americans’ ancestors are hitting the small screen at about the same time. “Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr.” premiered on PBS Feb. 10, and “Who Do You Think You Are?” will air beginning March 5 on NBC (it originated as a BBC show back in 2004). Both explore the roots of famous people, so which one should you watch? We break down the shows, after the jump.“FACES OF AMERICA”
Date/Time: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on PBS
Celebrities: Mario Batali, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Eva Longoria, Yo-Yo Ma, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Meryl Streep, Kristi Yamaguchi, Elizabeth Alexander, Mike Nichols, Queen Noor, and Louise Erdich
Feels Like: A really fascinating trip to the library.
Overarching Theme: Everyone is connected, and who we become is deeply dependent on the past.
Watch If: You want to learn about America’s past (the famous people are simply individuals who represent a bigger story).
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
Date/Time: Fridays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC beginning March 5
Feels Like: A detective story.
Celebrities: Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Emmitt Smith, and Lisa Kudrow
Overarching Theme: Not only are famous people interesting, but they have interesting ancestors, too.
Watch If: You like celebrities a lot and history a little.