Season 4 of “Finding Your Roots” Genealogy Show Premieres Oct 3 on PBS

By Diane Haddad

Season 4 of the genealogy TV show “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” premieres Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 8/7 central on PBS! Watch the trailer: sponsors this show, in which Gates reveals the family histories of well-known Americans. He presents each contributor with a “book of life” about his or her family, drawing parallels between the family’s history and broader historical events.


Guests you’ll see this season on “Finding Your Roots”

Contributors in Season 4 include:

  • actor Larry David
  • actor Christopher Walken
  • actor Tea Leoni
  • actor William H. Macy
  • actor Ted Danson
  • actor Mary Steenburgen
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • author Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • comedian Amy Schumer
  • journalist Bryant Gumbel
  • journalist Suzanne Malveaux
  • talk show host “Dr. Phil” McGraw
  • producer Tonya Lewis Lee
  • musician Carly Simon
  • musician Questlove
  • director Ava DuVernay
  • actress Gaby Hoffman
  • author and transgender rights activist Janet Mock
  • actor Lupita Nyong’o
  • professional basketball player Carmelo Anthony
  • A Prairie Home Companion” creator and former host Garrison Keillor
  • political commentator Ana Navarro
  • journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault
  • actor Scarlett Johansson
  • actor Paul Rudd
  • actor Ted Danson
  • actor John Turturro
christopher walken on "Finding Your Roots"
Christopher Walken on “Finding Your Roots”

Episodes will touch on Colonial American roots, Jewish roots, Southern US roots, immigrant ancestors, genetic genealogy and DNA testing, family mysteries, African-American ancestry, and how hardship and political turmoil shape families.

“Finding Your Roots” was the subject of controversy in 2015, when leaked emails revealed Season 2 contributor Ben Affleck’s request to remove mention of his slave-owning ancestors from the show.

Visit the “Finding Your Roots” website for episode notes, to watch past seasons, and more.