When I watched the Genealogy Roadshow episode that was filmed at the historic Driskell Hotel in Austin, Texas, I was expecting the same formula as always, but I was a little disappointed. Big Mountain Productions created the GENEALOGY ROADSHOW format, which is in its second season in Ireland on RTE Television. It's easy to understand why reality television shows about genealogy use frames to capture the moment when the genealogist delivers the final results of their project to the person asking the question. The reactions are often priceless, ranging from shock to amazement.
However, PBS missed an opportunity to show viewers the hard work and dedication that goes into genealogical research. The first season of GENEALOGY ROADSHOW was filmed in four American cities: Nashville, Austin, Detroit and San Francisco. Each episode featured participants who wanted to explore unverified genealogical statements that may or may not have been related to an event or a historical figure. The series was a success in Ireland, where it was commissioned by RTE Television from Big Mountain Productions.
The GENEALOGY ROADSHOW team used resources on genealogy, history and DNA testing to conduct their research. They also had help from genetic genealogy consultant CeCe Moore, who has worked on “Finding Your Roots” and “Genealogy Roadshow” and has helped law enforcement solve dozens of cases using DNA. The episodes were shot in one place and, to make up for not having celebrities traveling around the world, Genealogy Roadshow briefly showed the host city and added some historical significance to support their findings. The Tyler Rose received a beautifully prepared genealogy without seeing any of the blood, sweat, or tears that went into researching it. Other networks expressed interest in Genealogy Roadshow when Krasnow was seeking funding for production, but most were willing to commit only to a pilot project. It's clear that Genealogy Roadshow is a unique program that offers ordinary people an opportunity to explore their family history. The show is an excellent way for people to learn more about their family history and uncover secrets that have been hidden for generations.
It also provides viewers with an insight into how genealogists work and how they use various resources to uncover information about their ancestors. The show also highlights the importance of preserving family history and encourages viewers to take steps to preserve their own family stories.