Who Do You Think You Are'. [No. 311, 2012-05-03], Jason Sudeikis

Moving Image
Created: 2012


Who Do You Think You Are'. [No. 311, 2012-05-03], Jason Sudeikis
Summary: "The television program Who Do You Think You Are? is an historical documentary series that takes famous participants on journeys around the world to solve family mysteries and discover ancestors who took part in key historical events or movements. Each episode follows a different participant as he or she investigates his/her ancestry by performing genealogical research, locating historical documents, and consulting with experts. The participant does not know what he will find when filming begins; therefore, the series is a genuine journey of discovery for its participants.

"Each episode strives to capture the organic processes of historical research and discovery as much as possible. Once a participant expresses interest, the executive producer schedules an interview to ascertain what the talent knows about his family history, and what he'd most like to learn (i.e. is there a family mystery he wants to solve or a particular grandparent he was close to'). Then the in-house research team works with genealogists and researchers around the world to complete the talent's genealogy, focusing on those family lines where the participant expressed the most interest. The goal of the research is to build an extensive family tree using original documents about the ancestors. Once the broad research has been completed, the research team focuses on the one or two ancestors whose documents tell a complete, factual story. Appropriate stories function on two levels: they tell a personal tale of struggle or success, and they touch on major historical movements or events, such as women's suffrage or the Civil War. The series does not impose a narrative on the documents; rather, it lets the historical records reveal the narratives of the people whose lives they preserve.

"The participant usually starts his on-camera journey by meeting with a close relative and they discuss what he most wants to learn about his family history. A family-owned record or story usually provides a clue as to where the participant should go to begin his physical journey into his history. From there, the film progresses much like a genealogical scavenger hunt. Each question propels the participant to a new location, where he finds historical records that answer the previous question but raise a new one, and consequently send him to the next location. Along the way, he is aided by local historians who contextualize the ancestor's personal story unfolding in the records with the broader historical themes. The series' past participants have genuinely enjoyed their journeys, and many have continued to research their family history long after production wrapped.

"Who Do You Think You Are? honors each participant's intensely personal reaction to and understanding of the family history he uncovers. Because the series is produced to capture both the factual history of ancestors and the unique perspective of the participating descendant, the producers hope that Who Do You Think You Are? will be considered for a Peabody Award."--2012 Peabody Awards entry form.

This episode is focused on Jason Sudeikis.

Corporate Producers: Shed Media Group (Firm) | Is or Isn't Entertainment (Firm) | NBC Entertainment (Firm)

Persons Appearing: Jason Sudeikis

Broadcast Date: 2012-05-03