Finding Your Roots Season 8 Episodes

Find out where to watch Season 8 of Finding Your Roots tonight

Season 8 Episode Guide

Episode 1 - Hidden in the Genes

Henry Louis Gates uses DNA detective work to solve deep family mysteries for actor Rebecca Hall and producer/director Lee Daniels—uncovering close relatives whose names they had never heard before and revealing new aspects of their own identities. Along the way, Gates takes a nuanced look at the history of “passing”--shedding light on our nation’s complex racial past.


Episode 2 - Children of Exile

Henry Louis Gates explores the poignant roots of chef David Chang and actor Raúl Esparza—two men whose families fled their homelands to live in exile, never to return. From war-torn cities in North Korea to shark-infested waters off the shores of Cuba, Gates sets off to recover the stories of individuals who came to America against all odds and built a better life for themselves.


Episode 3 - Activists Roots

Henry Louis Gates explores the family trees of Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Anita Hill, introducing two women who’ve made profound sacrifices for social justice to the ancestors who made sacrifices for them. Using DNA and the historical record, Gates rediscovers lost heroes, telling stories of African Americans who fought for their rights against enormous odds.


Episode 4 - Things We Don't Discuss

Henry Louis Gates helps actors Pamela Adlon and Kathryn Hahn decode scandals and secrets hidden within their roots, traveling from small-town England to the American frontier, revealing stories that their ancestors went to great lengths to conceal—and celebrating the virtues of accepting one’s family members, whoever they may be.


Episode 5 - Mexican Roots

Henry Louis Gates explores the deep Mexican roots of talk show host Mario Lopez and comedian Melissa Villaseñor, uncovering ancestors stretching back to the 1500s. Weaving together stories of migratory farmers, Spanish Conquistadors and Native Americans, Gates conjures up personal histories of diverse, sometimes conflicting, elements.


Episode 6 - Fighters

Henry Louis Gates traces the roots of actors Terry Crews and Tony Danza, two men who overcame adversity, revealing they aren’t the first in their families to beat the odds through sheer force of will. From impoverished Italian villages to slave plantations in rural Georgia, long-lost records reveal individuals who came from nothing and built a better life for their families.


Episode 7 - Forgotten Journeys

Henry Louis Gates explores the family trees of actor John Legiuzamo and writer/producer Lena Waithe, introducing them to ancestors whose stories were lost when their families moved to the United States. Using a mix of documents and DNA, Gates guides his guests on journeys from Spain to Colombia to the Caribbean, compelling them to re-imagine their families as well as their nation.


Episode 8 - Songs of the Past

Henry Louis Gates uncovers the long-hidden roots of Broadway stars Nathan Lane and Leslie Odom, Jr., introducing them to relatives whose names and birthplaces they’ve never heard before. With only a handful of clues to guide him, Gates leads his guests back to unexpected places in Ireland, Barbados, and Africa, uncovering the stories of ancestors who laid the groundwork for their success.


Episode 9 - Watchmen

Henry Louis Gates explores the family trees of actor Regina King and writer/producer Damon Lindelof--the creative forces behind Watchmen, a visionary television series about America’s tortured racial past. Though they come from very different backgrounds, King and Lindelof discover that they have more in common than meets the eye, encountering ancestors who overcame great traumas.


Episode 10 - Where Did We Come From?

Henry Louis Gates helps news anchor Erin Burnett, fashion journalist Andre Leon Talley, and actor Amy Carlson retrace the perilous journeys that shaped their family trees. From war-torn France to a witch trial in Sweden to a North Carolina slave plantation, each discovers the places their ancestors once called home, providing new insight into what made them who they are today.


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