who do you think you are
Tracing back along her father's family line, she came to a surprise. Her great-great-great grandfather, Tzvi Hirsch, was a rabbi. Even more than that, he was a master of Kabbalah.
In her journey a book was uncovered, written by the rabbi's son. In it, he details a story of a fire that erupted in the town.
"Dr. Morgan Brown says that Mariah should be freed from slavery. And then he goes on to say, once her unborn child is born, that he should be freed." It seemed implicit that this man could well have been the father of that unborn child.
"For Doc Morgan or for Morgan W. to even think for a moment to protect what was his was just the greatest gift," Richie said.
With the assistance of professionals on 'Who Do You Think You Are?' (Fri., 8PM ET on NBC), Cattrall receives a copy of a marriage certificate in the mail. It's his -- and dated 1939. "Son of a b---h," says Cattrall. "I knew he was gutsy, but this is just... Now he's a criminal."
The certificate proves that not only did he remarry within a year of leaving his family, he flagrantly violated the laws against bigamy. "[He] didn't change his name or his profession -- incredibly cocksure of himself that he wouldn't be found out," notes Cattrall. "[We] found out now." And the 'Sex and the City' actress goes on to discover he had four more children with his second wife.
"Alternative series such as these three bona fide hits are important not only to their loyal audiences but also as strong components of the NBC schedule," Bob Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman, said in a statement. "They are each unique, attention-getting shows with terrific producing and talent auspices, and we're proud to be associated with them."
'The Biggest Loser' has been on NBC since 2004 in a few different incarnations. From 'Couples' to 'Families,' the series has been a strong performer for the Peacock network. Next season 'Loser' will not feature trainer Jillian Michaels.
'Who Do You Think You Are?': Rosie O'Donnell Discovers the Strength and Struggles of Her Irish Ancestors (VIDEO)
She's had as many ups as downs since becoming famous, but all of her own struggle was set aside when she learned her family history on 'Who Do You Think You Are?' (Fri., 8PM ET on NBC).
"It doesn't diminish my own suffering, but it's not any longer the focal point of my existence," she said after visting a workhouse where her grandfather and his family lived in poverty before fleeing to Canada. "I think that's a gift."
On 'Who Do You Think You Are?' (Fri., 8PM ET on NBC), the country music star learned that his eighth great-grandfather, Johan Jost Hayd, emigrated to America at age 24 and worked hard for a better quality of life, first for the British Navy and then as a farmer. Eventually he became one of the largest landowners in Virginia at the time.
The geneagoly expert had more news: A family by the name of "Preslar" was in Hayd's migration group. The last name was later changed to "Presley" -- as in Elvis. "His ancestors were traveling with your ancestors to America," the expert told McGraw. The singer chuckled and said, "Maybe they were jammin' [together], you know, on the boat on the way over!"
Her great-great grandfather was one of the first African American representatives in the Tennessee state legislature. Reading from a tribute found in the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Williams said, "'He has bequeathed them a legacy more precious than gold, more imperishable than monumental brass -- a spotless name.' He sounds a lot like my dad," the actress said, tearing up. "It just makes me so proud of the men that I am descended from and the family that I come from."
In its first season, the show followed executive producer Lisa Kudrow; actors Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields and Susan Sarandon; director Spike Lee; and former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith as they traced their family trees on personal journeys of self-discovery.
In season 2, celebrities undertaking genealogical searches will include country superstar Tim McGraw, actors Steve Buscemi, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Kim Cattrall, talk show host / comedian Rosie O'Donnell and singer Lionel Richie.
Williams told TV Squad she decided to search her late father's ancestry so she could redefine her idea of what it's meant to be free.
NBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' returns for Season 2 next month with a new crop of celebrities trying to unearth their family histories.
According to the Associated Press, NBC said Tuesday that the group includes Tim McGraw, Steve Buscemi, Ashley Judd, Vanessa Williams, Rosie O'Donnell and Kim Cattrall.
The show, which is based on the hit British show of the same name, is billed as "an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities." Cameras follow the celebrities as they explore their family trees with the help of historians and genealogists.
Actress Lisa Kudrow is an executive producer and researched her own ancestry for the show last season. She said celebrities who take part are eager to find answers about their family history: "It's not just like you show up for a couple hours and you're done. ... It's kind of a commitment. So the people who want to do it are genuinely interested in finding answers to their questions."
Watch the video after the jump.
Showtime has reportedly picked up Kudrow's online series 'Web Therapy,' in which she plays Fiona Wallice, a therapist who gives her patients advice via a Webcam. The dark comedy revolves around the very self-interested Fiona, who thinks three minutes of Web therapy is better than 50 minutes of in-person therapy, since, to her way of thinking, regular sessions mostly consist of patients going off on irrelevant tangents.
Fiona hopes her online sessions can spark a worldwide revolution in how people seek psychiatric care, and her motives to build her brand are usually evident in her interactions with her patients.
Watch the video after the jump.
To paraphrase a Jerry Seinfeld routine, what's the deal with NBC? Here's the latest: they have given the green light to another season of three new shows: the celeb-filled 'Marriage Ref,' the Guy Fieri game show 'Minute To Win It,' and Lisa Kudrow's genealogy reality show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Yup, all three shows will be back on your TV come this fall.
Is it too late to ask Jay Leno to come back to the 10PM slot?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Peacock network has re-upped its entire unscripted midseason lineup, handing out second seasons to 'The Marriage Ref,' 'Minute to Win It' and 'Who Do You Think You Are?', respectively. NBC will also add three new episodes to 'Ref''s (Thursdays at 10PM) current season, which with DVR numbers has averaged about 7.2 million viewers.
Season 2 will run for 13 episodes and is expected to premiere sometime next season.
Watch the video after the jump.
TV Squad Hot Topics
Most Popular Articles
From Our Partners
- 'Orphan Black' Interview: Co-creators Discuss Delphine's 'Conundrum' and the Threat Rachel Still Poses
- 'Orphan Black' Season 3 Premiere Recap: Where is Helena?
- Exclusive Interview: Joel Courtney on What Makes CW's 'The Messengers' Different
- 'The Amazing Race' Recap: The Race Turns Beastly in Africa
- 'The Vampire Diaries' Episodes 6.19 and 6.20 Photos: Damon, Elena and the Cure
- More From BuddyTV
- Quotes of the Week From Gotham, Game of Thrones, iZombie and More
- The Voice Outtakes: Reba Coaches 'the Poot' Out of the Top 12
- Jonathan Crombie, Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables, Dead at 48
- Eye Candy Cancelled at MTV
- Post Mortem: Orphan Black Boss on Helena's Pal, Mean Delphine & More
- More From TVLine
- 'Orphan Black' Postmortem: Scorpion Psychosis, Mystery Elevator Clone & More Answers Revealed!
- 'Outlander' Postmortem: Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan Dish on Big Secrets Revealed!
- Doctors Call for Columbia University to Can Dr. Oz
- 'Anne of Green Gables' Actor Jonathan Crombie Dies at 48
- Ryan Reynolds Posts Adorable Throwback Pic
- More From ET