I'm looking forward to this new TV show. I LOVE family history stories!
It took a few years for youth-obsessed TV execs to pick up on the big dead-relative trend, but now two -- count 'em two -- new series have made it to the air.
First came the PBS series "Faces of America with Louis Gates, Jr.", which, in typical PBS fashion, is like a cheek-swab "Charlie Rose Show." IQ-busting, culture-making types find out about their dead ancestors, who, it always turns out, were no slackers in their own times either.
Next month, the Lisa Kudrow-produced show "Who Do You Think You Are?" -- which is glitzier and less high-brow -- starts on NBC. (In fact, Kudrow has partnered with the genealogy site, Ancestry.com on the project.)
So, while "Faces" does include some poets and the like, they add snazz by including Meryl Streep, Mario Batali, Yo-Yo Ma and Stephen Colbert.
I was riveted to find out that skater Kristi Yamaguchi's grandfather served as a decorated US soldier in WWII, while his Japanese-American family was living in internment camps back home.
Meanwhile, I couldn't stop watching Kudrow's show as the backgrounds of famous folk like Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Spike Lee, Emmit Smith and Susan Sarandon came tumbling out.
While Parker might not have been Cleopatra herself, in a former life her ancestors go back to the revolution and, it turns out, lived more exciting lives than Carrie Bradshaw. Her great-great-etc-grandmother was the last woman arrested as a witch in Salem.
If Kudrow's show hits big, you won't find a network next year that doesn't have a dead-relatives show.
Why? It's sure cheaper -- and more interesting -- than hiring living actors.