Celebrity Genealogy on TV: a good thing?

Season three of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are premieres next week on Friday February 3rd. The first show is about Martin Sheen. The fourth season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. premieres March 25th on PBS.

I’m ambivalent about TV shows of this sort. On the one hand, they don’t tell enough about how to do genealogy; a celebrity’s genealogy is no more important or interesting than any one else’s; and viewers are liable to think genealogy only matters if you’re a celebrity.  So these shows turn me off. On the other, they do provide occasional insights like Rosie O’Donnell’s visit to a Poor House in Ireland, and if a show interests someone in genealogy that’s good.

We’ve used this blog/website mostly for announcements, but it does have a “Comment” feature which is available whether you’re reading this in email or on the web. Is celebrity genealogy on TV a good thing? Please feel free to offer your opinion on this topic (with polite replies if someone disagrees — the whole world is listening).

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