14:07 PM

5 New Amazing 'Finding Your Roots' Stories


Henry Louis Gates Jr. reveals the top discoveries of Season 5 — including his own family news. 

TV’s original genealogy hunter — Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., 68 — returns to Finding Your Roots, Season 5, on PBS Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings for airing dates of each episode), to help celebrities learn about their fascinating forebears. Last season, Carly Simon, 73, found out her grandmother was not the illegitimate daughter of the king of Spain, as her nana had claimed. Now, Gates and his team of genetics and history experts dips into the gene pools of 25 more celebs, including actresses Marisa Tomei, 54, and Law & Order favorite S. Epatha Merkerson, 66, news personalities Michael Strahan, 47, and Ann Curry, 62, politicians Paul Ryan, 48, and Marco Rubio, 47, goofy comedians Andy Samberg, 40, and Sarah Silverman, 48, newsmakers Michael Moore, 64, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, 49, and Game of Thrones novelist George R.R. Martin, 70, whose family tree sprouts a new branch he hadn't known — we hope they're royalty, but we'll see.

Gates, who helped popularize today’s DNA-kit craze, tells AARP about some of the most emotional moments in Season 5, and he cries when he tells us about his own newfound ancestor.