Who Do You Think You Are? (Canadian TV series)

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Who Do You Think You Are?
A rusty-orange leafed tree in the flat prairie grass with the Rocky Mountains in the background and the text 'Who Do You Think You Are?' above styled as a family tree
Genre Documentary
Creative director(s) Daniel Riley
Starring Various
Theme music composer Mark Sayer-Wade
Composer(s) Joel S. Silver
Country of origin Canada
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) Laszlo Barna
Steven Silver
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Barna-Alper
Original network CBC Television
Original release 11 October 2007 (2007-10-11) – 31 January 2008 (2008-01-31)
External links
Website www.cbc.ca/whodoyouthinkyouare

Who Do You Think You Are? is a Canadian television documentary series, which aired on CBC Television during the 2007-2008 television season. It was on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. starting October 11, 2007. Based on the earlier BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?, each episode profiled a Canadian celebrity tracing their family tree. The series was announced in June 2007 as part of CBC's schedule for the 2007–2008 season.[1] In April 2008 it was announced that CBC had cancelled the show.[2]

Celebrities profiled included Don Cherry, Chantal Kreviazuk, Shaun Majumder, Sonja Smits, Randy Bachman, Mary Walsh, Margot Kidder, Lewis MacKenzie, Steven Page, Avi Lewis, Margaret Trudeau, Scott Thompson, and Measha Brueggergosman.

After a four-year absence, the show was rebroadcast during the 2012-2013 season[3] with guest host Jeff Douglas.[4] However, only 7 of the original 13 episodes were rebroadcast: Cherry, Kreviazuk, Page, Bachman, Trudeau, Majumder, and Bruegergosman.


The list of twelve of the thirteen participants in season 1 was announced in late June 2007.[5] Locations visited in the first season include India, Poland, Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, England and France, and the U.S. cities of Pittsburgh and New York City.[6]

Total No. Season No. Celebrity Director Original air date Viewers
1 1 Shaun Majumder Scott Harper 11 October 2007 (2007-10-11) N/A
With the help of a genealogist in St. John's Shaun is able to trace his ancestry back eight generations. Along the way Shaun learns that his family was a victim of the Partition of India in 1947 which split the British province into three countries - India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
2 2 Margot Kidder Margaret Slaght 18 October 2007 (2007-10-18) N/A
3 3 Steven Page David Langer 25 October 2007 (2007-10-25) N/A
4 4 Sonja Smits Karen Pinker 1 November 2007 (2007-11-01) N/A
5 5 Chantal Kreviazuk Nadine Schwartz 8 November 2007 (2007-11-08) N/A
Chantal was born on a farm in Manitoba and had heard rumours about her ancestry. She was surprised to learn of the struggles her great-grandfather Nicolas went through after immigrating from Ukraine that ultimately led to his suicide. On her mother's side Chantal learned that a great-grandmother was listed as a "half-breed" on the 1870 census, what today is known as Métis. Chantal was able to trace her Cree ancestry back to the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company as her fore-bearers were fur traders.
6 6 Major-General Lewis Mackenzie Richard Martyn 15 November 2007 (2007-11-15) N/A
Lewis was born in Liverpool but learned that his grandfather had moved to Gloucester in the early 20th century. While in Gloucester, Lewis looked into his great-uncle Lewis Quinton Wharton, who was the skipper of the Columbia when the great schooner ran aground on Sable Island in 1927. Lewis ultimately traced his ancestry back to Falls Church, Virginia, where his family members were Loyalists during the American Revolution. His family subsequently moved to Nova Scotia.
7 7 Mary Walsh Matt Gallagher 22 November 2007 (2007-11-22) N/A
8 8 Randy Bachman Margaret Slaght 29 November 2007 (2007-11-29) N/A
9 9 Scott Thompson Scott Harper 6 December 2007 (2007-12-06) N/A
Scott was surprised to learn that his ancestry is almost exclusively Irish. He had hoped to find a connection to the British Royal Family. But, his ancestry consists of farmers, sailors, and maids. Scott jokes that he should start reading the works of Frank McCourt.
10 10 Don Cherry Richard Martyn 10 January 2008 (2008-01-10) N/A
Don Cherry learns that his paternal grandfather was one of the original Royal Northwest Mounted Police dispatched by Sir John A. Macdonald to arrest American whiskey traders who were conducting business in the prairies. Don says that had he known that growing up he would have named his son after his grandfather.
11 11 Measha Brueggergosman Karen Pinker 17 January 2008 (2008-01-17) N/A
12 12 Margaret Trudeau Peter Findlay 24 January 2008 (2008-01-24) N/A
13 13 Avi Lewis Peter Findlay 31 January 2008 (2008-01-31) N/A


In reviewing the first episode The Gazette says, "Who Do You Think You Are? is a stirring, thought-provoking look at what it means to be Canadian."[7] The Ottawa Citizen noted that Thursday nights are the most competitive time of the week for broadcast networks and that many of the most-watched shows are on that night. They continue, "If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, though, give Who Do You Think You Are? a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find."[8]

As part of announcing the show's return CBC reported that the first season had an average audience through the first nine episodes of 708,000 viewers and that the audience skewed towards females and those with post-secondary education.[9]


  1. ^ Canwest News Service (4 June 2007). "CBC unveils fall schedule". Postmedia Network. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Reid, John D. (8 April 2008). "CBC Drops Genealogy Programme "Who Do You Think You Are?". Anglo-Celtic Connections. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  3. ^ David, Greg (10 May 2012). "CBC cancels 'Jeopardy!' and unveils fall schedule". TV Guide. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? - Host". Cbc.ca. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  5. ^ Reid, John D. (22 June 2007). "CBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?"". Anglo-Celtic Connections. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? Cast And Crew". CBC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Canadians retrace their steps". The Gazette. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Here's living proof that there are no ordinary lives". Ottawa Citizen. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "CBC Revenue Group - Who Do You Think You Are?". CBC. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 

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