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Finding Your Roots, which premiered on March 25 and airs through May 20, explores race, culture and identity through the genealogy and genetics of some of America’s best-known personalities. Cho, as well as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, and media and business magnate Martha Stewart, star in the episode airing May 6. The three guests are all children of first or second-generation immigrants, and share the peculiar burdens of that heritage. In an episode that crisscrosses the planet, from India to Korea to Poland, the viewer catches a glimpse of three distinct, yet oddly overlapping experiences of families leaving their homes and becoming American.
Cho, who co-stars in the TV series Drop Dead Diva, has never explored her Korean roots. As viewers will learn, the research teams trace her ancestry all the way back to her 20th great-grandfather, whose ancestral line connects to a prestigious clan in what is now North Korea. Her ancestors’ individual choices and their country’s political turmoil over the last half-century have cut off ties to Cho’s family’s past.