Those tuning in to the new NBC series "Who Do You Think You Are?," which premieres on Friday night, can thank Ireland for bringing it to light over here.

The show’s executive producer, former "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow, said last week that she conceived the idea for the series while she was filming "P.S. I Love You" in Ireland four years ago.  The show, in which celebrities look back on their family trees, was a popular staple of British TV at the time, and Kudrow loved what she saw.

“Even though I'd never seen the show before, I was hooked,” she says.  “I watched more episodes and the stories were riveting. I wondered if we could do a show like this in the States.”

Finally, Kudrow’s idea came to fruition, and the seven-part series will feature an array of stars, including Sarah Jessica Parker, who kicks off the show this Friday, and her husband Matthew Broderick, who will surely turn up a few Irish ancestors given his background.

Broderick actually discovered that his grandfather was a 22-year-old medic in World War I who had to tend to soldiers, but was wounded himself and eventually awarded a Purple Heart.  “And I'd always thought of him as Joe the postman,” the actor laughed.
 

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