Thursday, April 17, 2008

Will we ever see a "Genealogy Idol" Program on TV?

I was soaping up in the shower this morning and thinking about TV programs on genealogy that I would like to see, and it hit me --


Think of it - 10 genealogy researchers start out on a quest to be named the Genealogy Idol. It could be similar to "American Idol" on Fox TV, but about genealogy research. But perhaps with some twists.

One concept could be --

1) This would be an annual contest, held over several weeks in Salt Lake City, with winners announced at the annual NGS or FGS conference.

2) Anybody is eligible to be a Genealogy Idol contestant - including amateurs and professionals.

3) A small panel of FASG's select 10 genealogy researchers through some sort of interview and portfolio process, perhaps with a 2 minute video of each discussing their experience and why they think they can be the Genealogy Idol.

4) During each show, each contestant will be

a) Provided a specific research problem to be solved one hour before show time. Each problem would be different from any other, and could be submitted by genealogy researchers from around the world.

b) Asked to recommend methods to solve the research problem

c) Be given one week to solve their specific problem using all resources available.

d) On the next show, provide a written report documenting the results of their research, including a 2-minute video showing their results.

e) At the end of the reports, the FASG's and the audience will vote one or more of the contestants off the show.

f) Back to a) above.

What do you think? Obviously, there would have to be rules about research procedures and assistance. Who would provide the research problems? How would costs be covered? Who would be in the voting audience if it wasn't on live TV?

Is this TV network material? Maybe not, but it would surely be interesting for an FGS or NGS conference, and I'm sure that Roots Television would want to show it.

I turned the shower off when the water turned cold. When I got out of the shower, my wife asked me why my head was still soapy. I was thinking...

How would you improve this concept? Either write your own blog post or make comments to this post.

UPDATED 1:50 PM: After I posted this, I wondered if the idea had come up before, and of course it has - see Paul Allen's talk to the APG in November 2007 where he mentioned a "Genealogy Idol" contest. I have no memory of reading about it although I know I read the article at the time since I blogged about it here. Now I know what my memory half-life is, I guess!


Craig Manson said...

How about The Great (Genealogy) Race? Contestants would all have the same problem which would take them around the world to find records and other evidence. They would compete in teams of two (ala The Great Race on CBS). The team with the correct answer in the shortest time wins.

JMK said...

Hi Randy,

we have had Genealogy Idol Shirts for a while now ;)