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Long Lost Family

Long Lost Family

  • Premiered: 
    March 6, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: TLC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Family
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

Each one-hour episode of LONG LOST FAMILY follows hosts and adoptees Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner, as they investigate the stories of two individuals or families who have longed to resolve their lifelong searches. A successful investigation offers the promise of not just a heartwarming reunion, but also a chance of redemption for people who have wrestled with emotional agony for years. There is no simple path to find the missing loved ones. With tightly held family secrets in their way, the odds are stacked against them. Lisa and Chris conduct painstaking searches through public records, and utilize the latest DNA technology in their search for answers. But what they discover, and who they find, is anything but expected. Each 60-minute episode features two stories, including: Rita, a mother who was forced to place her baby boy for adoption 31 years ago when her boyfriend dumped her and whose mother sent her to a home for pregnant young women for fear of a scandal -- but she still holds onto her son's baby blanket from the hospital; Jenny, whose birth mother was the daughter of a minister who was deeply embarrassed by a pregnancy out of wedlock; Diana and Jeannette, two women in search for the father who suddenly vanished from their lives when they were just 4 and 5 years old; and more people seeking lost family members. As part of its show sponsorship, Ancestry provides family history research on each of the featured individuals to help make discoveries possible.

Season 2 of LONG LOST FAMILY premiered on Sunday, February 12, 2017 from 9-11pm ET/PT on TLC, immediately following a two-hour countdown (7-9pm) to the new season. This season features those who have been haunted by the sudden disappearance of their parents, siblings that believe in each other's existence but have never had it confirmed, and parents who yearn to discover what became of the babies they reluctantly had to part with ages ago. Premiere night opens (7pm) with "Countdown to the New Season," a two-hour preview of the Season 2, featuring a mother yearning to hug the daughter she never held; a couple seeking forgiveness from their long-lost son; a daughter looking for her biological mother close to home; and a father hunting for the daughter he was forced to give up. Then, in the season opener (9pm), "There's No Easy Way to Say This," a mother's secret is discovered by newly reunited sisters; a woman searches for her biological mother and the daughter she placed for adoption; and a woman looks for the son she gave birth to more than three decades ago.

On Tuesday, November 6, 2017 at 8pm ET/PT, TLC premiered the third season of LONG LOST FAMILY. In the season opener, "She Just Drove Off and Never Returned," Lisa meets a woman who was left on a curb by her mother when she was just 4 years old, and she's desperate to find her mother to understand why. Chris uncovers stunning information for a woman searching for her family that leads to an unexpected reunion. The new season also follows these incredible stories: a pair of siblings seeking their sperm donor father; a gay man who finds out for the first time that he is a father at 49 years old and a woman who may never learn of her real birthday because she was just a baby when she was left in a basket on an Amish family's doorstep.

Season 4 of LONG LOST FAMILY premiered on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 10:05pm ET/PT on TLC, with hosts and adoptees Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner returning for their fourth seasons. In the season opener, "The First and Last Time I Saw My Sister," Chris tries to unravel a legal mystery involving a woman's sister whom she last saw across a New York courtroom 30 years ago -- at the age of seven. In the rest of Season 4, viewers meet a man, who at 48 years old, was traumatized to find out he was adopted, after his adoptive parents had already passed away; and a man who discovered that the mother who placed him for adoption already had three sons whom she kept. Utilizing whatever resources they can -- from public records and archives, to tracing family trees, to cutting edge Ancestry DNA technology -- Chris and Lisa leave no stone unturned in pursuit of their target. As each case unravels, and unexpected details surface, a lifetime of pain and guilt will ultimately give way to a new and profound familial relationship.

The fifth season of LONG LOST FAMILY premiered on Monday, October 8, 2018 from 9-11pm ET/PT on TLC, with Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner returning for brand-new two-hour episodes throughout October. One-hour episodes resume Monday, November 5 at 10pm. This season, viewers will meet a woman who is desperately hoping to discover why her mother left her in a box, near a gas station, just hours after being born; a man who at 49 years old, was traumatized to find out that he was adopted, and is now searching for any members of his biological family, praying it's not too late; and a young woman searching for her birth mother only to uncover a paralyzing truth about her own biological father. Chris and Lisa will tap into every possible resource - from public records and archives, to cutting edge Ancestry DNA technology - and leave no stone unturned as they pursue answers. Although the stakes are high, and the path to finding long lost family members is always unique and extremely challenging, LONG LOST FAMILY provides a renewed sense of hope and an opportunity to create a new beginning for those involved. Not only does a successful search bring the possibility of a heartwarming reunion, but also a chance at redemption for people who have endured decades of unfathomable emotional agony. In the two-hour season opener, "A Baby in a Shoe Box," Chris tackles the mystery of why a woman was left in a box hours after being born near an Ohio gas station. A woman enlists Lisa's help to locate her biological mother, but what they discover, no one is prepared for, and changes the woman's life forever.

LONG LOST FAMILY returned for its sixth season on Friday, October 25, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT on TLC. With the help of hosts Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner, estranged relatives who have suffered decades of separation take another step toward the possibility of discovering and reuniting with family members. he new season kicks off with identical twins seeking their birth mother. In later episodes we'll follow a man pursuing information about his biological mother in hopes of overcoming his lifelong struggle with abandonment; a woman whose world is turned upside down when she discovers that the hospital where she was born may have sent her home with the wrong family; and a young woman whose search for her mother becomes her greatest ambition after surviving breast cancer. With the odds stacked up against them - from tightly held family secrets to seemingly impenetrable walls of silence - the path to finding missing loved ones can be riddled with dead ends, detours and disappointment. Chris and Lisa utilize every resource at their fingertips, including public records, archives and cutting edge AncestryDNA technology, in an effort to locate their relative. As each case unfolds and the emotional intensity reaches a peak, each family reunion gives way to a new beginning and an unmistakable familial connection.
On Friday, December 13, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT, TLC premiered the Season 6 finale of LONG LOST FAMILY. In the season ender, "Switched in the Hospital," Lisa tackles the mystery of why a woman was abandoned in a trash can as a baby. Unexpected DNA results throw a woman's entire identity into question -- but no one is prepared for the shocking details Chris unearths about the day she was born.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Shed Media U.S.