The 50-year-old executive producer spoke to TV Guide ahead of the program's season two premiere on Wednesday. The series aired on NBC for three seasons before it moved to TLC, but both versions of the show take an in-depth look at celebrities' family histories.
Sex & the City star Cynthia Nixon kicked off the new season by discovering a shocking secret about her great-great-great grandmother. The actress learned her ancestor was a victim of domestic violence who killed her husband with an ax to save herself.
"Real life is much more riveting and powerful. We were bug-eyed by that story!" Kudrow shared. "And you know what's even crazier? Our other stars this season are Valerie Bertinelli, Rachel McAdams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Kelsey Grammer, and they all had a murderer in the family, except Kelsey. What are the chances?"
Kudrow said it is not uncommon for stars to back out of the show when discoveries become too personal. She and her team remain "ready for whatever unfolds" and recognize "things were so much tougher and shocking back then." On the other hand, celebrities are often delighted with what they find, and she and her team uncovered documents that are "record-breaking for the genealogy community" in the course of the new season.
"This is a nation of survivors, people who have dealt with unbelievable tragedy and famine and danger and hardship," she said of the show's message. "Then there's all the stuff that irritates us today and makes us freak out and fall apart. No comparison."
Who Do You Think You Are? airs Wednesdays on TLC.