And now they want to remake Roots

rootsBut w-h-y?

In American television’s quest to recycle everything now they want to remake one of the finest television miniseries of all time: Roots.

I appreciate there is a generation of viewers who have never seen this miniseries, but it will be mighty hard to improve upon the 1977 series. The original earned a whopping 37 Emmy nominations, winning nine of them.

Hollywood Reporter has confirmed the History network has acquired the rights to the 12-hour original from Mark Wolper, the son of late Roots exec producer David L. Wolper, from the estate of author Alex Haley.

Wolper will executive produce History’s new take, with a search under way for a writer on the project, which is described as a contemporary take (ugh).

Of course History recently brought us The Bible….. and just look what it did with that book.


  1. Maev....Sydney

    My Dad’s fave comment was…There is no 2nd prize!
    And reading through your article DK…I had a question…you answered it in the last sentence…enough said.

  2. Aussie_Austridge

    Another comment on Roots. I can remember Graham Kennedy deliberately mispronouncing the name of the lead character Kunta Kinte on Blankety Blanks at 7PM during 1977. When those episodes of Blankety Blanks were shown on Foxtel in 2005 the name was bleeped out.

  3. Aussie_Austridge

    Paul Hogan did a “remake” of Roots on his show in 1977. Called Seeds it was a sendup of early white settlement in Australia with Hogan playing a convict.

  4. How does one do a ‘contemporary take’ on a story that’s set in the 19th century?

    Just play the original which admittedly I’ve never seen. This was a show that Nine ‘offered’ to Ten as a charity offering the last time Ten was in financial trouble (although Ten screened it first in 1977)… Maybe Ten should see if the offer’s still good 🙂

    Couldn’t rate any worse than much of Ten’s prime time lineup now

  5. My school showed parts of this series during school when we were learning about the American civil war and all that stuff. I just finished, so I dont get why the would want to appeal to the younger generation with the remake when theres nothing wrong with the original.

  6. Roots was an extraordinary show. It had a very profound affect on me and I was only a kid when it was released. I think the new producers for the remake would be under extraordinary pressure not to mess it up. I think they should remake it so a new generation gets a real sense of what went on during the times of slavery in America. And its also so timely with the slave work that still carries on in this modern age.

  7. It depends what the budget would be, as unlike the original, a remake would be filmed in widescreen, in HD and it’d have better visual effects, but are they going to do the whole book, that took Roots 1 and 2 to adapt.

  8. Probably a dumb question, but if they acquired the rights to the 12 h original, why not show the original series again. I would (re) watch it.

  9. Is it just laziness that they want to remake a series that was so successful? I remember watching Roots when I was young and it made a strong impression. I won’t be watching the recycled version.

  10. What bad news. Roots was an incredible series, I was very young but it impacted on me greatly. I agree it will be nigh impossible to better the original and they should leave it alone.

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