Roots remake for 2016


Acclaimed US miniseries Roots is the latest to be getting a Hollywood remake.

Earlier this week History Channel, A&E and Lifetime, greenlit an 8 hour miniseries on African-American history, based on Alex Haley’s best-selling novel.

The ABC miniseries originally aired in 1977 winning 9 of 37 Emmy nominations and stellar ratings around the world. It remains one of the ’70s defining miniseries.

Mark Wolper, son of original producer David L. Wolper, is an executive producer of the new version along with original star LeVar Burton, plus Will Packer, Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization.

The new version will incorporate more material from Alex Haley’s source novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, as well consult with prominent historians in the fields of African and African-American history.

The miniseries will air in 2016.

Source: Hollywood Reporter


  1. After 12 Years A Slave, it was inevitable the someone on cable would try this with all the remakes going on.

    Continues the History Channel’s move into scripted drama instead of WWII and Alien documentaries. Interesting that A+E announced for not only the History Channel but their drama and lifestyle channels as well. I guess they are sold seperately.

    • Secret Squïrrel

      So that they can fill it with CGI effects, close-up fights, and someone hanging by their fingertips from something high only to be rescued by the hero.

    • I’m with Steve G. on this. I watched both series, Roots and Roots: The Next Generations when they were first broadcast here in 1977 and 1978. It’s best to leave this series as is and not try to “improve” on it, because the series was perfect as it was. Better to simply rebroadcast the original, even though it was shot in the old 4:3 aspect ratio and, as such there’ll be two vertical black bars either side of our modern wide-screen sets.

      • Actually Neil they would be able to broadcast it in 16.9 as the dvd set I have from about five years ago has the two miniseries reformatted to widescreen. The results aren’t too bad and if it persuaded some younger viewers to watch all the better.

        • I wasn’t aware it had been shot in or reformatted to 16:9, but certainly it would be far better to screen the original than try to do a lame remake. They’d likely alter the story too as I believe Alex Murray Palmer Hayley Kinte* is no longer alive to oversee the project.
          (* I added that last name in recognition of Mr. Hayley’s ancestry).

  2. The related articles is finally working correctly. This was report back in November 2013. David, you didn’t repeat the opening line “But w-h-y?”

  3. This brings back memories watching this as a kid with Pop, it was like the biggest tv event of the century back then though somehow I don’t feel the same way about the remake.It should be left alone.

  4. The original was brilliant. Hopefully the remake will also be. Always loved a good mini-series back in the day. There hasn’t been a quality one for quite a while.

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