History Channel Remaking 'Roots' TV Miniseries

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Roots DVDThe History Channel has announced plans to remake one of TV's most celebrated miniseries Roots, based on Alex Haley's 1976 best-selling novel.

The network is about to start discussions with screenwriters for the project, which will source both the book and the original miniseries from a contemporary perspective. Roots became a cultural phenomenon when it premiered on ABC in January 1977.

Roots tells the story of Alex Haley's African ancestors and follows several generations in the lives of a slave family. The saga begins with Kunta Kinte, a West African youth captured by slave raiders and shipped to America in the 1700s.

The family's saga is depicted up until the Civil War where Kunte Kinte's grandson gained emancipation. On average, 130 million – almost half the country at the time – saw all or part of the Roots series.

The History Channel racked up huge ratings with the five-part miniseries The Bible. The first two-hour episode attracted 13.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched entertainment telecast on all of cable so far in 2013.

Last December, BET's 35th anniversary airing of Roots drew 4.1 million viewers for the opening two parts. Source: Deadline

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