In 1977, Alex Haley’s Roots was released and changed the landscape to television forever.
History will premiere Roots on Memorial Day 2016, airing over four consecutive nights at 9 p.m. beginning Monday, May 30, it was announced today by Paul Buccieri, President of A&E and History.
The four-night, eight-hour event series developed by History, from A+E Studios, is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship.
Roots will be simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, in addition to History.
The cast includes Forest Whitaker (“Fiddler”) and Anna Paquin (“Nancy Holt”); Laurence Fishburne (“Alex Haley”); Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“Tom Lea”); Anika Noni Rose (“Kizzy”); Tip “T.I.” Harris (“Cyrus”); Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Belle”); Matthew Goode (“Dr. William Waller”); Mekhi Phifer (“Jerusalem”); James Purefoy (“John Waller”) and introduces Regé-Jean Page (“Chicken George”) and Malachi Kirby (“Kunta Kinte”).
“’Roots’ will allow new audiences to experience this epic family saga with a new vision that is both incredibly inspiring and tremendously entertaining,” said Buccieri. “We are proud that History will be able to bring new life to this incredible story that remains as important today as it did when the original ‘Roots’ first premiered.”
“Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television event that started an important conversation in America,” said LeVar Burton, Co-Executive Producer. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of this new retelling and start the dialogue again, at a time when it is needed more than ever.”