History to produce a new version of the mini-series Roots
Most people have seen ROOTS one of two ways: when it was the biggest television event during it's initial airing or in one of the numerous replays, DVDs, or school substitute days since. ROOTS has become part of American television history and is a reference point for all future network TV mini-series that followed. Despite two sequel series that did not live up to the original (ROOTS II and QUEEN), ROOTS may be getting a fresh gloss thanks to History channel.
History has bought the rights to both the David Wolper series and Alex Haley's book ROOTS with plans to create an all new version of the series. The original series garnered 100 million viewers at one point despite airing in 1977 when race relations in America were still as tenuous as ever. The cast consisted of names that today we recognize from other projects: LeVar Burton, OJ Simpson, John Amos, Ben Vereen, Louis Gossett, Jr., Leslie Uggams, Vic Morrow, Ed Asner, Cicely Tyson, Lloyd Bridges, Scatman Crothers, and even Ian McShane.
History has already ventured into success with the mini-series HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, THE BIBLE, and VIKINGS. ROOTS would represent another potential hit for the network as they explore original programming. The plan appears to be an eight hour, possibly four to eight night event. It also would be cool if cast from the original ROOTS returned for roles in the new version. Ed Asner and LeVar Burton especially would make for cool additions to the cast.