And the remake craze continues….
A&E, History and Lifetime have given the green-light to a remake of the iconic 1970s miniseries Roots, which has original star LeVar Burton on-board as a co-executive producer. Following a strategy parent company A+E Network employed with Bonnie & Clyde, the mini will be simulcast across A&E, History and Lifetime in 2016.
Based on Alex Haley’s Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Roots originally aired on ABC in 1977 and starred Levar Burton as Kunta Kinte, who is abducted from Gambia and sold into slavery in the United States. The 1970s series followed the story Kinte and those who followed him as they continued to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history – including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation.
The new mini-series will again be based on the novel and tell the story of Kunta Kinte but will include more material from Haley’s novel as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time. A&E, History and Lifetime’s sister studio A+E Studios is set to produce alongside The Wolper Organization – the company that produced the original. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald and Charles Murray are penning the scripts. Mark Wolper and Will Packer serve as executive producers. A+E Studios International will handle global distribution.
“Roots was a ground-breaking television milestone that has had an enduring effect on American culture. We are privileged to be stewards of this universal story and will undertake its retelling with extreme care,” said Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and General Manager of History, where the remake was developed.
“We are proud to bring this saga to fans of the original, as well as to a new generation that will experience this powerful and poignant tale for the first time”, Hoogstra added. “Audiences will once again feel the impact of Kunta Kinte’s indomitable spirit.”
“My career began with Roots and I am proud to be a part of this new adaptation,” commented LeVar Burton. “There is a huge audience of contemporary young Americans who do not know the story of Roots or its importance. I believe now is the right time to tell this story so that we can all be reminded of its impact on our culture and identity.”