History UK Takes Second Window On ‘Roots’ Reboot

EXCLUSIVE: History UK will be airing the Roots reboot that was produced for their U.S. counterpart after all. The A+E Networks UK owned and operated channel has taken second window on the event drama fronted by Malachi Kirby, TVWise can reveal.

The acquisition stems from an existing and long-running output agreement between A+E Networks UK and US based parent company A+E Networks, which gives the channels under the A+E Networks UK umbrella first refusal on shows produced in-house – such as Roots and the Lifetime drama UnREAL.

Much like what happened with UnREAL’s second season (with A+E selling first window to Amazon Prime Video UK after season one had initially aired on Lifetime UK), the company chose not to pick up the more expensive first window rights. Instead, the BBC made a rare deal for a U.S. scripted series and picked up the event drama for BBC Four, where it is currently airing on Wednesday nights at 9pm. Roots is expected to debut on History UK at some point later this year.

Roots is the latest scripted pick-up for History UK in the past few years. The channel, best known for its unscripted content, has previously swooped for first window rights to such shows as The Bastard ExecutionerTexas RisingSons Of Liberty and Gangland Undercover. History UK has also holds the second window rights to both the Starz pirate drama Black Sails and History drama Vikings, which air on the channel some 12 months after their initial broadcast window on Amazon Prime Video UK.