The Roots Reboot Gets a Premiere Date and an Official Trailer (VIDEO)
The remake of Roots will debut on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) and air two-hour episodes on four consecutive nights. Based on 1977’s groundbreaking series, which was in turn adapted from the 1976 novel by Alex Haley, Roots examines slavery through one African-American family, from the Colonial through Civil War eras.
"Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television events that started an important conversation in America,” says co-executive producer LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte, the young African kidnapped into slavery during the mid 18th century, in the original series. "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.”
The cast of the reboot includes a bevy of all-star celebs: Oscar winners Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler) and Anna Paquin (True Blood); Emmy winner Laurence Fishburne (CSI); Anika Noni Rose (Power), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula), Tip “T.I” Harris (House of Lies), Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey), Mekhi Phifer (House of Lies), James Purefoy (The Following), Regé-Jean Page (UK series Waterloo Road) and Malachi Kirby (UK series EastEnders) as Kinte.
The original series received 37 Emmy nominations and won nine, and the finale earned the highest Nielsen rating (36.38 million viewers) for the entire series. A sequel, Roots: The Next Generations, aired in 1979 and a Christmas movie, Roots: the Gift, starring Burton and Louis Gossett Jr., aired in 1988.
Here’s a look at the new Roots trailer, featuring clips from Kinte’s birth up through the Civil War.
Roots, Premieres Monday, May 30, 9/8c, A&E, History, LifetimeAlertMe