SundanceTV Celebrates Black History Month with the 40th Anniversary of the 1977 Influential Miniseries Roots
In celebration of Black History Month, and to honor one of the greatest miniseries of all time, SundanceTV will present Roots: 40th Anniversary Special Event starting Sat., Feb. 25.
To launch this special programming event, the network will air the remastered version of the iconic miniseries, Roots on Sat., Feb. 25 and Sun., Feb. 26, starting at 11am/10c each day. It will be followed by its sequel, Roots: The Next Generations, which will air in two parts on Mon., Feb. 27 and Tue., Feb. 28. Part One will air on Mon. starting at 5/4c, and Part Two will air on Tue. starting at 5/4c. Frequently named as one of the most important works in scripted television in history, Roots, won nine Emmy® awards, a Golden Globe award, a Peabody award, and still stands as the most watched miniseries in the U.S.
“We are proud to present this landmark miniseries on our air, and celebrate its contribution to television history,” said Jan Diedrichsen, General Manager of SundanceTV, “From an award-winning piece of literature to an Emmy and Peabody-award winning miniseries, Roots and Roots: The Next Generations share stories that are important, human and relevant.”
Roots is based on Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the 1976 Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling novel by Alex Haley. The 12-hour miniseries follows the epic tale of Alex Haley’s ancestors, from Kunta Kinte’s enslavement to his descendants’ liberation. The miniseries first aired on ABC in January 1977 and covers a period of history that begins in mid-1700s Gambia, West Africa and concludes during post-Civil War United States, over 100 years later.
Roots stars Todd Bridges as Bud Harvey, Robert Reed as Dr. William Reynolds, John Amos as Toby, Madge Sinclair as Bell Reynolds, Louis Gossett Jr. as Fiddler, Vic Morrow as Ames, Brad Davis as Ol’ George Johnson and LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte. The miniseries, produced by David L. Wolper with Stan Marguiles, William Beaudine Jr., Malcom Alper and Donald A. Ramsey. Writers of the miniseries include Alex Haley, William Blinn, Charles Cohen, Ernest Kinoy and James Lee. Directors include Marvin J. Chomsky, John Erman, David Greene and Gilbert Moses.
The sequel Roots: The Next Generations, which originally aired in 1979, picks up where Roots ends and continues the story of Alex Haley’s family line from the Post American Civil War era to Alex Haley’s genealogical search to discover his roots. The sequel stars Dorian Harewood as Simon Haley, Debbi Morgan as Elizabeth Harvey, Paul Koslo as Ear Crowther, Stan Shaw as Will Palmer Marc Singer as Andy Warner, Fay Hauser as Carrie Warner and Lynn Hamilton as Georgia Anderson. Writers of the miniseries include Alex Haley, Ernest Kinoy, Sydney A. Glass, John McGreevey, Thad Mumford and Dan Wilcox. Directors include John Erman, Charles S. Dubin, Georg Stanford Brown, and Lloyd Richards.