History to Remake 1977 Miniseries ‘Roots’

Roots Miniseries

Development follows History's success in 2013 with minis including 'The Bible'

Roots” is getting a reboot.

Variety has confirmed that History will be remaking the 1977 miniseries after nabbing the rights to the original from Mark Wolper, son of late “Roots” exec producer David L. Wolper, along with the rights to the 1976 novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family.” Deadline was first to break the news.

“Roots” will be transformed into an eight-hour miniseries for History, with Mark Wolper exec producing. Project is said to draw from the book and 1977 mini, while offering a contemporary perspective.

“Roots” debuted on ABC in January 1977, and earned dozens of Emmy noms, along with nine wins. The finale of the original “Roots” mini still ranks as the third highest-rated TV broadcast, per Nielsen ratings, with 100 million viewers.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 22

Leave a Reply

22 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. cadavra says:

    But let’s look on the bright side. If this is successful, next they’ll remake BIRTH OF A NATION! (Of course, they’ll have to change the ending, but what the heck…)

  2. Linda Kopperud says:

    If they want to do Roots again, why not reintroduce David Wolper’s mini series. It was amazing. It doesn’t need to be “updated.” Mr Wolper stayed true to the book. We don’t want to watch something that has been “updated” with someone’s idea of what the author had in mind. I stood in line to have my book signed by the author. I was proud of how the mini series stayed true to the book and the author.

  3. NYC Lady says:

    There’s no originality in Hollywood anymore! Just remakes and sequels of the been there, done that. If this is going to be something different – a new story, then they should leave “Roots” alone and call this project something different.

  4. James says:

    Worst thing ever. Some stories are better forgotten.

  5. curioius1 says:

    No one is beating up on white males in Roots – its’ literally quite the opposite LOL…
    You cannot dismiss 500 years of history silly Nanny!

  6. Jeff Gordon says:

    I get the uproar over remaking a classic like Roots, but in all honesty there will be generations that will get to experience the story because they have undoubtedly seen the original and probably never will. This is not at all laziness, but more of a power-broker business move, because as much as everyone is complaining guaranteed it will be watched by a lot of people including those attacking it.

  7. America loved Alex Haley’s Roots. I was in Junior High School at the time, and we were so proud of the movie! That being said, why not just celebrate the film by re-issuing the film – which is an American Classic? I agree with @JangoBear. Why try and re create a classic. Can Hollywood create an original film on the brutal history of America? After all, on any given day, one can interview one of the many descendants of a people who were held in captivity – 15 generations worked for free – so, why not interview one of the descendants? #SameHistory #NewStory #AmericanHistory #EnslavedPeople #SlaveryinAmerica

  8. This is what happens when you allow MBA’s to get control of Hollywood. Nothing but reboots and “re imaginings.” Please come up with original material. What an insult to such a stellar cast and performance from the original. It can’t be replicated.

  9. Contessa46 says:

    Remake? Really? Why? It was such a fabulous story with outstanding performances by many many fine actors and actresses. Re-release the series, I would be thrilled to watch it again. When my young son was studying the civil war and slavery, I remember traveling to Manhattan to a video store who had the first 5 episodes to rent. I lived in suburbia and left him a hefty deposit and joined his club just so I could rent them. What a series! No need for a remake. Tell another story in a series, there are many of them.
    Read “the Candy Bomber” by Cherny and make a series about that true story. It was fabulous!

  10. JOE S HILL says:

    Has anyone yet learned their lessons on Remakes? you people can’t come up with your own original ideas anymore? what a cheat! the original ABC-TV mini-series was done,with two parts-both in 1977
    and 1978. the son of David L Wolper must have been payed quite a lot of money over this,,but what
    does Warner Bros. Entertainment have to say on this matter? come-on folks,create your OWN stuff,
    and leave alone the originals,because nothing anyone does today will ever match the superiority of
    the originals! oh,and JoMcG,”CASABLANCA” has been remade already,way back in either the 80s or 90s,,and no-it comes no where close to the original!

  11. JoMcG says:

    What’s next… remaking Casablanca?

  12. Jamilah Sweet says:

    Please do not remake this classic! It is s classic for a reason. Be original and come up eith your own ideas and make another miniseries. This is ridiculous! People are so money hungry and lazy! Out of all the people in the world, you mean to tell me that no one can come up with an original concept? That is bogus!

  13. Just Confused says:

    This is a cynical attempt to create another “MUST SEE” television event to equal “The BIBLE.” In the end, it seems all it’s really about these days is DOLLARS & CENTS and ASSES & EYEBALLS!

    A better idea might be to borrow THE ORIGINAL (still widely available) from a local public library or video store….

    or maybe even read the book. ;+)

  14. 2013 says:

    Does America really need to revisit slavery yet another time? It’s over! Move into the 21st century.

    • NYC Lady says:

      How many films have been made about WW2 or the holocaust, etc? Too many to count. Not enough has been told/shown about the dark history of slavery; part of the reason being that people can’t handle the guilt and prefer to ignore it rather than deal with the complexity of issues slavery generated. It is dirty laundry that needs to be aired.

  15. heather mclaughlin says:

    Welcome to the developing story of Tetris. It costs a million. It smiles a million. It just be a million dudes. Contact me or flies stuck to your marshmallows.

  16. Jed says:

    “A contemporary perspective”?..please elaborate on what that is in conjunction with historical non fiction

  17. Jim says:

    Development follows History’s success in 2013 with minis including ‘The Bible’

    Too bad Erich Von Stroheim is dead. He would’ve directed “The Bible”, page by page using the holy book as the script. Remember “Greed” (MGM 1924)???

  18. Jim says:

    Well if they have to, on one condition, don’t hire Will Smith.

  19. Jim says:

    HOW ABOUT REVIVING “MY MOTHER, THE CAR?”

  20. CJ says:

    Of all things to NOT remake… ROOTS is at the top of the list. This wasn’t just a TV miniseries, but groundbreaking television that opened up an honest dialogue about racism and racial relations in this country. In some small part it is one of the reasons that we have an African American President today. It doesn’t need a reboot or to be “contemporized.” We do not need to see Kanye West as Kunta Kinte.

  21. BriteBlonde1 says:

    With History doing a remake, I venture to guess whether Kunta Kinte will be driving a horse and buggy on an ice road or whether he’ll be wrestling an alligator in a swamp.

More TV News from Variety

Loading