“Roots”, an American television miniseries based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family”, returns to the small screen tonight and can be seen on Series Hit Channel 28 every Monday to Wednesday from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.
The series first aired on ABC in January 1977. “Roots” received 37 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. It received unprecedented Nielsen ratings for the finale, which still holds a record as the thirdhighestrated episode for any type of television series, and the secondmost watched overall series finale in US television history. The series introduced LeVar Burton in the role of Kunta Kinte.
A sequel, “Roots: The Next Generations”, first aired in 1979, and a second sequel, “Roots: The Gift”, a Christmas TV movie, starring Burton and Louis Gossett Jr, first aired in 1988. A related film, Alex Haley's Queen”, is based on the life of Queen Jackson Haley, who was Alex Haley's paternal grandmother.
In 2016, a remake of the original miniseries, with the same name, was commissioned by the History channel and screened by the channel on Memorial Day.
A saga of AfricanAmerican life, based on Haley's family history, the central character Kunta Kinte is abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to America. He makes several escape attempts until he is finally caught and maimed. He marries Bell, his plantation’s cook, and they have a daughter, Kizzy, who is eventually sold away from them. Kizzy has a son by her new master, and the boy grows up to become Chicken George. He’s a legendary cock fighter who leads his family into freedom. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in US history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation.