When the original Roots miniseries aired on ABC in 1977, it was a cultural phenomenon, which garnered 37 total Emmy nominations, nine Emmy wins, a Golden Globe and a Peabody. Now, HISTORY is looking to bring the story to audiences once more with the eight-hour event series Roots remake. Adapted from Alex Haley’s novel, Roots: Saga of an American Family, the series famously follows Kunta Kinte as he is abducted from his home in Africa and transported to America where he and his family struggle to survive the era of Slavery, and will premiere on History, Lifetime and A&E on Memorial Day (May 30th).
The historical portrait of American slavery boasts an impressive cast including Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Matthew Goode, Mekhi Phifer, James Purefoy and introduces Regé-Jean Page and Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte.
In addition to the release date announcement, History has also debuted the first trailer for Roots, which you can watch below.
LeVar Burtain, who played Kunta Kinte in 1977 miniseries and co-executive produces the new series commented,
“Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television event that started an important conversation in America. 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.”
Roots is directed by Phillip Noyce, Mario Van Peebles, Thomas Carter and Bruce Beresford. Following the Memorial Day premiere, the series will continue for the next three nights, with the finale episode scheduled for June 2nd.