BBC Four Picks Up Roots Miniseries
In a rare US acquisition, the BBC have picked up the epic 2016 Roots miniseries from A+E it was announced today.
Based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel ‘Roots: The Saga of an American Family’, and the ground-breaking 1977 TV series, the drama chronicles the story of one family and their journey from West Africa in 1770 through slavery, the American Revolutionary War, American Civil War and to eventual freedom. It’s described as an historical portrait of American slavery, recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship.
The original 1977 series starred Star Trek’s LeVar Burton in the lead as Kunta Kinte, and he returns as Co-Executive Producer for this version. Speaking about the new show, Burton comment “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.”
This is the first major US acquisition for the BBC since The People Vs. OJ earlier this year. Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisitions, added “Roots is a tremendous historical saga with great emotional impact. Both production and cast are superb, especially the two young British leads, Malachi Kirby (Kunta Kinte) and Rege-Jean Page (Chicken George). Viewers that remember the original series will be fascinated by the new material that has been uncovered over the intervening years, and new viewers will become engrossed by this compelling television event for their own generation.”
The series has an astounding cast including Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rege-Jean Page and Malachi Kirby, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose, Matthew Goode, Tip “T.I” Harries, Chad L. Coleman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Derek Luke, Mekhi Phifer, James Purefoy and Erica Tazel. Each episode has a different, award-winning, feature film director including Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger), Mario Van Peebles (Posse, New Jack City), Thomas Carter (Coach Carter), and Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Breaker Morant).
No air date has been set for Roots yet, but keep an eye on the Roots UK air date page for the latest info.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.