The Roots saga will return to television next year via a new event miniseries, the History Channel announced Thursday. The original eight-episode miniseries, based on Alex Haley’s book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, first aired in 1977.
The History Channel, Lifetime and A&E —which produced the original—will share the classic story of a family’s struggle to survive and carry on their legacy during the era of slavery in America.
“Roots was a groundbreaking television milestone that has had an enduring effect on American culture,” said History Channel EVP and General Manager Dirk Hoogstra in a statement. “We are privileged to be stewards of this universal story and will undertake its retelling with extreme care.”
Original Roots cast member Will Packer will serve as executive producer of the remake, with Mark Wolpe and original Roots star LeVar Burton as co-executive producers.
“My career began with Roots and I am proud to be a part of this new adaptation,” Burton said in the statement. “There is a huge audience of contemporary young Americans who do not know the story of Roots or its importance. I believe now is the right time to tell this story so that we can all be reminded of its impact on our culture and identity.”
Lawrence Konner (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos), Mark Rosenthal (Mona Lisa Smile, Planet of the Apes), Alison McDonald (Alpha House, Nurse Jackie) and Charles Murray (Sons of Anarchy, Luke Cage) will tackle the script.
The new Roots is expected to air next year.