Making its debut on HISTORY® (DStv 186) on Wednesday, June 15 at 20.30, is the highly- anticipated television event Roots, the four-part, eight-hour series developed by HISTORY and produced by A+E Studios.
Based on the best-selling novel by Alex Haley, Roots recounts the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure, and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity.
“Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television event that started an important conversation in America,” said LeVar Burton, Co-Executive Producer and the actor who played the lead role of Kunta Kinte in the original 1977 version. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of this new re-telling and start the dialogue again, at a time when it is needed more than ever.”
Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte, who is captured in his homeland of The Gambia and sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity that reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit. The stellar cast includes Academy Award® winners Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) and Anna Paquin (The Piano); Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award® winner Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix); Golden Globe Award® winning and Emmy Award® nominated actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors); Tony Award® winner Anika Noni Rose (The Good Wife); Grammy Award® winner Tip “T.I.” Harris; Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead); Emayatzy Corinealdi (Hand of God); Matthew Goode (The Good Wife); Derek Luke (Empire); Mekhi Phifer (ER); James Purefoy (The Following); Erica Tazel (Justified) and introduces Regé-Jean Page (Waterloo Road) and Malachi Kirby (EastEnders) who plays Kunta Kinte.
To mark this TV event, HISTORY, which is usually available to Premium subscribers only – will be opened to DStv’s Compact subscribers across Africa from Monday, June 13 to Monday, July 11. During this four week open-window, HISTORY will broadcast new and exclusive shows, along with top-rated return titles that Compact subscribers will not have had access to previously. Roots will also be repeated on Lifetime on Sundays at 8pm (from June 19) following its debut on HISTORY.
Says Anthea Petersen, Regional Director at A+E Networks Africa: “We are proud that HISTORY will be able to bring new life to this incredible story that remains as important today as it did when the original ‘Roots’ first premiered. It is a powerful portrayal of the resilience of the human spirit that we know is going to resonate strongly with all Africans.’’