(NEW YORK) -- The remake of the landmark television miniseries Roots will premiere on the HISTORY channel starting May 30. The four-night, eight-hour television event will air over four consecutive nights.
Billed as "a historical portrait of American slavery recounting one family and their will to survive," the new version of Roots will also be simulcast on the A&E and Lifetime networks.
Based on the Alex Haley novel, the remake will feature a stellar cast, including Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin. The film also features Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose and rapper T.I. Mekhi Phifer and Emayatzy Corinealdi will also appear in the film, which will introduce newcomers Rege-Jean Page in the role of Chicken George and Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte.
“Roots will allow new audiences to experience this epic family saga with a new vision that is both incredibly inspiring and tremendously entertaining,” said A&E and HISTORY president Paul Buccieri. “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.”
LeVar Burton, who launched his career with the breakout role of Kunta Kinte in the original 1977 ABC miniseries, serves as co-executive producer of the new Roots. “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," he said.
Ride Along producer Will Packer is also an executive producer, while Questlove is the executive music producer. Mario Van Peebles is one of the directors.
The original version of Roots premiered on ABC on January 23, 1977. The mini-series, which also starred Cicely Tyson, Maya Angelou, Lou Gossett, Jr., Madge Sinclair, Leslie Uggams, John Amos, Sandy Duncan, Ben Vereen and Lloyd Bridges, broke Nielsen ratings and received 27 Emmy Award nominations.
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