Roots Remake Gets Memorial Day Premiere Date — Watch the Trailer Now!

History’s remake of Roots is sneaking under the wire for 2016 Emmy eligibility.

The eight-hour event series — which examines one family’s struggle to survive during the era of American slavery — is set to premiere on History, Lifetime and A&E on Memorial Day, May 30, at 9/8c (two days before the Emmy cutoff period). It will then continue for the next three nights, with the finale slated for June 2.

ABC famously adapted Alex Haley’s novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, into a 1977 miniseries, which garnered nine Emmy wins and 37 total nominations. The new adaptation, produced by A&E Studios, is billed as an “original, contemporary production, incorporating material from Haley’s novel, as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time.”

The cast of the Roots remake includes Oscar winners Forest Whitaker (as Fiddler) and Anna Paquin (as Nancy Holt); Emmy winner Laurence Fishburne (playing Alex Haley); Emmy-nominated Jonathan Rhys Meyers (as Tom Lea); Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (as Kizzy); Grammy winner Tip “T.I.” Harris (as Cyrus); Hand of God‘s Emayatzy Corinealdi (as Belle); Downton Abbey‘s Matthew Goode (as Dr. William Waller); House of Lies‘ Mekhi Phifer (as Jerusalem); and The Following‘s James Purefoy (as John Waller). It will also feature newcomers Regé-Jean Page (as Chicken George) and Malachi Kirby (as Kunta Kinte).

Watch the full trailer above, then hit the comments and share whether you’ll be watching Roots come Memorial Day!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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12 Comments
  1. Mike says:

    Where is the iconic music.

  2. Sally McLinn says:

    I saw the original TV show and read the book. This looks pretty intense. I remember when the original was on, it won a ton of awards. I may tune into this.

  3. Jon says:

    I don’t get the point of this remake. The original was iconic, and told the stories of his ancestors perfectly. If History Channel wants to address slavery, why not come up with a brand new story?

  4. Why the remake? Broadcast the original….

  5. daynamonet says:

    Love it! I’m so excited. I’ve seen the miniseries so many times and the next generations and queen so im ready

  6. Liza says:

    This looks like an opportunity to remake the story with much more graphic violence that was not tolerated on TV when it first aired. I thought the story was moving and powerful in its original form.

  7. Blondage says:

    I saw the original as a young kid and it was the first time I truly understood the horrors of slavery. Even if this remake isn’t as well done as the original, it will be powerful. I’m not sure if I will watch tho. It’s a rip-your-heart-out intense story.

  8. Ralph says:

    The original Is perfect and iconic. NO need for this!

  9. Ro says:

    Remakes in general are so lazy. Are there no original thoughts anywhere anymore?

  10. bigdede says:

    Not everything needs to be remade. The original was all I needed.