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An adaptation of Alex Haley's "Roots", chronicling the history of an African man sold to slavery in America, and his descendants.
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Nominated for 7 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Herbert Cavalier Jr. Herbert Cavalier Jr. ...  Town Folk 4 episodes, 2016
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ...  Tom Lea 3 episodes, 2016
Malachi Kirby ...  Kunta Kinte 3 episodes, 2016
Forest Whitaker ...  Fiddler 3 episodes, 2016
Laurence Fishburne ...  Alex Haley 3 episodes, 2016
Babs Olusanmokun ...  Omoro Kinte 3 episodes, 2016
Tevin Paul ...  Freed Slave Soldier / ... 3 episodes, 2016
Kerry Sims Kerry Sims ...  Slave 3 episodes, 2016
Matthew Goode ...  Dr. William Waller 2 episodes, 2016
Regé-Jean Page ...  Chicken George 2 episodes, 2016
Emayatzy Corinealdi ...  Belle 2 episodes, 2016
Shannon Lucio ...  Patricia Lea 2 episodes, 2016
James Purefoy ...  John Waller 2 episodes, 2016
Erica Tazel ...  Matilda 2 episodes, 2016
Derek Luke ...  Silla Ba Dibba 2 episodes, 2016
Katie McGuinness ...  Elizabeth Waller 2 episodes, 2016
Anika Noni Rose ...  Kizzy 2 episodes, 2016
Tony Curran ...  Connelly 2 episodes, 2016
Adam Fergus ...  Sir Eric Russell 2 episodes, 2016
Nokuthula Ledwaba Nokuthula Ledwaba ...  Binta Kinte 2 episodes, 2016
Carol Sutton ...  Miss Malizy 2 episodes, 2016
Chris Obi ...  Kintango 2 episodes, 2016
Roman Armstrong Roman Armstrong ...  Kunta Kinte Dbl / ... 2 episodes, 2016
Cortney McClelland Jr. Cortney McClelland Jr. ...  Newborn Chicken George 2 episodes, 2016
David Shiflett ...  Chicken Fight Gambler 2 episodes, 2016
Darrell L. Shuler Darrell L. Shuler ...  Waller Slave 2 episodes, 2016
Calvin Williams Calvin Williams ...  Waller Slave / ... 2 episodes, 2016
Sam Woodworth Sam Woodworth ...  Confederate Soldier / ... 2 episodes, 2016


An adaptation of Alex Haley's "Roots", chronicling the history of an African man sold to slavery in America, and his descendants.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The groundbreaking series reimagined See more »


Drama | History


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

30 May 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Roots See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The author Alex Haley was sued successfully for plagiarizing by novelist Harold Courlander. The works he plagiarized led to the book that served as the basis for the mini-series Roots. Haley paid $650,000 in an out of court settlement. See more »


When Kunta Kinte is on the ship heading for America in 1767, the flag used has the red diagonals in the Union Jack. These we not added until the Act of Union with Ireland in 1801. See more »


Referenced in Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter: Drama Actors (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bland Retelling of the Alex Haley Classic Modeled on "Twelve Years a Slave"
21 June 2016 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

What to make of this much-heralded remake of the Alex Haley classic? It has a lot going for it - a starry cast led by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Malachi Kirby, Forrest Whittaker and Lawrence Fishburne; atmospheric photography Peter Menzies jr. and Sharone Meir; and an authentic production design by Ida Random, David Barkham and Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson.

Yet the overall impression of this four-parter is one of blandness; a sense that the directors Bruce Beresford, Phillip Noyce, Mario van Peebles and Thomas Carter are simply retelling the story without any feeling for its historical significance. There are too many dramatic set-pieces strongly reminiscent of TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, especially when the African American characters are assaulted by their white masters, while the settings (a plantation; the white slave-owner's house; the cattle-market) are shot in such a way - using bright light accompanied by atmospheric music - as to encourage the belief that we are watching a pared-down version of the Steve McQueen film.

The narrative lumbers on throughout each episode, with a pronounced lack of dramatic incident. The directors seem to have been so concerned with atmosphere (or lack thereof), that they have not really encouraged the actors to flesh out their roles. Too often we see performers simply going through the motions of performing with little concern for historical verisimilitude.

This is a real shame, because the idea to remake ROOTS seemed in principle to be such a good one, as a way of reminding viewers that the racial conflicts taking place in the antebellum United States have still not been resolved today. What a shame, therefore, that the creative personnel involved in this miniseries failed to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

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