'Roots' Remake in the Works at History

The cable network is prepping an eight-hour remake of the 1977 miniseries.

History is revisiting one of the most successful miniseries of all time: Roots.

The cable network is developing an eight-hour mini based on the 1977 entry, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. History has acquired rights to the 12-hour original from Mark Wolper, the son of late Roots exec producer David L. Wolper, as well as the book on which the mini was based, Roots: the Saga of an American Family, from the estate of author Alex Haley.

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Wolper will executive produce, with a search underway for a writer on the project, which is described as a contemporary take.

The original mini -- which aired on ABC in January 1977 -- earned a whopping 37 Emmy nominations, taking home nine including best limited series and wins for Ed Asner (supporting actor) and Quincy Jones (music).

For History, the Roots mini comes as the network continues to ramp up its original scripted programming on the back of critical and ratings success with its longform fare, including The Bible and Hatfields & McCoys, the latter of which shattered network records during its three-day run last year. The network has a rapidly growing roster of miniseries in the works, including a four-hour Houdini vehicle starring Adrien Brody.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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