Friday, February 10, 2012

Black History Movie Friday: Roots

Roots is a 1977 American television miniseries based on Alex Haley's novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Roots received 36 Emmy Awardnominations, winning nine. It also won a Golden Globeand a Peabody Award.[1] It received unprecedentedNielsen ratings with the finale still standing as the third-highest rated U.S. television program ever.[2] It was shot on a budget of $6 million.[3][4]
The series introduced LeVar Burton in the role ofKunta Kinte, Haley's maternal fourth great-grandfather. A sequel, Roots: The Next Generations, was broadcast in 1979, and a second sequel, Roots: The Gift, was produced as a Christmas movie which starred LeVar Burton and Louis Gossett, Jr.
Following the success of the original novel and the miniseries, Haley was sued by author Harold Courlander, who asserted that Roots was plagiarized from his own novel The African, published nine years prior to Roots in 1967. The resulting trial ended with an out-of-court settlement and Haley's admission that some passages within Roots had been copied from Courlander's work.[5] Separately, researchers refuted Haley's claims that, as the basis for Roots, he had successfully traced his own ancestry back through slavery to a specific individual and village in Africa.[6][7]

GenreHistorical novel-based
period piece
Produced byStan Margulies
Written byAlex Haley
StarringOlivia Cole
Ben Vereen
LeVar Burton
John Amos
Louis Gossett, Jr.
Leslie Uggams
Georg Stanford Brown
Music byGerald Fried
Quincy Jones (ep. 1)
BudgetUS$6 million
CountryUnited States
Original channelABC
Original runJanuary 23, 1977 – January 30, 1977
Running time570 minutes (90 minutes each)
No. of episodes8 (re-edited for VHS and DVD to 6)
Followed byRoots: The Next Generations

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