The cable network has acquired rights to the 1977 successful miniseries and plans a new eight-hour take on the slavery drama.
"Roots" remake is in the works on History. The cable channel, which has found success with its longform programs "The Bible" and "Hatfields & McCoys", has acquired rights to the 1977 hit show and to Alex Haley's 1976 novel "Roots: The Saga of an American Family", on which the miniseries was based.
History is now planning a new eight-hour take on the twelve-hour original, which still holds a record as the third-highest-rated U.S. television program. Mark Wolper, son of the late "Roots" executive producer David L. Wolper, is on board as executive producer for the new miniseries.
"We would like to revive that cultural icon for a new audience," says History EVP and GM Dirk Hoogstra as quoted by Deadline. No other details of the project are announced yet as a search for a writer is still underway.
The original "Roots" was a critical and commercial success, breaking ratings records with the conclusion drawing 100 million viewers. The miniseries received 37 Emmy nominations and won nine. The slavery-themed drama starring LeVar Burton still draws solid ratings for its reruns.
The topic of slavery has been highlighted in recent critically-acclaimed movies such as 2013 Academy Awards nominee "Django Unchained" and next year's Oscar hopeful "12 Years a Slave".