I remember being glued to the TV in 1977 watching the entire Roots saga. It changed the thinking of a generation. And it is something that I am thrilled to own so that I can view it again with my own son who has been studying about American slavery for several years now. We are lucky Alex Haley was able to collect his family history and get it produced for TV.
The groundbreaking, acclaimed television miniseries that captivated the entire nation and won multiple awards, Roots, will be released on Blu-ray™ for the first time, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) on June 7, 2016. The legendary family saga, which follows the inspiring story of Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton, Transformers: Rescue Bots, Star Trek: The Next Generation) a West African teen who is captured and sold into slavery, has been beautifully remastered in eye-catching 1080p high definition from its original eight 1977 broadcast masters. Roots’ original broadcast was watched by an estimated 140 million viewers total, more than half of the US population and was the largest viewership ever attracted by any television series at the time. This release marks the powerful, Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning series’ 40th anniversary. Titled Roots: The Complete Original Series, this release will retail for $44.98 SRP.
The cast of this movie contained a young LeVar Burton who has continued on to have an incredible career, most recently for Reading Rainbow which is where I met him at the Disney Social Media Moms conference two years ago. There are many, many other famous actors, actresses and other important folks in this movie:
Roots: The Complete Original Series features an all-star cast that includes John Amos, Maya Angelou, Edward Asner, Lloyd Bridges, Georg Stanford Brown, LeVar Burton, Macdonald Carey, Olivia Cole, Gary Collins, Chuck Connors, Scatman Crothers, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Brad Davis, Sandy Duncan, Lynda Day George, Louis Gossett Jr., Lorne Greene, Moses Gunn, George Hamilton, Hilly Hicks, Burl Ives, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Carolyn Jones, Doug McClure, Ian McShane, Lynne Moody, Vic Morrow, Thalmus Rasulala, Robert Reed, Harry Rhodes, Richard Roundtree, Raymond St. Jacques, John Schuck, Paul Shenar, O.J. Simpson, Madge Sinclair, Beverly Todd, Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, Ralph Waite, William Watson and Ren Woods.
Roots earned an impressive 37 Emmy® Award nominations, which resulted in nine Emmy® wins. The series also won a Golden Globe® Award for Best Television Series – Drama. Roots was additionally honored with a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 1978.
“Roots had a profound impact on television audiences when it first aired forty years ago. Today, Alex Haley’s inspiring and important story continues to touch and affect viewers deeply. It’s one of the most powerful miniseries in TV history,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, TV Marketing.
Roots changed how my generation viewed this important piece of American history. This is a powerful TV series, and a must own collection for every American household, and the bonus materials are why:
- Roots: The American Story Continues (New Featurette) – Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Blair Underwood, Debbie Allen, Tavis Smiley, Shonda Rhimes and Reverend Al Sharpton reveal how Roots impacted their lives and the thinking of the world. Dr. Rex Ellis of the Smithsonian Institution shares with us how the story chronicled by Alex Haley in Roots lives on in Washington’s new Museum of African American History and Culture; and Christopher Haley recalls his uncle Alex, whose legacy he continues as a slavery historian.
- The Cast Looks Back (New Featurette) – Original cast members LeVar Burton, John Amos, Louis Gossett Jr., Ben Vereen, Cicely Tyson, Ed Asner, Sandy Duncan, Georg Stanford Brown and Lynne Moody share emotional stories about the 1976 filming of Roots. They also discuss how making the miniseries changed their lives, why it endures, and why for some it remains their greatest artistic experience.
- Crossing Over: How Roots Captivated an Entire Nation (Featurette)
- Connecting With the Past (Featurette)
- The Struggle to Make Roots (Featurette)
- LeVar Burton: Original Screen Test (Screen Test)
- Alex Haley Interview by David Frost (Featurette)
- Roots: One Year Later (Featurette)
Disclosure: I received this collection for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.