Roots (1977)


Miniseries
Roots

Critics Consensus

Roots may shave off the nuances of Alex Haley's landmark book for the sake of slicker storytelling, but excellent performances and the intrinsic power of this generational tale make for revelatory television.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 34

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 23, 1977

Kunta Kinte, born in Gambia, West Africa, is kidnapped by invading foreigners while on the way back from his ritual manhood training and transferred to a ship bound for America.

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Air date: Jan 24, 1977

After three months, Kunta is put up for auction; he goes to the Reynolds plantation in Spotsylvania, Va., where he is befriended by Fiddler, the American.

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Air date: Jan 25, 1977

Finding strength in his memories as a Mandinka warrior, Kunta (Toby) escapes. He gets recaptured, but Belle, the family cook, sets out to raise his spirits.

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Air date: Jan 26, 1977

Kunta happily marries Belle, and his long-time friend Fiddler dies. Kunta considers an escape with Belle, but the birth of a daughter changes his mind.

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Air date: Jan 27, 1977

Kizzy, who can read and write, is forced to reveal her role in helping Noah escape; Kizzy is sold to Tom Moore.

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Air date: Jan 28, 1977

Kizzy's son has earned the name "Chicken George" for his skill in cock-fighting; after a loss George is sent to England to pay off a debt.

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Air date: Jan 29, 1977

The nation erupts into war as Chicken George returns to find his sons married with families, however, he must leave within 60 days or the law will forfeit his status as a free man.

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Air date: Jan 30, 1977

The Civil War and slavery ends, and the system of sharecropping is born. Chicken George returns, allowing the family to safely leave and settle on its own land in Henning, Tenn.

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Roots: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Ed Asner profile thumbnail image
Ed Asner
Capt. Thomas Davies

Actor
Georg Stanford Brown profile thumbnail image
Georg Stanford Brown
Tom Harvey

Actor
Maya Angelou profile thumbnail image
Maya Angelou
Nyo Boto

Actor
Thalmus Rasulala profile thumbnail image
Thalmus Rasulala
Omoro

Actor
Rotten Tomatoes placeholder profile thumbnail image
Renn Woods
Fanta

Actor
Cicely Tyson profile thumbnail image
Cicely Tyson
Binta

Actor
O.J. Simpson profile thumbnail image
O.J. Simpson
Kadi Touray

Actor
Ralph Waite profile thumbnail image
Ralph Waite
Slater

Actor
Lorne Greene profile thumbnail image
Lorne Greene
John Reynolds

Actor
Lynda Day George profile thumbnail image
Lynda Day George
Mrs. Reynolds

Actor
Vic Morrow profile thumbnail image
Vic Morrow
Ames

Actor
John Amos profile thumbnail image
John Amos
Older Kunta Kinte

Actor
Madge Sinclair profile thumbnail image
Madge Sinclair
Bell Reynolds

Actor
Leslie Uggams profile thumbnail image
Leslie Uggams
Kizzy Reynolds

Actor
Chuck Connors profile thumbnail image
Chuck Connors
Tom Moore

Actor
Sandy Duncan profile thumbnail image
Sandy Duncan
Missy Anne Reynolds

Actor
Ben Vereen profile thumbnail image
Ben Vereen
'Chicken' George Moore

Actor
Doug McClure profile thumbnail image
Doug McClure
Jemmy Brent

Actor
Burl Ives profile thumbnail image
Burl Ives
Senator Arthur J. Justin

Actor
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Critic Reviews for Roots: Miniseries

Audience Reviews for Roots: Miniseries

  • Jul 16, 2022
    Wonderful show. I only just watched it recently for the first time and I found it to be very heartbreaking, gut wrenching, powerful, hopeful and educational. When the Africans were captured and put in slave holds was honestly very hard to watch. The majority of the show is very heavy and hard to watch, I found myself having to stop watching for a little, and then continuing the next day or so because of the material being so sad and emotional. The performances by LaVar Burton and the rest of the cast were so well done that I could feel their emotions through the screen. The show had me rooting for the underdogs so much that it was just so painful when they were thwarted over and over again, but that's just the reality of how things were. I really liked learning about Kunta Kinte and his love for his African land and how that never truly left his heart and his longing to be free. It was hard to watch so many moments, especially when families were separated, which was a very common theme for the show, but just something that was hard to get over every time it would happen. Even though this is an older show, from 1977, I say give it a chance. The cast is superb and the storyline is very engaging. You'll find yourself hooked, although fair warning, it can get incredibly difficult to watch because of the themes and heavy subject matter.
  • Feb 02, 2021
    A good mini series worth watching.
  • Aug 06, 2018
    This must have been a big eye opener for the soft hearted racists. Great series.
  • Feb 07, 2018
    Roots is one of the best tv series I've ever seen! Just great!

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