Apparently one eight-hour miniseries with huge ratings—which, to be fair, came nearly 40 years ago—is not enough: Alex Haley's groundbreaking book Roots: The Saga of an American Family will be adapted once again, with the History Channel partly relying on the previous adaptation for its source material. (The network acquired the rights to both the book and the earlier film.)
The project is the latest in a recent uptick of films focusing on slavery; the last several months have seen Lincoln, Django Unchained, and 12 Years a Slave arrive in theaters. More broadly, it points to a noted increase in major productions focusing on black characters and on the subject of race.
As the Hollywood Reporter notes, it also comes at a time when the miniseries, as a format, is again attracting the interest of TV producers and executives. This may have less to do with the format's artistic possibilities and more to do with the "brand-defining and brand-supporting opportunities" miniseries supposedly provide. Nonetheless, it has led to the greenlighting of a variety of interesting projects.
TODAY IN SLATE
Scalia’s Liberal Streak
The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.
Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters
There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?
The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”
The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B
Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey
No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.
The Other Huxtable Effect
Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.