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
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is
Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
Naomi Klein Is Wrong
Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.
The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads
Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.