A Roots Remake Is on the Way

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Roots, one of the most successful miniseries of all time, is coming back to television.

The show initially aired over eight nights in 1977, and it will hit screens again in a 2016 reboot by History, A&E and Lifetime, the networks announced Thursday.

Roots is the story of multiple generations of one family from their beginnings in Gambia, through their passage to the United States, enslavement, the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and eventually, Emancipation. It is based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel by the same name and centers on the life of Kunta Kinte.

“The opportunity to present one of America’s most powerful stories to a generation that hasn’t seen it is tremendously exciting. Contemporary society needs this story and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said executive producer Will Packer.

Original cast member LeVar Burton will be a co-executive producer on the remake, and he echoed Packer’s sentiment: “I believe now is the right time to tell this story so that we can all be reminded of its impact on our culture and identity.”

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com