Roots: The Complete Miniseries

Part 1 Roots: The Saga of An American Family

Season 1, Ep 1, Aired 1/23/77
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  • Episode Description
  • The dramatic birth of Kunta Kinte in the village of Juffure, Gambia, West Africa, marks the opening chapter of this saga. The story follows the young Kunta Kinte from his childhood through to his teens as a goat-herder learning the cultural and religious traditions of his rural village during the mid-1700s. But what should have been a joyous occasion upon his successful return from ritual manhood training, instead results in tragedy. He and others from villages nearby are caught by slavers and are eventually transferred to a ship bound for America to be sold into bondage.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • David L. Wolper

  • Stan Margulies

  • Alex Haley

  • Quincy Jones

  • George Sims

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • Sad Parts

    By Karlam20001, Sep 26, 2012

  • This show was the roots of modern TV

    By oceanic6, Jan 17, 2009

  • This show doesn't really give the true meaning of what young Kunta Kinte will face. However, it does show how he used his freedom. They have a scene where he's just walking around enjoying himself. Never paying attention to his surroundings.

    By vwilliams675, Jun 10, 2007

  • A rarely seen glimpse of life in pre-colonial rural West Africa, a subject previously ignored in fictional historic dramas...

    By MyCritique, Apr 07, 2007

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (2)

    • Kintango: We believe not in death, but in life, and there is no object more valuable than a man's life.

    • Omoro: (holding his newborn son up to a star-filled sky) Kunta Kinte, behold the only thing greater than yourself!

    Notes (6)

    • The 1977 miniseries Roots still stands as the highest rated miniseries in U.S. history and its finale (Part 8) still stands as the 2nd highest rated television episode of all time, with its initial #1 spot taken over some 6 years after its original broadcast, by the 1983 finale episode of the television comedy M*A*S*H.

    • The scenes representing the village of Juffure and its surrounding area in Gambia, West Africa, were filmed on location in Savannah and St. Simon's Island, Georgia.

    • The miniseries Roots was nominated in 1977 for a total of 14 Emmy Awards including: "Outstanding Achievment in Costume Design for a drama or comedy series" "Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Editing for a Series" "Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Mixing" "Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (dramatic underscore)" "Outstanding Art Direction or Scenic Design for a Drama series" "Oustanding Cinematography in Entertainment Programming for a series" "Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series" "Outstanding Film Editing in a Drama Series" "Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a drama or comedy series" "Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a drama or comedy series" "Outstanding Limited Series" "Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a comedy or drama series" "Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a comedy or drama series" "Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series"

    • The miniseries Roots won Emmy awards in 1977 for "Outstanding Limited Series", "Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Editing for a Series" (Larry Carow, George Fredrick, Colin Mouat, Larry Neiman, Dave Pettijohn, Paul Bruce Richardson, Don Warner), "Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (dramatic underscore) " (Gerald Fried, Quincy Jones), and "Outstanding Film Editing in a Drama Series" (Neil Travis), all under the title of ABC Novel for Television: Roots.

    • David Greene won an Emmy in 1977 for "Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series" for directing Part 1 of Roots.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (1)

    • Alex Haley, the author of Roots, was inspired to research his family origin by years of overhearing his aunts recounting the story of Kunta Kinte in his childhood home of Henning, Tennessee.

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