Roots: The Complete Miniseries

ABC (Mini-Series 1977)


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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 1/25/1977

Season 1 : Episode 3

Next Episode

AIRS ON 1/24/2019

Season 1 : Episode 3

Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • Part 8
      Part 8
      Episode 8

      In the dramatic conclusion of the miniseries, the Civil War has ended with the surrender of the south and freedom for the slaves. However the economically devastated plantations still have a need for workers, but few have the money to pay wages for what was once done for free. Thus the system of sharecropping is born, eventually trapping Tom and his family in a life of perpetual labor. Added to this burden are vicious "night riders" who burn and pillage plantations at night, terrorizing the newly freed slaves and further hindering their ability to farm and pay off their debts. But in the midst of a seemingly never-ending cycle of despair, Chicken George returns, announcing his purchase of land in Tennessee, and devising a plan that would allow them all to safely leave their sharecropping plantation in Virginia, and settle as free men and women on their own land.

    • Part 7
      Part 7
      Episode 7
      With a growing family and a successful cock-fighting career, Chicken George's world is suddenly turned upside down when paranoia sets in around the county after a renegade slave named Nat Turner goes on a killing spree. George's luck then takes a turn for the worse when his owner loses a large bet and must give George up to be a cock trainer in England to repay the debt. George eventually returns to America 14 years later as a free man and finds that not only have his sons married and started families, but a Civil War is looming, threatening the livelihood of the south, and forcing him to leave home again in order to remain free.moreless
    • The Mini Series: Episode 6
      Conclusion. Chicken George (Ben Vereen) returns a free man, but finds sharecropping no better than slavery. Tom: Georg Stanford Brown. Ol' George: Brad Davis. Matilda: Olivia Cole. Irene: Lynne Moody. Brent: Lloyd Bridges. Justin: Burl Ives. Biggs: John Quade.
    • Part 6
      Episode 6
      Nearly 20 years after leaving the Reynolds plantation, Kizzy's son by owner Tom Moore, has become a master at cock-fighting just like his father. Meanwhile Kizzy is courted by a visiting carriage driver who wants to marry her and he gives her the opportunity to briefly return to the plantation where she was born. Once there, Kizzy sadly discovers that her father Toby has died and her mother has been sold off. While visiting Toby's grave, his words haunt her, prompting her to decide to call off her marriage. But on a happier note, when she returns home, she learns that her son George has been promoted to head cock trainer and has decided to take a wife.moreless
    • The Mini Series: Episode 5
      Part 5. Chicken George's freedom hinges on the outcome of a cockfight. Chicken George: Ben Vereen. Moore: Chuck Connors. Kizzy: Leslie Uggams. Sir Eric Russell: Ian McShane. Squire James: Macdonald Carey. Matilda: Olivia Cole. Ol' George: Brad Davis. Brent: Lloyd Bridges. Jemmy: Doug McClure.
    • Part 5
      Episode 5

      Sixteen years have passed since the birth of Toby and Belle's daughter Kizzy, who is not only well-versed in the history of her father's people, but can even read and write thanks to her owner's niece Missy Anne Reynolds. Kizzy falls in love with a young man named Noah, who like her father, was determined to run away. He eventually does with Kizzy's help, but is quickly caught and forced to reveal Kizzy's role in his escape. This prompts Dr. Reynolds to sell Kizzy to his cock-breeder neighbor as punishment.

    • Part 4
      Episode 4
      Nearly a decade after his first failed attempt to run away, Kunta Kinte, having been forced to accept the name "Toby", still longs to see Fanta, and decides to run away again to find her. This time he is successful at reaching her plantation and they have a bittersweet reunion. However she vorciforously disagrees with his plans for both of them to escape to the north. Their arguments eventually catch the attention of nearby slave-catchers, Toby is caught, and once again pays a terrible price. But this time, his new caretaker and savior is someone who truly knows how to handle him and she will eventually become his wife.moreless
    • The Mini Series: Episode 4
      2 Day Rental. Roots: The Mini Series Part 4. At age 16, Kizzy is sold and bears her new master's son, who grows up to become Chicken George. When she returns to her birthplace, Kizzy learns of her parents' fates.

      The Next Generation
      Despite the abolition of slavery, the new world of opportunity fails to materialise. But Kunta Kinte's people continue a drive towards social justice and civil rights.
    • The Mini Series: Episode 3
      2 Day Rental. Roots: The Mini Series Part 3. A nation fights for freedom but not for all. Kunta Kinte escapes but is crippled by slave catchers.
    • Part 3
      Part 3
      Episode 3
      Acting as surrogate father and mentor, Fiddler takes Kunta Kinte, now named "Toby", under his wing to help him to quickly adapt to life on a plantation. However Kunta's rebellious side gets him into trouble when he decides to run away in search of a young woman that he met while back home. When he is finally caught and brought back to the plantation, he pays a terrible price for his stubbornness and desire to be free.moreless
    • Part 2
      Episode 2

      A revolt of the captive Africans during their voyage to America fails despite the deaths of the ship's first officer and many of the ship's crew. Upon their arrival in Annapolis, Maryland after the harrowing 3 month journey across the Atlantic Ocean, the survivors are cleaned up and are taken away for auction. Kunta Kinte is eventually sold to the Reynolds plantation in Spotsylvania, Virginia, where he befriends an American-born slave named Fiddler.

    • The Mini Series: Episode 2
      Part 2. Having survived the voyage to America, Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) is sold to a Virginia tobacco farmer (Lorne Greene). Fanta: Ren Woods. Ames: Vic Morrow. Fiddler: Louis Gossett Jr. Mrs. Reynolds: Lynda Day George. Davies: Edward Asner.
    • The Mini Series: Episode 1
      2 Day Rental. Roots: The Mini Series Part 1. His name was Kunta Kinte. Kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in America in 1767, he refused to accept his slave name of Toby. Heirs kept his defiance alive.
    • 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.