In time for the mini-series reboot (an A+E Studios production) that premieres on Memorial Day this year, the original acclaimed TV miniseries that captivated the entire nation and won multiple awards, "Roots," will be released on Blu-ray and Digital HD for the first time ever, by Warner Bros on June 7, 2016.
Also coinciding with the original series’ 40th anniversary, "Roots: The Complete Original Series," has been remastered in 1080p high definition from its original eight 1977 broadcast masters, and will retail for $44.98 SRP.
It will also be available to own in Digital HD for the very first time via purchase from digital retailers on May 16th, 2016. Consumers can enjoy the classic original series and all new HD special features before the premiere broadcast of the remake of "Roots" airs on cable TV.
The original's all-star cast included: John Amos, Maya Angelou, Edward Asner, Lloyd Bridges, Georg Stanford Brown, LeVar Burton, Macdonald Carey, Olivia Cole, Gary Collins, Chuck Connors, Scatman Crothers, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Brad Davis, Sandy Duncan, Lynda Day George, Louis Gossett Jr., Lorne Greene, Moses Gunn, George Hamilton, Hilly Hicks, Burl Ives, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Carolyn Jones, Doug McClure, Ian McShane, Lynne Moody, Vic Morrow, Thalmus Rasulala, Robert Reed, Harry Rhodes, Richard Roundtree, Raymond St. Jacques, John Schuck, Paul Shenar, O.J. Simpson, Madge Sinclair, Beverly Todd, Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, Ralph Waite, William Watson and Ren Woods.
Originally premiering in 1977, "Roots" earned an impressive 37 Emmy Award nominations, which resulted in nine Emmy wins. The series also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, and was additionally honored with a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 1978.
“Roots had a profound impact on television audiences when it first aired forty years ago. Today, Alex Haley’s inspiring and important story continues to touch and affect viewers deeply. It’s one of the most powerful miniseries in TV history,” said Rosemary Markson, WB Home Entertainment Senior Vice President, TV Marketing. She added, “We are pleased to release this exceptional program on Blu-ray and Digital HD. In this new, digitally remastered format, Roots will continue to appeal to new generations for years to come.”
Bonus Material will include:
- "Roots: The American Story Continues" (New Featurette) – Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Blair Underwood, Debbie Allen, Tavis Smiley, Shonda Rhimes and Reverend Al Sharpton reveal how Roots impacted their lives and the thinking of the world. Dr. Rex Ellis of the Smithsonian Institution shares with us how the story chronicled by Alex Haley in Roots lives on in Washington’s new Museum of African American History and Culture; and Christopher Haley recalls his uncle Alex, whose legacy he continues as a slavery historian.
- "The Cast Looks Back" (New Featurette) – Original cast members LeVar Burton, John Amos, Louis Gossett Jr., Ben Vereen, Cicely Tyson, Ed Asner, Sandy Duncan, Georg Stanford Brown and Lynne Moody share emotional stories about the 1976 filming of Roots. They also discuss how making the miniseries changed their lives, why it endures, and why for some it remains their greatest artistic experience.
- "Crossing Over: How Roots Captivated an Entire Nation" (Featurette)
- "Connecting With the Past" (Featurette)
- "The Struggle to Make Roots" (Featurette)
- "LeVar Burton: Original Screen Test" (Screen Test)
- Alex Haley Interview by David Frost (Featurette)
- "Roots: One Year Later" (Featurette)