HISTORY's 'Roots' Remake Draws 5.3 Million Viewers (8.5 Million Overall Across All Telecasts)
Photo Credit: S & A

HISTORY's 'Roots' Remake Draws 5.3 Million Viewers (8.5 Million Overall Across All Telecasts)



The “boycott” doesn’t appear to have had a significant impact on the premiere last night because the HISTORY Channel’s “Roots” remake drew a healthy 5.3 million viewers. It also simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, and collectively, over its 3 telecasts, the premiere episode averaged 8.5 million viewers.

Keep in mind that this was on the same night that there was a heavily-watched NBA Thunder/Warriors playoff basketball game, which likely took some potential audiences away from “Roots,” meaning that there’s a chance that the 5.3 million may have been an even higher number on another night.

But it was good enough to make “Roots” the most-watched scripted miniseries premiere in Nielsen (live-plus-same day ratings) in three years — since 2013’s “Bonnie and Clyde” which premiered on HISTORY and sister networks A&E and Lifetime.

“We are looking forward to audiences continuing to experience this powerful and important event over the next three nights,” Nancy Dubuc, President & CEO of A+E Networks said today in a statement.

Last night’s premiere (Monday May 31st at 9PM ET) will be followed by the 3 remaining parts of the miniseries, all airing in the same time slot, continuing today through Thursday, June 3rd.

Based on “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” written by the late Alex Haley and first published in 1976, the series tells the story of Kunta Kinte, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S. down to Haley.

The landmark television adaptation in 1977 was a cultural sensation in the USA, drawing an unprecedented Nielsen ratings for the finale, which still holds a record as the third highest rated episode for any type of television series, and the second most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history. On average it drew over 30 million viewers. But that was in 1977. A lot has changed in TV land since then. The highest rated original scripted series on all of TV right now are drawing about half of that number.