The Memorial Day premiere of HISTORY’s event series “ROOTS” was watched by 5.3 million viewers, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. Against heavy competition on both broadcast and cable, including Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, “ROOTS” became the #1 scripted mini-series premiere on cable since 2013 (A+E Networks’ “Bonnie & Clyde”). Airing on HISTORY, Lifetime, A&E and LMN, the 9pm premiere telecast of “ROOTS” was watched by 2.1 million adults 25-54 and 1.8 million adults 18-49. Over the course of the night, 8.5 million viewers watched the episode (3 telecasts). These numbers are expected to grow significantly once Live+3 and Live+7 data becomes available.
Episode two of “” premieres tonight at 9pm ET/PT following an encore presentation of night one.
“‘ROOTS’ represents what television can do when it’s at its best,” said Nancy Dubuc, President & CEO of A+E Networks. “This project has helped shape the discourse around race and identity at a time when it is needed more than ever. We are looking forward to audiences continuing to experience this powerful and important event over the next three nights.”
The four-night, eight-hour event series developed by HISTORY, from A+E Studios, is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship. The stellar cast includes Academy Award® winners Forest Whitaker (“Fiddler”) and Anna Paquin (“Nancy Holt”); Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award® winner Laurence Fishburne (“Alex Haley”); Golden Globe Award® winning and Emmy Award® nominated actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“Tom Lea”); Tony Award® winner Anika Noni Rose (“Kizzy”); Grammy Award® winner Tip “T.I.” Harris (“Cyrus”); Chad L. Coleman (“Mingo”); Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Belle”); Matthew Goode (“Dr. William Waller”); Derek Luke (“Silla Ba Dibba”); Mekhi Phifer (“Jerusalem”); James Purefoy (“John Waller”); Erica Tazel (“Matilda”) and introduces Regé-Jean Page (“Chicken George”) and Malachi Kirby (“Kunta Kinte”).
“Roots” is an A+E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization, the company that produced the original “Roots.” Will Packer, Marc Toberoff, Mark Wolper, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal and Barry Jossen serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton and Korin D. Huggins are co-executive producers. Questlove is executive music producer. “Roots” is directed by Phillip Noyce, Mario Van Peebles, Thomas Carter and Bruce Beresford. Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as Executives in Charge of Production for HISTORY. A+E Networks handles international distribution for “Roots.”