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BET Will Air 'Roots,' 'Roots: The Next Generations,' 'Roots: The Gift' & 'Queen' Ahead Of 'Django'

by Tambay A. Obenson
December 18, 2012 3:51 PM
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Roots tv series pic

I chuckled when I opened up this press release in my email inbox a little bit ago, because I've had a few conversations with several folks about whether BET (or TV One, or Bounce TV) would broadcast Roots before Django Unchained is released; and sure enough, it looks like the folks at BET were thinking the exact the same thing, because they will be doing just that, starting on December 21st.

But not only will BET screen the 1977 mini-series, the network will continue with broadcasts of Roots: The Next Generations (1979), Roots: The Gift (1988), and finally Queen (1993), closing out the series broadcast on December 26.

Or maybe Django Unchained has nothing to do with it, and it's instead the fact that it's the original 1977 series' 35th anniversary that the network is celebrating.

Or maybe it's both.

Regardless, its happening. All the details follow below:

BET Networks’ “What To Watch”— Programming Note

(Lavar Burton stars in the network world premiere of “Roots” airing Friday, December 21st beginning at 8:00 P.M.* ET/PT on BET.)

ROOTS (1977) – NETWORK WORLD PREMIERE airs Friday, December 21st beginning at 8:00 P.M.* ET/PT on BET.    

2012 marks the 35th anniversary of the groundbreaking and award-winning miniseries based on Alex Haley's saga of African-American life. Kunta Kinte is abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to America. He makes several escape attempts until he is finally caught and maimed. He marries Bell, his plantation's cook, and they have a daughter, Kizzy, who is eventually sold away from them. Kizzy has a son by her new master, and the boy grows up to become Chicken George, a legendary cock fighter who leads his family into freedom. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation. Starring Levar Burton, Ben Vereen and Lou Gossett Jr.

Roots: Part 1 airs Friday, December 21st at 8:00 P.M.* ET/PT      

Roots: Part 2 airs Friday, December 21st at 10:30 P.M.* ET/PT  

Roots: Part 3 airs Saturday, December 22nd at 8 P.M.* ET/PT  

Roots: Part 4 airs Saturday, December 22nd at 10:30 P.M.* ET/PT  

Roots: Part 5 airs Sunday, December 23rd at 4:00 P.M.* ET/PT  

Roots: Part 6 airs Sunday, December 23rd at 6:30 P.M.* ET/PT  

ROOTS: THE GIFT (1988) – Airs Monday, December 24th at 11:00 P.M.* ET/PT on BET.

The characters of Kunta Kinte and Fiddler from Roots are back in this movie as they accompany their owner to another plantation at Christmas time and they learn that the son of the owner helps slaves escape. As the two of them try to help him, they also see this as an opportunity to escape themselves. Starring Levar Burton and Lou Gossett Jr.

ROOTS: THE NEXT GENERATIONS (1979) – NETWORK WORLD PREMIERE airs Tuesday, December 25th at 8:00 A.M.* ET/PT on BET.

Roots: The Next Generations follows the descendants of Kunta Kinte post-Civil War. This sequel to the 1977 miniseries is based on the last seven chapters of Haley's fictional novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family and additional material by the author. Starring George Stanford Brown, Debbi Morgan and Dorian Harewood, Debbie Allen, Diahann Carroll, Telma Hopkins, Kim Fields  and James Earl Jones.

ALEX HALEY’S QUEEN (1993) – Airs Wednesday, December 26th at 8:00 A.M.* ET/PT on BET

A plantation owner's son falls in love with a slave named Easter and together they have a Mixed race daughter named Queen. As Queen grows up, she faces the struggle of trying to fit into the troubled world around her. She tries passing for white, but it leads to sorrow in post-Civil War America. Everywhere she goes, she faces obstacles and hardships while searching for happiness and a place to belong. Starring Halle Berry, Jasmine Guy, Raven Symone’ and Danny Glover.

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  • Think about it | February 17, 2013 11:27 AMReply

    Im sorry but airing this mini series again is nothing more then racist propoganda. There is no reason this terrible depiction of our nation's dirtiest stain should be shown to this generation of children.

    Slavery ended over 150 years ago and none of the everyday white people you meet today can trace their ROOTS back to being slave owners or slavers. Its disgusting to see BET air this especially with so many commercials.

    Our country is finally closing the gap on racism and prejustice yet filth like this is being shown to todays youth. Shame on you if you watch this show with your children. Mark another notch on the list of reasons why we are quickly becoming the "Divided States of America"

    Sure there is drama in the series and maybe a few heart felt stories, but surely you can air something else to educate the black youth of their "roots"

    Shame on you BET

  • Rosenthal | February 12, 2013 10:00 AMReply

    This was the best time for BET to air ROOTS..Because Christmas is a Jewish holliday And the Jewish were the mastermind of the Slave trade.To them it was like a payback.Because we slave them back when the PHAROAHS ruling Egypt.

  • No | February 17, 2013 11:29 AM

    Good job, too bad Xmas is a christian holiday. Why dont you educate yourself about jews and history for that matter.

  • Rex M. | December 24, 2012 7:09 PMReply

    Tried to watch "Roots" but it is almost half advertising and the ads keep on comming about every 6 or 7 minutes of movie. No wonder people are using DVRs more and more.

  • Minister Speed | December 24, 2012 4:38 AMReply

    My God. BET cut out so much of that great movie. When they showed commercials they showed 12 at a time. I stopped, went out and bought the DVD series. I'm completely done with BET....

  • ASWILLIAMS | December 20, 2012 3:16 PMReply

    @lilkunta I totally agree with you 100 percent. BET is a black explotative network that expands it`s brand on pure filth. This is the right move on their part. I will also buy the dvd`s for it thanks.

  • Blackman | December 18, 2012 11:08 PMReply

    Little did those slaves know that their bloodlines would BUILD this racist, insane bastion of hate into the FORTRESS it IS. Those slaves, caused all the immigration that landed upon this country, the Native Americans land. This program STOPPED america COLD. look it up. White folks love their IDENTITY, by identifying off blacks. Its the false duality/binary.

  • JMac | December 18, 2012 7:35 PMReply

    Maybe it's just me but Christmas time is one of the few times I would not be interested in watching slavery movies. Either way, still not gonna watch BET.

  • Lawrence | December 18, 2012 4:37 PMReply

    Spook that Sat by the door, Sweetbacks Baddass Song, Foxy Brown

  • aswilliams | December 18, 2012 4:07 PMReply

    This is fantastic. I love how BET is showing historical miniseries in light if the 35th anniversary and Django Unchained coming out on Christmas Day. So the network made the right move into showing all of these programs. I will definitely be in front of the tv watching these miniseries that I love.

  • Chino Rivera,Blk y' Boricua Amor | December 24, 2012 12:46 AM

    i like roots.
    13 years ago age pre-teen now late 20s i m so happy to have watch ROOTS ON BET Today and saturday. i will never,ever 4get it,i will b ordering roots at and QUEEN my girl halle berry beautiful as hell in it,and look as she waz suppose to,blk white mix,went thru so much all the characters in roots,and i just love how she as Kizzy,Chicken George,all found some happiness,toward older age,and familia bond the STRONG BLACK LOVE in the movie
    for all ROOTS to me is what is missing from black men thinking dating a white chick is where it is at,idiots...
    Being a latino papi chulo. i think black amor is beautiful in life,and mi latino's,straight up.
    i love watching all the actress Lynne Moody gorgeous very talented,she play tom wife and he is 1 helluva actor Georg Stanford Brown,to JOHN AMOS as older kunta and levar.

    INCREDIBLE MOVIE,lou gossett as fidler,hell i am man,and i cry still at the musica alone!
    just want to say sad when some say i m not going to watch ROOTS,they are probably same
    fools who really do not get it,sadly will suffer continually in different ways.i get it and i am
    P.R. and glad my 1/2 blk five nieces under 19,and my nephew 2 are blk.and pre-teen and teen
    and ALL STAY HOME,all weekend no lil wayne GARBAGE,dissin blk sistahs left n right,they did not play no drake,lol they just WATCH ROOTS,CRY almost and was askin me questions
    and i LOVE THAT


    SMART MEN KNOW WHAT UP WIT ROOTS,and sad the black families break down now
    too much as my hispanic people

    and i also want to add, i love GOOD TIMES,MARTIN(90s)but still not that old ,martin but love how black men were not bragging on white chick this,like they the best,please far from it

    i love how also roots,all these black men focus on BLACK LOVE,REAL LOVE THE BOND
    the history,and commitment.That is so beautiful to see, sad most really do not get it.
    and thank you for this topic.i love roots will watch few x a year,definitely,and roots saga queen adios 1

  • lilkunta | December 20, 2012 12:22 PM

    ASWilliams, if you really love the ROOTS miniseries, buy it. How much you want to bet that while showing stupid ads( like for bad lyric rap albums, or that horrible rush card/baby phat card, etc) . BET is truly blck explotative television.

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