A+E Networks has added to the cast of its Roots remake. Tip “T.I.” Harris, Mekhi Phifer, James Purefoy, Matthew Goode, Lane Garrison, Emayatzy Corinealdi, and G. Hannelius are joining the mini-series. A+E Networks plans to simulcast Roots on its Lifetime, A&E, and History channels.
The newly announced cast members join Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose, Chad L. Coleman, Erica Tazel, Derek Luke, Malachi Kirby, and Regé-Jean Page.
Here’s the press release:
A+E NETWORKS ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CASTING FOR “ROOTS”
GRAMMY AWARD(R) WINNER TIP “T.I.” HARRIS , MEKHI PHIFER, JAMES PUREFOY, MATTHEW GOODE, LANE GARRISON, EMAYATZY CORINEALDI AND G. HANNELIUS
To Join Academy Award(R) Winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin, Golden Globe(R) Award Winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose, Chad L. Coleman, Erica Tazel, Derek Luke and Newcomers Malachi Kirby and Regé-Jean Page In The Event Mini-series From A+E Studios
Four-Night, Eight-Hour Event Mini-series Developed by HISTORY to Simulcast on HISTORY, A&E and Lifetime
New York, NY – December 3, 2015 – A+E Networks has announced additional casting for “Roots,” from A+E Studios, including Grammy Award(R) winning recording artist/actor/philanthropist/entrepreneur Tip “T.I.” Harris (Ant-Man, Get Hard, Entourage, The Family Hustle) as “Cyrus,” a headstrong slave who fights for his freedom for the Union Army against Confederate Forces; Mekhi Phifer (ER, House of Lies, Divergent) as “Jerusalem,” a mute slave who works on the Murray plantation, but who is not quite what he appears to be; James Purefoy (The Following, Rome) as “John Waller,” the wealthy owner of a Virginia planation who buys Kunta Kinte as a slave upon his arrival in America; Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, The Good Wife) as “Dr. William Waller,” the educated, charming brother of John Waller; Lane Garrison (Prison Break, Bonnie & Clyde, Camp X-Ray) as “Frederick Murray,” a volatile, unpredictable Confederate officer and slave owner; Emayatzy Corinealdi (Miles Ahead, Hand of God) as “Belle,” the wife of Kunta Kinte and G. Hannelius (Dog with a Blog, Surviving Suburbia) as “Missy,” daughter of John Waller. The four-night, eight-hour event mini-series developed by HISTORY will simulcast on HISTORY, A&E and Lifetime.
They join previously announced Academy Award(R) winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin, Golden Globe(R) Award winning and Emmy(R) Award nominated actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Tony Award(R) winner Anika Noni Rose, Academy Award(R) nominee and Emmy(R) Award winner Laurence Fishburne, Chad L. Colman, Erica Tazel, Derek Luke, and newcomers Malachi Kirby and Regé-Jean Page.
“Roots” is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity. Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte, who is captured in his homeland of The Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America, where he’s sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history, including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation. The story of Kunta Kinte and the women and men who came after him echoes through the history of millions of Americans of African descent, and reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit.
“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 and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton and Korin D. Huggins are co-executive producers. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing. 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. “Roots” is distributed internationally by A+E Networks under the A+E Studios International banner.
About A+E Networks
A+E Networks(R), LLC. is an award-winning, global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television networks to websites, DVDs, gaming, watch apps and educational software. A+E Networks is comprised of A&E(R), Lifetime(R), History(R), LMN(R), FYI(TM), H2(TM), A+E Studios(TM), History en Espanol(TM), Crime & Investigation Network(TM), Military History(TM), Lifetime Real Women(R), A&E IndieFilms(R), A+E Networks International(R), A+E Networks Digital(R) and A+E Networks Consumer Products(TM). A+E Networks channels and branded programming reach more than 350 million households in over 200 territories. A+E Networks, LLC. is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.
About A+E Studios
A+E Studios is the studio unit of the award-winning global media company A+E Networks, LLC. A+E Studios creates, produces and distributes high quality scripted programming across all networks and platforms in the A+E Networks portfolio, including A&E Network, Lifetime, History, LMN, FYI, H2 and A&E IndieFilms. A+E Studios’ slate of programming consists of scripted series, event series and movies, including “UnREAL” for Lifetime and “Texas Rising,” “Sons of Liberty,” and “Houdini” for History, among others.
Simulcasts seem to be the new thing for A+E Networks. A new War and Peace mini-series will also be simulcast on Lifetime, A&E, and History. What do you think about this programming strategy?
Were you a fan of the original Roots TV show on ABC? Do you think you’ll check out the 2016 remake of Roots? If you plan to tune in, will you watch on Lifetime, A&E, or History? Let us know, in the comments.