Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby) 

Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby) 


It’s time for Roots.

“There was a need for a whole new generation of people to be familiar with this story,” executive producer LeVar Burton said to TV Guide.

Burton played Kunta Kinte in the original miniseries. He hand-picked Malachi Kirby to play the character in the reimagined version. The four-night, 8-hour miniseries will begin airing Monday at 8 p.m. on A&E, History and Lifetime.

Burton had to know perhaps more than anyone the importance of getting the retelling right. (I’d bet money he did: A lot of the actors from the original are alive, and probably ready to kick.) When it aired in 1977, the Emmy-, Golden Globe-, and Peabody award-winning Roots attracted more than 100 million viewers.

The names in the credits alone make this new version worthy of tuning in.

The cast includes Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose and Anna Paquin. What should keep viewers watching is the vividness of this adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots: The Saga of An American Family. This new version is visceral — wrenching and emotional, and told unflinchingly, with a steady hand. Names are important, one will learn during the miniseries, and this one lives up to its forebear.


Meet the Press With Chuck Todd: The show moves this week because of sports programming. 10 a.m. NBC

The Carmichael Show: Joe's ballot is no secret as he decides to vote for Donald Trump. 7 p.m. NBC

Preacher: It's a repeat of the fantastically bloody 90-minute premiere followed by an after-show, "Talking Preacher." 7 p.m. AMC


The Bachelorette: JoJo goes on her first one-on-one date with a lucky guy. 7 p.m. ABC

So You Think You Can Dance: "The Next Generation" opens the season focused on dancers from ages 8 to 13. 7 p.m. Fox

Contestants at the Los Angeles auditions for "So You Think You Can Dance." 

Contestants at the Los Angeles auditions for "So You Think You Can Dance." 


The Real Housewives of Dallas: Brandi and LeeAnne try to make nice, or asomething akin to it.


America's Got Talent: Simon Cowell joins judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B as Season 11 premieres. 7 p.m. NBC


MasterChef: Season 7 begins with 40 chefs presenting 40 signature dishes. 7 p.m. Fox

American Ninja Warrior: Better them than me. Season 8 begins with four new obstacles. 7 p.m. NBC

Wayward Pines: Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou (Amistad) joins the cast. 8 p.m. Fox

iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party: It wouldn't be a music event without a Jonas brother. This time, Nick is in the lineup, along with fellow Texan Kelly Clarkson. 7 p.m. The CW


River Monsters: Monster Week concludes with  the season finale. 7 p.m. Animal Planet

Beauty and the Beast: Season four, the last one for this iteration, premieres. 8 p.m. The CW

Archer: The Season 7 finale circles back to answer the question posed in the first episode: Who shot Archer? 9 p.m. FX

Everyone's a suspect in the season finale of "Archer."

Everyone's a suspect in the season finale of "Archer."


Lone Star Law: Follow some Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officers as they chase an alligator poacher. 9 p.m. Animal Planet

Lip Sync Battle: Shaquille O'Neal v. Aisha Tyler (Archer). 9 p.m. Spike


Carol Burnett's Favorite Sketches: The comedienne hand-picked 12 sketches to share as her "most fondly remembered." 8 p.m. KERA


Roots: A New Vision: This goes behind the scenes of the remake of the groundbreaking miniseries, which features original star LeVar Burton as an executive producer. 9 p.m. History

This week in home entertainment

"For those 10 seconds, you are completely free" ...

Race ( 134 mins., PG-13) is the story of Jesse Owens and his journey to Berlin for the Olympics where he tore down some walls of his own.

HBO has released a trio of releases in Digital HD in the past few weeks. Girls: The Complete Fifth Season and Vinyl: The Complete First Season are already available, with only a limited number of Girls available.

The full download of the second season of Togetherness will be available May 30.

Also out this week: Gods of Egypt; The Last Panthers; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Suits: Season Five; Teen Titans Go: Season 3, Part 1 -- Eat, Dance, Punch; and Triple 9

For more TV news, views and reviews, follow @DawnBurkes on Twitter.

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