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Roots, Damien topline A+E slate

A reworking of classic ABC 1970s series Roots and an Omen TV spin-off are the highlights of A+E Networks’ new slate, unveiled in New York yesterday.

The new Roots will run across A+E’s A&E, History and Lifetime channels, it said at its Upfront presentation to advertisers. A+E Networks and The Wolper Organization – the company that produced the original – are making the new version of Alex Haley’s American family origin story, which is based around the life of Kunta Kinte.

Damien, meanwhile, will play on A&E and follow the satanic character from The Omen in his adult life, as he confronts the fact he is the antichrist. Bradley James (Merlin) will play the titular son of satan.

Lifetime, A&E and History have also come on board War and Peace, the upcoming BBC and The Weinstein Company adaptation of the Tolstoy novel.

Other Upfronts announcements included new survival series Alone for History as well as digital series Shotgun a gameshow in which contestants answer questions while riding in the passenger seat of a fast car.

New Lifetime series included Sing It!, following the rivalry between two a cappella groups from New Jersey. For FYI, the new series included Food Porn, a US-wide hunt for the best ‘foodporn’ dishes.