History to update iconic ABC slavery mini Roots

US cable channel History is to remake the iconic ABC American slavery miniseries Roots.

The A+E-owned channel has bought the rights from Mark Wolper, son of the original series’ executive producer David L. Wolper, and the book it was based on, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, according to industry blog Deadline, which first reported the news.

History is planning an eight-part series that will be more contemporary than the ABC show, which smashed records by drawing in more than 100 million US viewers for its finale in January 1977.

Dramas about African-American slavery are in vogue at the moment with feature films such as 12 Years a Slave, Django Unchained and The Butler all broaching the subject.

Tags: ABC, History, Roots