A&E’s Roots A Ratings Bonanza Despite Memorial Day Competition, Highlight Hollywood News

A&E’s Roots may not have a chance of duplicating the now-unfathomable ratings highs of the original 1977 miniseries, but the latest adaptation of Alex Haley’s epic novel got off to a very strong start on Monday night,  despite a lot of competition.

Early Fast Nationals from Nielsen give Roots‘ Memorial Day debut an average 5.3 million viewers across History, A&E and Lifetime. That makes its the most-watched cable miniseries opener since The Bible in 2013, a year when viewers were still slightly more inclined for a live tune-in.
Roots, which continues its four-night run on Tuesday, certainly had no lack of obstacles in finding an audience on Monday night. On top of the audience declines that come with the Memorial Day holiday, a great many of those tuning in were watching basketball. TNT’s coverage of the Western Conference Finals averaged a record-shattering 16 million viewers.

Roots has a storied history with ratings. ABC’s original eight-part series is among the most-watched programs in television history, opening to 28.8 million viewers and ultimately climbing to 36.4 million. It cemented the appeal of miniseries for decades — and its original success was no doubt a factor in A&E’s choosing the remake.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:   A&E
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