Trivia / Roots (1977)
aka: Roots

  • All-Star Cast: The mini-series featured many famous black celebrities of the time.
  • California Doubling: In The Next Generation, The Los Angeles Arboretum doubles for Gambia in Africa. Most of the scenes used are acceptable to the untrained eye until the Queen Anne Cottage starts showing up in the background of a village made up of grass huts.
  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Kunta Kinte was supposed to be chased down in a sprint by his future wife's father. The father was played by football Hall-of-Famer O. J. Simpson, and it was expected that Simpson would have absolutely no problem catching Levar Burton. Problem was, Burton had been a medal-winning track star in high school and could leave Simpson in the dirt when running flat out. After six ruined takes, the director finally took Burton aside and instructed him to not run flat out.
    • In The Next Generations, the very liberal Marlon Brando makes a cameo as George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party.
  • The Other Darrin: A few of the holdover characters from the original miniseries—Chicken George, Irene—are played by different actors in the sequel.
  • Playing Against Type: The mini-series cast several well-known and beloved TV fathers as evil slavers, including Robert Reed, Ralph Waite, Lorne Greene, Burl Ives, Sandy Duncan, and Chuck Conners. It also went the other way by casting Ed Asner as a slave ship captain who is conflicted and tortured about his trade..

Alternative Title(s): Roots