Forever looking to our past, even all the way back to 1977, the History Channel has begun developing a new version of Roots, the acclaimed miniseries based on Alex Haley’s epic tale of American slavery that, after years of standing proudly on its own, History believes could use a new master. As Deadline helpfully points out, that’s because slavery is just so hot right now: “The topic of slavery is very much on people’s minds through a string of popular movies including last year’s Django Unchained, this year’s Oscar hopeful 12 Years A Slave, and with Lee Daniels’ The Butler also touching on the subject. Add to that the success of other recent historical films like Lincoln,” the site writes, and one must obviously come to the conclusion that man, people just can’t get enough slavery, so here are eight more hours of it. Talking around those obvious facts in a way befitting his network, History Channel's executive vice president Dirk Hoogstra tells Deadline, “History in general is in the zeitgeist, which is great for us being a network whose name is History.” Or, its original name, anyway, as it will continue to try to cast off the shackles of the “Home of Pawn Stars” name that’s been forced upon it.
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