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Laurence Fishburne to star as Alex Haley in new version of 'Roots'

Laurence Fishburne to star as Alex Haley in new version of 'Roots'
Laurence Fishburne arrives at the 2015 Television Academy Honors at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills in May 2015. (Rich Fury / Invision/Associated Press)

Laurence Fishburne has been set to play Alex Haley in A&E's new version of "Roots," a reboot of the acclaimed miniseries based on Haley's novel about his African ancestors who were captured and forced into slavery in the New World.

Haley's 1976 novel "Roots: The Saga of an American Family" was centered around the life of Kunta Kinte. ABC's 12-hour miniseries "Roots" originally aired in 1977 and drew what was then the largest audience in U.S. television history. More than 100 million viewers turned in to the final episode.

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The new version will be an original, contemporary production that will incorporate material from the novel with "carefully researched new scholarship of the time," said a statement from A&E.

It will be simulcast on A&E, History and Lifetime.

Fishburne is an executive producer and costar on ABC's "black-ish."

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