Roots on NBC, cable

Groundbreaking miniseries Roots, originally aired by ABC over
eight nights in 1977, drew more than 130 million viewers, won nine Emmy Awards and
became a sociological phenomenon that closed discos and gave ABC an aura of

But 25 years later, NBC, not ABC, is planning the anniversary special.
Roots-Celebrating 25 Years: The Saga of an American Classic is slated to
air Jan. 18, with Ben Vereen, Ed Asner and other cast members.

Sources said ABC was pitched the special first, but executivess didn't see
eye-to-eye with Judith Leonard, who is co-producing with Kelly Newton and
original executive producer David Wolper.

ABC executives and Leonard weren't talking.

The Hallmark Channel will show Roots in its entirety starting Jan.