LOS ANGELES, May 1 (UPI) -- LeVar Burton will executive produce an upcoming Roots remake.
The 58-year-old actor portrayed a young Kunta Kinte in the original 1977 miniseries on ABC. Burton, Will Packer and Mark Wolper will co-executive produce the new program to air on History, A&E and Lifetime in 2016.
Roots is based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel of the same name, and follows Kinte after he is captured in Africa and sold into slavery in the U.S. in the early 1800s. The story moves its focus to the character's descendents, and ends shortly after the Civil War.
"My career began with Roots and I am proud to be a part of this new adaptation," Burton said in a statement. "There is a huge audience of contemporary young Americans who do not know the story of Roots or its importance. I believe now is the right time to tell this story so that we can all be reminded of its impact on our culture and identity."
The original adaptation was executive produced by Wolper's father, David L. Wolper, and earned 37 Emmy nominations. Sequel Roots: The Next Generation broadcast in 1979, and a television movie, Roots: The Gift, aired in 1988.