The BEST Episodes of Roots

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

A historical portrait of American slavery, recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship.

Part VI

#1 - Part VI

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 28, 1977

Chicken George is sent to England as payment for his owner's gambling debt.

star 7.87
92 votes
Part VIII

#2 - Part VIII

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 30, 1977

The Civil War is over but night riders terrorize ex-slaves. By marking his clients' horseshoes, Tom identifies the raiders but endangers his own life. Chicken George, who fought for the Union, rejoins his family. He leads them to a new home in Tennessee.

star 7.76
99 votes
Writers: M. Charles Cohen
Part II

#3 - Part II

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 24, 1977

Despite a violent rebellion, the slave ship Lord Ligonier completes its voyage and Kunta Kinte endures the indiginity of an Annapolis slave auction. Fiddler, the slave in charge of Kunta's training, becomes his only friend, a friendship that's tested when Kunta plans his escape.

star 7.70
213 votes
Writers: Ernest Kinoy, William Blinn
Part V

#4 - Part V

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 28, 1977

The teenage Kizzy, well-versed in Mandinka history, falls in love with young Noah, who's determined to escape.

star 7.69
162 votes
Directors: Gilbert Moses
Writers: James Lee, M. Charles Cohen, William Blinn
Part VII

#5 - Part VII

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 29, 1977

Chicken George returns to North Carolina to find his sons have married and started families - and to learn about a state law that says his status as a free man is forfeited if he stays more than 60 days. Meanwhile, the nation erupts in Civil War.

star 7.61
70 votes
Part I

#6 - Part I

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 23, 1977

In Gambia, West Africa, Kunta Kinte, son of Omoro and Binta, distinguishes himself in manhood training rituals. But he does not enjoy his new status long: slave traders sweeping the countryside seize him. Chained with other captives, Kunta begins an agonized odyssey to the New World.

star 7.56
276 votes
Directors: David Greene
Writers: Ernest Kinoy, William Blinn
Part III

#7 - Part III

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 25, 1977

In 1776, a nation fights for freedom - but not for all. Still driven by his memories as a Mandinka "fighting man," Kunta (now renamed Toby) escapes once more.

star 7.44
163 votes
Writers: James Lee, William Blinn
Part IV

#8 - Part IV

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 27, 1977

After Genelva's nighttime dalliance with Junta deflects suspicion so she can flee with her lover, Kunta forms a romantic attachment to the worldly-wise Bell, whom he marries.

star 7.25
186 votes
Writers: James Lee, M. Charles Cohen