Television: A Super Sequel to Haley's Comet

Roots: The Next Generations. ABC. In seven parts beginning Feb. 18

The first time around, no one saw it coming.

When the first episode of Roots aired on Jan. 23, 1977, there were no signs that a phenomenon was in the making. Not only had ABC'S mini-series been dismissed in advance by many TV critics, but it had already been rated as a long shot by the programmers and admen who run network television. Up to the last minute there were plenty of commercial spots for sale on Roots. ABC itself projected only a passable...

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