A promising 8.5 million viewers watched the first installment of Roots on History, Lifetime, LMN and A&E, which aired multiple times May 30. Up against Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals as well as the first game of the Stanley Cup, Roots drew 5.3 million viewers in its 9 p.m. premiere, according to Nielsen's fast nationals, representing cable’s top rated scripted mini-series premiere since A+E Networks' Bonnie & Clyde in 2013, according to A+E Networks.
The Roots premiere was watched by 2.1 million adults 25-54 and 1.8 million adults 18-49.
A+E said the numbers are expected to grow significantly after Live+3 and Live+7 data becomes available.
Episode two premieres May 31 at 9 pm ET/PT.
"Roots represents what television can do when its at its best," said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks. "This project has helped shape the discourse around race and identity at a time when it is needed more than ever. We are looking forward to audiences continuing to experience this powerful and important event over the next three nights."
The four-night, eight-hour event series was developed by History, from A+E Studios. Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization also produced.