'Roots' on BET Breaks Ratings Records

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

December 26th, 2012

via press release:


4.1 Million Viewers Tuned In To ROOTS Parts 1 & 2 Premiere On BET


NEW YORK, NY – December 26, 2012—Celebrating its 35th anniversary on BET, the historic series ROOTS premiered on BET to a record-breaking 4.1 million viewers. According to the Nielsen Company, the Friday, December 21 ROOTS premiere to the network is now the #1 ROOTS performance in cable history and among the month’s top 10 ad-supported weeknight primetime cable specials for adults 18-49. The 8:00 p.m.* premiere of ROOTS PART ONE on BET averaged 1.2 million viewers among 823,000 households, garnering a solid .90 household coverage rating. ROOTS PART TWO, which premiered at 10:30 p.m.,* averaged 1.3 million viewers among 875,000 households garnering a 1.0 coverage rating making it December’s #1 weeknight primetime cable special among black adults 18-34. ROOTS PART TWO was also the #1 telecast in December on BET. The ROOTS franchise enjoyed triple digit gains within its time slot.


*All times EST.


About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.


  • Lance

    For a rebroadcast of a four decades old miniseries, 4.1 million viewers is absolutely amazing. It just makes the posters here who think 9 million for a NCIS repeat on a traditional broadcast network is worth raving about look even sillier than they already do.

  • Dan T

    It’s not really 4.1. It’s spin. Read the release.

  • Dan S

    Man I’m getting old. I remember seeing Roots in high school back in the 70’s. I wouldn’t mind watching the series again.

  • Columbo

    Didn’t the guy who wrote ‘Roots’ admit that he made it all up? lol

  • DJ

    No he did not make it up. The people are real, some of the stories surrounding the characters were a mix of fact and fiction.

  • EjB

    @Columbo : how are you going to question someones authenticity and you don’t even know their name? Roots was written by Alex Haley. Piece of advice If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t repeat someone else’s trash.

    As for the whole thing being made up, most of the stories were told word of mouth. There is no way to prove or disprove any of it. The value in ROOTS lies in its spanning African history in America from slavery pre-Revolution all the way to the 20th century…that’s more than 200 years of history from a Black’s perspective – very rare for films in this Arian Nation.

    KUDOS TO BET! Let’s Do This Every Year!

  • Curry

    They should start airing this every year as a tradition, I think its important for the younger to check this out at some point in their lifetime.

    This still remains one of the highest rated programs of all-time. I’m not sure what the actual viewer count was as I know Dallas’ JR episode got like 83 million viewers back in 1980 and Roots was close to that.

  • TV Gord

    I hope this encourages them to air Roots: The Next Generation. I would love to see that again, too!

  • TomJH

    Roots was getting Super Bowl numbers (mid and high 40s ratings) for each episode.

  • DJ

    The finale of Roots had over 100 million viewers and is the third most watched television program in American television history.

  • fakeem

    I thought ROOTS was broadcast every Black History month on cable. I know that after the sequel was released, it seemed that it was.

  • Sheila

    My family and I tremendously enjoyed viewing the 35th year anniversary of Roots. We discussed parts of it and learned even more. My nephews who were not born in 1977 even watched Roots during this 2012 Christmas week. I agree, would be great to see it again during the Holiday season while we are on vacations. I plan to order the DVDs. Thanks BET!

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