Alex Haley’s book, Roots, was probably the first time I ever heard the term mini-series. It appeared for eight consecutive nights on ABC in 1977 and its final episode aired on February 7 of that year.
That episode earned the highest ever ratings for a single program and to my knowledge that distinction still stands.
The series, starring such people as Maya Angelou, LeVar Burton, O.J. Simpson, and Louis Gossett Jr. accumulated nine Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award.
The story, by the way, was based on the genealogical history of Alex Haley’s family the mini-series captured the minds of America.
NOTE: There is a 2016 remake of Roots that is supposed to currently be streaming on HULU.