this is "nightline." >> tonight, drug sniffing dogs for hire. trained to find a hidden stash? a teen's bedroom. parents calling in the k 9s but not the cops. >> is this profiting off pair know ya are saving lives? >> a depiction of slavery, one of the most watched broadcasts in television history. now an edgier modern update is set to debut speaking to a new generation and hoping to respark a national conversation. finally. >> the toughest game ever devised. we go behind the scenes with dan harris on the set of 500 questions.
his genius versus genius game show where a major upset has just happened. but first the night line five. >> get a hot buy for 498 on this mattress. it's premium comfort without the premium price, plus special financing available for a limited time only at sam's club. don't let dust and allergies get between you and life's beautiful moments. with flonazflonaze, they won't. flonaze changes everything. >> number one in just 60 seconds. z2026z
keeping them off drugs. how far would you go to keep tabs on your child? some parents are taking it to the extreme with a four legged foot soldier in their personal war on drugs. >> reporter: it's a quiet afternoon on the outskirts of new orleans. >> all right. >> reporter: but it's about to be disrupted. michael davis is on his way to execute a particular kind of drug bust. >> you ready? >> reporter: the target, no hardened criminal. >> i want them to be afraid. >> reporter: at 12, jarod hasn't even reached high school yet. >> it's heart breaking. >> reporter: but his mother fears her son is already using drugs. so she's taking what some might see as an extreme tactic. >> let's do it. >> everything has spiralled out of control. it keeps me up all night sometimes. i think about them and i remember when they were these tiny little
and then -- >> reporter: she's reached out to this man, michael davis is former military who has had his own past struggles with substance abuse. his privately strained drug sniffing dogs, modern mercenaries in the war against drugs. hired by anxious parents across the country to snoop on their own kids. his controversial approach, cutting law enforcement out of the equation entirely. >> there's nothing wrong with a proactive approach. it's good parenting. >> search. find me something. come. come. here. >> what about there? >> you can move it. please do. >> do you mind coming down here and talking to me for a second? it sounds like you are into a lot of things that older people do. what's wrong,
you okay? >> reporter: confronted for the first time, he dissolves into tears. >> that's the first time he's cried in two years. >> reporter: is it out of the ordinary to find kids doing drugs in middle school? >> there are children 10 years old that are being put into facilities and 12 year-year-olds who have overdosed from finding drugs. >> reporter: it plagues the nation, 50% of kids say they've tried drugs by age 18 and studies show that nine out of ten adults with substance abuse problems started using before age 18. >> good job. >> reporter: fueling a market for michael's unique business model. >> are you ready to work? >> reporter: come critics argue it's profiting off parent's fears. >> we most often see heroin, meth, but we've also come across a lot of synthetic drugs, spice, spice is everywhere. >> reporter: what he callings his worried parent program starts at $99.
of the narcotics from 25 yards away. >> reporter: outside of louisville kentucky, davis's dogs are trained to identify chemicals used to process drugs, fertilizers in marijuana and compounds in meth and heroin just like police dogs. >> good dog. good job. >> reporter: but there are no cops here. in fact, michael guarantees absolute discretion. >> everything is confidential. as we say, no police, no questions, just answers. >> reporter: you're actually offering a comprehensive set of services. >> yes, ma'am, that we locate the narcotics, provide advice on where to go, how to get help. >> reporter: some question if it's taking the law into your own hands. >> reporter: why does law enforcement see what you're doing with suspicious? >> they see it as stepping on their toes. we tant to help the issue, locking up a child does not help the issue. >> reporter: but two searches like these invade a young person's
confrontational device? >> i think it could lead to trust issues, and it could also lead to difficulties having a positive relationship with your child. >> face federal drug charges. >> a major drug bust. >> reporter: heroin and meth is trafficked throughout the country, cities like louisville along the drug routs, plagued with narcotics. michael says some of his biggest clients, halfway houses where past drug offenders have routine access to street drugs. >> we almost always come up with everything. you're dealing wan environment of drugs. it's what they know. >> we'll start here. >> reporter: his dog hits on a locker almost immediately. >> that's a good girl. >> reporter: and another. >> how about here? >> reporter: she picks up scents in locker after locker, even the tiniest trace o
fumes caught in clothing fibers can set her off. >> we'll test anybody whose locker was hit on by a dog. we wanted to send a message that we are going to be on top of this. >> reporter: they often mind more than a trace. meth pipes, crack pipes. >> they don't have anything else to smoke on, the user will take one of these. >> reporter: even crack residue. to help kids stay out of places like these, michael finds himself in neighborhoods in suburbs talking to concerned fathers like this man who asked his not to show his entire face. >> we thought it was getting out of control. so we've called michael, because we want to be sure of what is or is not in this house. >> let's see what the dog finds. >> reporter: he called michael after he found his son incoherent. >> i stepped in front of him. he kind of looked at me and really didn't say anything. he didn't know who
>> reporter: this father said he's worried his son is throwing his future away. they're driven by a crippling fear. >> death. our son could kill himself by mistake. >> you ready to work? oakley to going to sniff your home. we're going to go upstairs and let her do her thing. >> reporter: while their son is at work, oakley works his bedroom. >> this is a sit down indication. >> reporter: and there it is, a hit. >> that means he's 100% positive. she's pulling. she's showing you that there is signs of marijuana in this drawer. i would look in things like altoids cans. there you go. there it is. >> pull it out and -- i don't want any pills in there. >> reporter: the parents say weed is not surprising, but there are prescriptions too. >> these are pain
that is $100% hydroco-done. it looks like a xanax. >> reporter: and a scale. >> i've never met a child with scales that wasn't selling. >> reporter: a job well done for michael's dog? a parent coming face to face with an ugly truth. >> stop fighting him, become his ally and say i realize your issues. let's channel them. >> i found a lot more than i expected. it's given me a lot more insight into probably what we need to do and how we need to proceed from here. >> reporter: a problem another parent fears she's about to face. jarod's mother awaits the results of the search. after sweeping every room, this search comes up empty handed. >> every room in your home is clear of narcotics. >> thank you so much. >> reporter: mom breathes a sigh of relief. >> i am very relieved. >> r
these are perhaps the happiest customers. >> i'm proud of you. >> thank you. >> and i'm sorry. okay? you forgive me? >> uh-huh. >> you know i love you, right? >> i know. >> reporter: for "nightline" in new york. up next, we go inside the roots remake with its new stars and one of the iconic original actors. at red lobster's create your own seafood trios you can try something new with every bite.
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in 12977. a record 85% of households watched. that's more than have watched olympics or the super bowl. it was a human story of slavery told from the slave's perspective. now a new version of the show for a new generation premiers next week. >> few roles in television history cast a longer shadow than this actor. the african boy who became an american slave in "roots". >> i opened my eyes, and i was here. >> sold. >> reporter: a record 130 million people tuned in. a milestone for our nation. >> you name tobet. >> reporter: a looking glass of sorts at the degradation of slavery. >> what's your name? >> kunta. >> reporter: and the dignity one
>> there will be another day. >> "roots" was a seminal event in our nation's history. >> reporter: the actor was a 19-year-old college kid when he got the role of his life. >> the story had never been told before from the point of view of the africans. >> you are kunta. >> reporter: now almost 40 years later, it's back. reimagined and remade by the history channel. the new cast full of hollywood star power, but the starring role, kunta, played by malachi kirby. >> one of the biggest things i took from playing this is where his strength came from is in knowing where he was from. >> tobet. >> it's been a long time coming n this moment. >> reporter: they originated the
first. >> it is an important story. >> it is an important story. >> reporter: burton is the co-executive producer of the new series and the two men formed a close bond. >> to be given the opportunity to portray him is a huge responsibility. i can't imagine doing what it is he did. >> but you did it first? >> but it's easy to be the first in that sense. because then no one has anything to compare you to. >> reporter: much like the character he plays, kirby found inspiration by drawing on his own roots. >> this felt very much like my story. my last name is kirby. i'm from africa, but my name is not african. >> reporter: when it aired, the country stood still. an unheard of 85% of american households caught a part of the series. >> i think it's important that you saw this picture. >> reporter: sparking debate in classrooms
>> the black people were trying to accomplish that men for equal. >> it tore the blinders off. we could not go back to the way we were before. >> i remember i went to a predominantly white high school, and i was pissed going to school. >> and we had to work through it. >> many of the character's names made it onto real birth d certificates. >> i wanted to name her ebony. he said no, dissy. >> the name of the daughter. a young immigrant couple living in new york at that time decided to give the name to their own daughter. >> i love it. i think it's powerful and impactful. >> reporter: powerful how? >> my family is here and i am deep rooted in the commitment
family. i instilled it in my children. >> kizzy married, a mother of two. we brought the spire family in for a private screening of roots. the pride it revealed, and the pain all reremembered. >> it's a lot to learn from. >> reporter: for this family and many others, the remake seems especially relevant now as the death of freddie gray, michael brown, sandra brand have reig nated the debate over race and injustice. >> we will get better and worse and get better again, i hope. >> reporter: this woman is kizzy in the remake. >> if you have a touch, just one, i'll kill you. >> the key to that is continuing to shed light, continuing to tell truth, continuing to correct mistruths, and
continuing to listen. >> i'm a fair man, kizzy. >> reporter: the slave owner in the movie. >> roots may have taken place years ago, but it's a political mirror to today. >> reporter: the other portrayed by a newcomer. >> you crave jubilation, revolution, oh, glory. that's what you came to see. >> there's not a single person who didn't feel it was important to get it right. it was never just a job. it was so much bigger than that. >> reporter: and from his watchful gaze as we spoke to the cast, burton seems confident the story is in good hands. >> reporter: here's a question i can't imagine anyone better suited to answer than you. why. why remake this classic? >> because there's a whole new generation of kids out there for whom the orina
was dated, and so in order for them to get the power of the story, it had to be retold for them in a language that they could answer. >> reporter: the power of this uniquely american story, the lessons learned and those still to come. >> i think that's the value of story telling. it gives us a context for who we are, why we're here and what we're doing while we're here. >> reporter: "roots" premiers on the history channel memorial day over four consecutive nights. the history channel is part owned by abc. and next, 500 questions, a game so tough, it took down a game show legend.
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we sat down to get answers. >> your road to 500 starts with the first ten categories. >> reporter: that's ken jennings and the dan harris we know and love. he's host of -- >> the toughest game ever devised. france has a land border with what eight countries? >> spain. >> andora. >> it's crazy the amount of knowledge these people have. >> how much money have you made doing game shows? >> somewhere north of $3 million. >> answer as many questions as you can, three in a row wrong, and you're gone. >> this is a serious moment. one more wrong and you're out. >> you can see him struggle and the fear in their eyes. >> yes, and i think it was not about the money. it was about the pride. >> luxembourg. >> belgium. >> reporter: mr. jennings earlier tonight was
you might be the least intelligent person on this show. >> it's an intimidating person to host, but i feel more secure now that i'm standing here with you. >> looks like fun. 500 questions airs here on abc. we wish dan a great run. go get them, brother. thank you for watching abc news. good night, america. hey. hey. morning. morning, daddy. good morning. anything for breakfast? how about pancakes? ah, great. we need eggs, butter, milk, syrup, and pancake mix. and while you're out, could you go to the bank, uh, hardware store, and the dry cleaners?
cereal. come on, ray. well, what do you do all day while i'm at work? i entertain men, ray. come on, ally. great news, ray. you're in. what am i in, and does it wash off? ray... every man has certain moments in life that define who he is in the great circle of... life. tonight, you and i are having such a moment. i'm not getting naked and let you hold me up to the moon, dad. not again. poker. with me and the boys. no, dad, please. why don't you ask robert? well, your brother's a cop. he's very sensitive about this gambling thing. what if he turns us in? you'd like jail. they have crafts.