MiniseriesThe term miniseries usually refers to an American television production which tells a story in a fixed number of episodes, in contrast to a television series.
The format dates back to at least a 1966 ABC broadcast of an adaptation of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The term became well-established in the early 1970s. Alex Haley's Roots in 1976 was the first blockbuster success of the format. Its success was due to its schedule: the twelve hours were split into eight episodes broadcast on consecutive nights, resulting in a finale with a 71 percent share of the audience and 130 million domestic viewers, in a year when the total population of the U.S. was less than 220 million.
Primary source: A USC retrospective on the career of producer David L. Wolper.