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Monday, April 23, 2018

The 100 Grooviest TV Miniseries #68 - 100

This week I'm counting down The 100 Grooviest TV Miniseries. Hopefully I've selected some of your favorites.

100) A Woman of Substance - November 26, December 3 and 10, 1984 in syndication
Based on Barbara Taylor Bradford's 1979 novel, this Emmy nominee for Outstanding Limited Series stars Deborah Kerr (who received an Emmy nomination for her performance), Jenny Seagrove, Barry Bostwick, Diane Baker, Liam Neeson and Miranda Richardson. It was followed by two sequels - the 1986 syndicated Hold the Dream (based on Bradford's 1985 novel), starring Kerr, Seagrove, Neeson and James Brolin, and the 1992 CBS miniseries, To Be the Best (based on Bradford's 1988 novel), starring Lindsay Wagner, Anthony Hopkins and Stephanie Beacham.

99) The Martian Chronicles - January 27-29, 1980 on NBC
Based on Ray Bradbury's 1950 book, this miniseries stars Rock Hudson, Gayle Hunnicutt, Bernie Casey, Christopher Connelly, Nicholas Hammond, Roddy McDowall, Darren McGavin, Bernadette Peters, Maria Schell, Joyce Van Patten and Fritz Weaver.

98) Women in White - February 8, 15 and 22, 1979 on NBC
Based on Frank G. Slaughter's 1974 novel, this miniseries set in a big city hospital stars Susan Flannery, Kathryn Harrold, Howard McGillin, Sheree North, David Ackroyd, Patty Duke Astin, Robert Culp and Gerald McRaney.

97) The Women of Brewster Place - March 19-20, 1989 on ABC
Based on Gloria Naylor's 1982 debut novel, this Emmy nominee for Outstanding Miniseries stars co-executive producer Oprah Winfrey, Robin Givens, Jackée, Lynn Whitfield, Paula Kelly, Lonette McKee, Olivia Cole and Cicely Tyson. It was followed by the 1990 ABC drama series, Brewster Place, starring Winfrey and Cole.

96) Alex Haley's Queen - February 14-18, 1993 on CBS
Based on Haley and David Stevens' 1993 novel, Queen: The Story of an American Family, this Emmy nominee for Outstanding Miniseries stars Halle Berry, Ann-Margret (who received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her performance), Patricia Clarkson, Frances Conroy, Tim Daly, Victor Garber, Danny Glover, Jasmine Guy and Sada Thompson.

95) Rage of Angels - February 20-21, 1983 on NBC
Based on Sidney Sheldon's 1980 novel, this miniseries stars Jaclyn Smith, Armand Assante and Ken Howard. It was followed by a 1986 sequel, Rage of Angels: The Story Continues, starring Smith, Howard, Michael Nouri, Susan Sullivan and Angela Lansbury.

94) Little Women - October 2-3, 1978 on NBC
This miniseries is the fifth film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel, and it stars Susan Dey, Meredith Baxter Birney, Ann Dusenberry, Eve Plumb, Dorothy McGuire, William Schallert, Greer Garson, Robert Young, Richard Gilliland, William Shatner and Joyce Bulifant. It was followed by a short-lived 1979 NBC series starring many of the original cast as well as Jessica Harper (who replaced Dey) and Mildred Natwick (who replaced Garson).

93) Condominium - April 6-7, 1980 on HBO
Based on John D. MacDonald's 1977 novel, this miniseries stars Barbara Eden, Dan Haggerty, Steve Forrest, Ana Alicia, Richard Anderson, Ralph Bellamy, Pamela Hensley, Arte Johnson, Jack Jones and Dorothy Malone.

92) George Washington - April 8-11, 1984 on CBS
Based on James Thomas Flexner's 1974 biography, Washington: the Indispensable Man, this Emmy nominee for Outstanding Limited Series stars Barry Bostwick as Washington, Patty Duke Astin (who received an Emmy nomination for her performance as Martha Washington), David Dukes, Jaclyn Smith, Lloyd Bridges, Hal Holbrook and Kelsey Grammer. It was followed by a 1986 CBS sequel, George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation, starring Bostwick and Astin.

91) Lincoln - March 27 and 28, 1988 on NBC
Based on Gore Vidal's 1984 historical novel, this Emmy nominee for Outstanding Miniseries stars Sam Waterston as Abraham Lincoln, Mary Tyler Moore (who received an Emmy nomination for her performance as Mary Todd Lincoln, Richard Mulligan, Deborah Adair and Ruby Dee (who received an Emmy nomination).

90) Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story - November 16-17, 1987 on NBC
Based on C. David Heymann's 1983 book, this Golden Globe winner for Best Miniseries stars Farrah Fawcett (who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance), David Ackroyd, Burl Ives, James Read, Bruce Davison and Anne Francis.

89) An Inconvenient Woman - May 12-13, 1991 on ABC
John Pielmeier (Agnes of God) adapted Dominick Dunne's 1990 novel for this miniseries, which stars Jason Robards, Rebecca De Mornay, Jill Eikenberry, Peter Gallagher, Joseph Bologna, Grant Cramer, Chad Lowe, Roddy McDowall and Elaine Stritch (who received an Emmy nomination for her performance).

88) Robert Kennedy and His Times - January 27, 1985 on CBS
Based on Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.'s 1978 biography of Kennedy, this Emmy nominee for Outstanding Limited Series stars Brad Davis, Veronica Cartwright, Cliff De Young, Ned Beatty, Beatrice Straight, Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman, Shannen Doherty and River Phoenix.

87) Studs Lonigan - March 7, 14 and 21, 1979 on NBC
Based on James T. Farrell's novel trilogy, this miniseries stars Harry Hamlin, Colleen Dewhurst, Brad Dourif, Charles Durning, Diana Scarwid, Jessica Harper and Mare Winningham.

86) Little Gloria... Happy at Last - October 24-25, 1982 on NBC
Based on Barbara Goldsmith’s 1980 best-selling book, this miniseries stars Angela Lansbury (who received an Emmy nomination for her performance), Christopher Plummer, Maureen Stapleton, Glynis Johns and Bette Davis (who received an Emmy nomination).

85) Ellis Island - November 11-14, 1984 on CBS
Based on Fred Mustard Stewart's 1983 historical novel, this Emmy nominee for Outstanding Miniseries stars Peter Riegert, Claire Bloom, Ann Jillian, Melba Moore, Emma Samms, Ben Vereen, Richard Burton, Liam Neeson and Faye Dunaway (who won a Golden Globe Award for her performance).

84) The Manions of America - September 30-October 2, 1981 on ABC
Created by Agnes Nixon (All My Children, One Life to Live), this miniseries stars Pierce Brosnan (in his first American role), Kate Mulgrew, David Soul, Linda Purl, Simon MacCorkindale, Kathleen Beller, Barbara Parkins and Steve Forrest.

83) Lace II - May 5-6, 1985 on ABC
Using the marketing line "Which one of you bastards is my father?", this sequel to 1984's Lace stars Phoebe Cates, Brooke Adams, Arielle Dombasle and Deborah Raffin (who replaced Bess Armstrong).

82) Seventh Avenue - February 10, 17 and 24, 1977 on NBC
Norman Bogner's 1967 book was the third of four novels dramatized on NBC Best Sellers during the 1976-77 season. This miniseries stars Steven Keats (who received an Emmy nomination for his performance), Dori Brenner, Anne Archer, Jane Seymour, Alan King, Ray Milland, Gloria Grahame and Ellen Greene.

81) Celebrity - February 12-14, 1984 on NBC
Based on Thomas Thompson's 1982 novel, this miniseries stars Michael Beck, Joseph Bottoms, Ben Masters, Ned Beatty, Hal Holbrook, Dinah Manoff and Debbie Allen.

80) Master of the Game - February 19-21, 1984 on CBS
Based on Sidney Sheldon's 1982 novel, this miniseries stars Dyan Cannon, Harry Hamlin, David Birney, Jean Marsh and Leslie Caron.

79) A Woman Named Jackie - October 13-15, 1991 on NBC
Based on C. David Heymann's 1989 book, this Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Miniseries stars Roma Downey (as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), Stephen Collins, William Devane and Sarah Michelle Gellar (as teenage Jackie).

78) The Star Maker - May 11 and 12, 1981 on NBC
This miniseries stars Rock Hudson (as Hollywood director Danny Youngblood), Suzanne Pleshette, Melanie Griffith, Teri Copley, Jack Scalia, Jeffrey Tambor, Kristian Alfonso, Ed McMahon and Brenda Vaccaro.

77) Lucky Chances - October 7-9, 1990 on NBC
Based on Jackie Collins' novels, Chances (1981) and Lucky (1985), this miniseries stars Nicollette Sheridan, Sandra Bullock, Vincent Irizarry, Mary Frann, Eric Braeden, Michael Nader, Stephanie Beacham, Leann Hunley, Audrey Landers and Grant Show.

76) A Season in Purgatory - May 5 and 7, 1996 on CBS
Based on Dominick Dunne's 1993 novel, this miniseries stars Patrick Dempsey, Craig Sheffer, Brian Dennehy, Sherilyn Fenn, Edward Herrmann, David Marshall Grant, Bonnie Bedelia and Blair Brown.

75) The Sun Also Rises - December 9-10, 1984 on NBC
This adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel stars Hart Bochner, Jane Seymour and Leonard Nimoy.

74) Blind Ambition - May 20-23, 1979 on CBS
Based on the 1976 memoirs of former White House counsel John Dean, this miniseries about the Watergate cover-up stars Martin Sheen (in an Emmy-nominated performance as Dean), Rip Torn (as Richard Nixon), Theresa Russell, William Daniels and Christopher Guest.

73) Scarlett - November 13-17, 1994 on CBS
Based on Alexandra Ripley's 1991 sequel to Gone with the Wind, this miniseries stars Joanne Whalley-Kilmer as Scarlett O'Hara and Timothy Dalton as Rhett Butler. The cast also includes Stephen Collins, Esther Rolle, John Gielgud, Julie Harris, Jean Smart, Melissa Leo, Barbara Barrie and Ann-Margret.

72) Kane & Abel - November 17-19, 1985 on CBS
Based on Jeffrey Archer's 1979 novel, this miniseries stars Peter Strauss (who received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance), Sam Neill, Fred Gwynne, Jill Eikenberry and Veronica Hamel.

71) Sins - February 2-4, 1986 on CBS
Based on Judith Gould's 1982 novel, this miniseries stars Joan Collins, Catherine Mary Stewart, Timothy Dalton, James Farentino, Gene Kelly, Lauren Hutton and Capucine.

70) Flesh & Blood - October 15-16, 1979 on CBS
Based on Pete Hamill’s 1977 novel, this miniseries stars Tom Berenger, Suzanne Pleshette, John Cassavetes (who received an Emmy nomination for his performance) and Denzel Washington (in his second television appearance).

69) People Like Us - May 13-14, 1990 on NBC
Based on Dominick Dunne's 1988 novel, this miniseries stars Ben Gazzara, Connie Sellecca, Eva Marie Saint (who won an Emmy Award for her performance), Dennis Farina, Gary Frank and Jean Simmons.

68) Empire Falls - May 28-29, 2005 on HBO
Based on Richard Russo's 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this Golden Globe winner for Best Miniseries stars Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Paul Newman (who won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn, Joanne Woodward, Aidan Quinn, Dennis Farina and Estelle Parsons.


Alan Scott said...

I don't recognize most of these but I did see "The Martian Chronicles" in high school when it aired. It is a great mini-series. I'd like to see it again.

Deep Dish said...

FYI, Alan, The Martian Chronicles is being released on DVD on June 26.

Lance said...

Thank you for posting this. My favorite mini series were Lace, North & South, Bare Essence and Hollywood Wives. I wish there was some cable channel that showed all of these shows!

Alan Scott said...

Cool, Marc! Thanks for the heads-up. What did you think of it?

Deep Dish said...

Glad you like the post, Lance! And your four favorites are included in my list.

Deep Dish said...

Alan, I think I liked The Martian Chronicles back in 1980 - but that was a very long time ago. I remember many other miniseries much more vividly.