For three back-to-back days in October 1991, NBC aired the TV adaptation of C. David Heymann’s 1989 book A Woman Named Jackie. Starring future angel Roma Downey as Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and future Camden pastor and later alleged sexual abuser Stephen Collins as John F. Kennedy, A WOMAN NAMED JACKIE chronicled the life of Jackie, who in her formidable years was portrayed by a pre-teen Sarah Michelle Gellar, in three parts, two hours (commercials included) each: the Bouvier years, the Kennedy years, and the Onassis years. Each of the three parts were hits for NBC, not only winning the hours they were on, but also proving with the second and third part that miniseries can rise in ratings and wow the audience.
Starting on a Sunday with a 23 share and ending on Tuesday with a 30 share, A WOMAN NAMED JACKIE has shown that TV events in the form of three-part miniseries were bringers of success in a time of television we have all pretty much forgotten about. I for one have never heard of this miniseries before I started researching it for a few seconds to write this post, but now I’m certainly interested in it. And not just because of Roma Downey, whom I kind of adored during her years on TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL. Or at least the episodes of the show that I watched (which were not many).