As expected, I’m starting to find more Danielle Steel movies in my archives, and it looks like they were all produced and aired by NBC. Which could kind of be considered a franchise, even if all MOTWs are stand-alone, with an ever-changing cast. On October 23, 1991, at 9:00pm, NBC aired the adaptation of Steel’s book “Daddy”. Starring Patrick Duffy as the titular character and Kate Mulgrew as his wife, “Daddy” suddenly had to care for his three children (portrayed by yours truly Ben Affleck, my all-time love Jenny Lewis, and Matthew Lawrence) while his wife moved away to go to college. Things go into the shitter from here on, with Affleck’s character, a teenager, impregnating another teenager (oh, promiscuous sex in the early 1990s) and Patrick Duffy meeting a new woman in the form of former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter.
26.2 million viewers (19.6/30 in Households) tuned in for this little drama, which sounds like I would have no problem watching, and NBC really had a hit with this two-hour movie. Even though the peacock network didn’t win the timeslot, due to CBS airing the second game of the 1991 World Series at the same time, the TV movie found itself at #6 in the weekly Nielsen charts. In fact, it was the most-watched and highest rated fictional program of the week, because the first five places in that chart were taken by the World Series games. Interestingly enough, two days prior, NBC aired another Danielle Steel movie of the week, which also landed in the weekly Top 10.