Rich Man, Poor Man (TV miniseries)

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Rich Man, Poor Man
Genre Drama
Directed by Bill Bixby
David Greene
Boris Sagal
Produced by Jon Epstein
Frank Price
Written by Dean Riesner
Starring Peter Strauss
Nick Nolte
Susan Blakely
Edward Asner
Dorothy McGuire
Robert Reed
Music by Alex North
Editing by Richard Bracken
Douglas Stewart
Country United States
Language English
Original channel ABC
Original run February 1, 1976 (1976-02-01)  – March 15, 1976 (1976-03-15)
No. of episodes 9
Followed by Rich Man, Poor Man Book II

Rich Man, Poor Man is a 1976 American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Irwin Shaw that aired on ABC in one or two hour episodes mostly on Monday nights over seven weeks, beginning February 1. It was produced by Universal Television and was the second time programming of this nature had been attempted. The first TV miniseries, QB VII, had aired — also on ABC — in 1974. These projects proved to be a critical and ratings success and were the forerunner for similar projects based on literary works, such as Roots. The film stars Peter Strauss, Nick Nolte and Susan Blakely.

It spawned the sequel Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, which aired from September 1976 through March 1977. The network repeated the original series Tuesday nights at 9:00pm from May to June 1977.[1]

Overview[edit]

Based on the best-selling 1970 novel by Irwin Shaw, it spanned the period from 1945 through the late 1960s and followed the divergent career courses of the impoverished German American Jordache brothers. Rudy (Peter Strauss) was the rich man of the title, a well-educated and very ambitious entrepreneur who triumphed over his background and constructed a corporate and political empire. Poor man Tom (Nick Nolte) was a rebel who eventually turned to boxing to support himself. Axel and Mary were their parents, and Julie Prescott was Rudy's lifelong sweetheart who eventually married him. First series ends with Tom's arch enemy from the sea , Falconetti kills him. Also the second (longer series) ends with Falconetti killing Rudy. While the first series takes place between 1945 and 1970, the second series is taking place in the present. Which hence becomes the later half of the 1970's. The series became a huge success in the countries that aired it.

Primary cast[edit]

Mary and Axel Jordache
Rudy Jordache and Julie Prescott
Tom Jordache

Production notes[edit]

Dean Riesner wrote all twelve episodes, and direction was shared by Bill Bixby, David Greene, and Boris Sagal. The musical score was composed by Alex North, who was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Emmy Award wins

  • Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Alex North)
  • Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series (David Greene)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series (Edward Asner)
  • Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Comedy or Drama Series (Fionnula Flanagan)

Emmy Award nominations

  • Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction or Scenic Design - Single Episode of a Comedy, Drama or Limited Series
  • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for Entertainment Programming for a Series
  • Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for a Drama or Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Entertainment Programming for a Series (February 2 episode)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing for Entertainment Programming for a Series (March 5 episode)
  • Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Ray Milland)
  • Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Robert Reed)
  • Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Dorothy McGuire)
  • Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series (Boris Sagal)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series (Nick Nolte)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series (Peter Strauss)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series (Susan Blakely)
  • Outstanding Limited Series
  • Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in Comedy or Drama Series (Bill Bixby)
  • Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in Comedy or Drama Series (Norman Fell)
  • Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in Comedy or Drama Series (Van Johnson)
  • Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Comedy or Drama Series (Kim Darby)
  • Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Comedy or Drama Series (Kay Lenz)
  • Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series (Dean Riesner)

Golden Globe wins

  • Best TV Series (Drama)
  • Best TV Actress, Drama (Susan Blakely)
  • Best Supporting Actor, Television (Edward Asner)
  • Best Supporting Actress, Television (Josette Banzet)

Gloden Globe nominations

  • Best TV Actor, Drama (Nick Nolte)
  • Best TV Actor, Drama (Peter Strauss)

DVD release[edit]

On September 28, 2010, A&E Home Video released Rich Man, Poor Man: The Complete Collection on Region 1 DVD in the United States.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. p. 1152. ISBN 0-345-49773-2. 

External links[edit]