It’s official — Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors is a hit! Close to 13 million people watched the TV movie starring Jennifer Nettles on Thursday night, according to Variety. That beats the audience for the previous week’s The Wiz Live! by more than a million viewers. The film, based on Dolly’s autobiographical hit from 1971, is also the best-performing made-for-TV movie for any broadcast network since 2012.
The last time NBC had a comparable audience in the same time period, excluding sports, is when Carrie Underwood starred in The Sound of Music Live two years ago. If you take out all live programming, that puts Coat on par with 2009’s series finale of E.R.
The numbers bode well for Parton’s future TV projects with NBC, since this is the first in a series of movies based on her classic songs. Next up is “Jolene,” which Dolly has said was inspired both by a little girl with that name, as well as an auburn-haired bank teller who continually flirted with her husband, Carl Dean. So far, there’s no timetable for when that might air.
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