One of four dramatic miniseries carried by NBC under the blanket title Best Sellers, Captains and the Kings was adapted from a novel by Taylor Caldwell. Covering a time span from 1857 to 1912, this was the saga of the Irish-immigrant Armagh clan, with emphasis on the rags-to-riches career of Joseph Armagh (Richard Jordan). Achieving fame and prominence (if not full-fledged social acceptance) through a Byzantine series of investments in the oil industry, the elder Armagh was obsessed with the notion of having one of his sons become the first Irish-Catholic President of the United States (does this story sound vaguely familiar?). Along the way, Joseph and his offspring indulged in innumerable romantic liaisons, extramarital and otherwise. Featured in the all-star cast is Patty Duke Astin, who won an Emmy award for her portrayal of Bernadette Hennessey Armagh. Captains and the Kings was broadcast from September 30 to November 18, 1976 in seven installments, two of which ran 120 minutes, and the other six lasting 60 minutes -- a total of nine hours' air time in all.
Acclaimed playwright Frank Chin's powerful tale of one Asian American's struggle to establish his identity in a predominately Caucasian culture reaches the screen in a filmed version of a play originally staged at New York City's American Place Theater and starring George Takei and Pat Suzuki.