The small screen adaptation of Irwin Shaw's best-selling 1970s novel Rich Man, Poor Man was the first great American mini-series. It was an epic television event of historical proportions. The story of the Jordache family grabbed the attention of a nation during the winter of 1976. Originally broadcast as a limited twelve-part dramatic series, the series topped the weekly ratings and ended the 1975-76 TV season as the second highest rated show. It was nominated for 20 Emmys (winning 4) and 6 Golden Globes (winning 4, including Best TV Series - Drama.)
"Rich Man, Poor Man" recounts the lives of brothers Rudy (Peter Strauss) and Tom (Nick Nolte) Jordache from 1945 - 1965. One will gain great wealth and power as a businessman and politician while the other will struggle through life as a boxer and gangster thug. They both compete for the love of Julie Prescott (Susan Blakely) with one of them finally making her their wife.