Ratings: ‘Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors’ Draws 13 Million Viewers for NBC

Dolly Partons Coat of Many Colors
Courtesy of NBC

UPDATED WITH FINALS: NBC’s faith-based original movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” opened to hearty numbers on Thursday, skewing older as expected but beating its broadcast competition in key demos while drawing a little more than 13 million total viewers — the biggest crowd for an original movie on television since 2011.

“Coat of Many Colors,” introduced and narrated by Parton and based on her life growing up in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains in the 1950s, averaged a 1.8 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 13.03 million viewers overall from 9 to 11, according to national estimates from Nielsen. This is the network’s largest overall audience in the time period (excluding sports) since its telecast of “The Sound of Music Live” in December 2013.

And excluding all live programming, NBC hasn’t drawn a larger Thursday 9-11 p.m. audience since the series finale of “ER” in April 2009. Among all original movies on the Big Four networks, last night’s audience was the largest since CBS’ “Jesse Stone: Innocence Lost” drew 13.93 million in May 2011.

While last week’s “The Wiz Live!” drew better in key demos — by 89% in 18-49 (3.4 vs. 1.8) and by 48% in 25-54 (4.0 vs. 2.7) — “Coat of Many Colors” drew a larger overall audience by more than 1 million (12.8 million vs. 11.5 million). The movie, starring “Young and the Restless” actress Alyvia Alyn Lind as a 9-year-old Parton, peaked with 13.2 million viewers for its final half-hour.

In adults 18-49, the 1.8 rating for “Coat” ties with a 2012 Hallmark Hall of Fame telepic on ABC, “Christmas for Holly,” as the top-rated original movie in recent years. The last cable original movie to rate higher was Lifetime’s “Flowers in the Attic” nearly two years ago (1.9 in January 2014).

NBC plans to turn other Dolly Parton songs into original movies, though no titles or airdates have been announced. And it has announced that a repeat airing of “Coat of Many Colors” will air Christmas night at 9.

Elsewhere, CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” was the night’s No. 1 program (3.8/14 in 18-49, 15.27 million viewers overall), up a tick over its prior two airings. It was followed by “Life in Pieces” (1.9/7 in 18-49, 8.24 million viewers overall), “Mom” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.87 million viewers overall), “2 Broke Girls” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.70 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.00 million viewers overall).

Fox aired original episodes of “Bones” at both 8 (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.63 million viewers overall) and 9 (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.42 million viewers overall), and CW went with first-run hours of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.18 million viewers overall) and “The Originals” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.97 million viewers overall).

ABC aired a “Toy Story at 20” anniversary special at 8 (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.33 million viewers overall) followed by a repeat of the 1995 movie (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.13 million viewers overall).

And leading into “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” on NBC was the holiday special “Michael Buble’s Christmas in Hollywood” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 7.26 million viewers overall).

NFL Network won the night in young adults with its telecast of the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals (2.9 in 18-49, 8.74 million viewers overall). This was the second highest-rated of the four games to air exclusively on the cabler this fall — close behind the Nov. 6 contest between Cleveland and Cincinnati (3.1 in 18-49, 8.79 million viewers overall).


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  1. Catherine Close says:

    I’ve been as Fan of Dolly Parton since her early stage performance with Power Wagoner days of Country Music and The Grand ‘Ole Opera days in Country Music. Ms. Dolly Parton and “The Coat of Many Colors has Always have been her Signature song that has become Greatness of Ms.Dolly Parton life. Thank You Ms. Dolly Parton for All of Your Recording of YOUR Music and Your Performances on TV. I Love Dolly Parton and Thank You for Christmas Special’s Merry Christmas Ms. Dolly Parton 😍🎄🎁🎀

  2. KAY BRODT says:

    LOVED IT!!. Now if it would just come out on DVD. I have an elderly woman that gave me my first bible at 15, whom after all these years (I’m 5 years old) finally got to visit here during a recent visit to California. She had a stroke in September so I’m not sure how long she’ll be with us, but the scene in the movie when her husband FINALLY enters the church and his wife tells him about being together forever, reminded me of a story Sister Gilmore told me of her husband excepting the Lord on his death bed. I cried and cried and cried.

  3. Linda says:

    LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT The girl was darling

  4. Crystal says:

    Is this movie gonna come out on dvd cause I missed it and I really want to see it

    • Rick Kissell says:

      Good news for fans of the movie or those who may have missed it: NBC announced today that it will be re-broadcasting COAT OF MANY COLORS on Christmas night from 9-11 ET/PT.

  5. Shirley L Metcalf says:

    Thus movie touched my heart in many ways. She stood up to bullies and was a true believer of GOD. She was out spoken and always told the truth. She might beat around the bush by not telling you the whole story. That made me laugh.iv liked Dolly when she was on the Porter Wagoner Show. I liked all the movies she did. I loved the movie. Can’t wait to see more!!!!!!

  6. Mark says:

    Please repair this program. Would love to see it again and I know a lot of people would. What a beautiful story

  7. Jean Fountain says:

    Dolly’s “Coat of many colors” was perfect. Please play it earlier so the whole family can see it. There are so many lessons that we all must learn. I cried and cried–to me that’s a good movie!

  8. Diana Foder says:

    I loved it. Great job everyone.

  9. Jan says:

    Alyvia Alyn Lind stole the show and the whole cast did an excellent job! We are going to be watching this little gal for years to come.

  10. Pamela Wilburn says:

    Would love for this show to air again, even before Christmas. “Little Dolly” did an awesome job!

  11. Elena webb says:

    I wish they would show it again.

  12. Diane Gruber says:

    Loved the movie couldnt wait for it to air. Dolly needs to make more movies like this. Ones a whole family can together and watch with decent family values etc. Am a fan of Y & R so I was eagerly awaiting little Alyvia’s performance because she does her role so well. It didn’t disappoint. Jennifer Nettles was awesome and who doesn’t love Rick Schroeder?

  13. steve says:

    Loved the movie. My mother wanted to see it but was unable to and I would like to get her a copy. Will there be copies available or will it air again?

  14. tina coss says:

    I loved this movie! I laughed, I cried but I enjoyed it from beginning to end…. I love Dolly Parton! I remember seeing her in concert with Porter Wagner when I was a small child. My Dad had to put me on his shoulders so I could see…….This movie couldn’t have come at a better time……. The US needs to apologize to God for turning our backs on him and get back to turning to him!!! Thank you Dolly!!!

  15. fay goforth says:

    Awesome movie loved it we need to see more movies like this one of Dollys childhood memories worth watching than those other crappy movies.

  16. Judi says:

    Amazing TV movie, loved it!! Great acting, great colour schemes, great background, great settings, great cast. NBC give us more movies like this. Thanks.

  17. Bette Jeffries says:

    Will there be a repeat this season for those of us who missed it?

  18. pat says:

    That little girl should get an Emmy

  19. A Anderson says:

    Exxon’s new commercials trying to portray them as a decent company were especially disgusting. Exxon knew that fossil fuels are the main contributor to global warming but hid that for 40 years. Exxon really deserves their new identification with Joe Camel, the cartoon character that Big Tobacco used to entice children to smoke.

    • Sandy says:

      This was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It was NOT realistic and it was very disappointing. I kept waiting for something to happen. I checked the clock and saw that only 20 minutes, including commercials were left. I am not the only person feeling this way. I have heard others express the same view.

  20. Bonnie says:

    Please Please Please. !!!!!!!!! Replay this movie”Coat of many Colours” Was unable to watch for an uncontrollable reason. I was unable to record it and watch at a later time also. So for those of us who could not view this marvelous story. We would appreciate if we could be given the chance to do so. Thank you. Thank you Thank you!!!

  21. Joe Blevins says:

    It was most thoughtful and a great story. That explains the music that Miss Dolly writes. I remember watching her on the old Porter Wagoner show. She did a Breeze detergent commercial that was fun. Even there, her great character shown through. She seemed to appreciate small things that life offered. That is virtually unknown these days. He joy in life shows as bright as the sun. Her triumphant film that makes a special Christmas season movie that often shows the love of Christ through her life story.

  22. Emerlee8985 says:

    These numbers just go to show how hungry people are for God’s Word and the message it brings!

  23. Michael Bustell says:

    This movie, this story, this cast, the setting, wardrobe, we’re so extremely well done. It needs to be made into a series with this exact cast and become the new “Little House” for our current generation. Please do it NBC and Dolly. The country is hungry for this and there’s easily 15 million a week who would watch, dvr, share.

  24. Jamie skinner says:

    Our favorite movie,show my family have watched.I could watch it over and over!

    • June Desselle says:

      yes please more good movie with fmily values tired of seeing sex in every show that’s not what we want to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Loretta Ward says:

    It was a wonderful movie! hope it comes out in dvd

  26. HELEN YOUNG says:

    How do we get to see this in New Zealand????

  27. Jennifer Pendley says:

    I hope they run it again, please! I was in OKC and they interrupted the first 22 minutes and didn’t start it from the beginning. They interrupted the telecast to go live to the courtroom where a former police officers verdict was about to be announced, maybe in the next 15 minutes!! In the meantime Kevin Ogle was overly redundant in his comments!! The phone lines were burning up!! Anyway, a lot of frustrated and angry viewers!! I had the forethought to have my daughter record it!! Now I moved from Oklahoma to Texas in 1991!! Please consider rerunning it! I loved it and cried like a baby! It reminded me of my childhood. I am # 15 of 18 healthy brothers and sisters! All pretty successful!

  28. Mollee says:

    Is Coat of many colors gonna air again? I missed it…

  29. Danetta says:

    Has to be the best movie I have seen in a long time!! Everyone who had a part in the movie done an excellent job!!! Thanks Dolly for “The Coat of Many Colors”

  30. Marilyn Jones says:

    I Hope it will be shown again. I missed it not knowing when it came on. If it is shown again Please e-mail me .

  31. Susan Rivera says:

    I hope Coat Of Many Colors will be shown again. Please contact me via email to let me know when it will be on again.

  32. Ruth Casper says:

    Please say it will be playing again! !! And I hope that it’s released on DVD by next Christmas!

  33. Ann says:

    A beautiful movie & story. Dolly is so talented in everything she does. This movie touched me deeply. Kudos to all who participated in the making of this life lesson movie. Thank you Dolly!!!

  34. Lorraine Norris says:

    When will it air again? Or will it be on DVDs?

  35. Will it be shown again on TV

  36. DEBBIE says:


  37. Terri Stecher says:

    We need more movies like Coat of many colors on TV. I loved it no sex scenes, no violence. no drugs a great family movie.

  38. Alyvia Lind played young “Dolly” as I would imagine her to have been… Loved the spirited young lass! Thanks for the very enjoyable movie!!! *****

  39. Th 13 million viewers is a good indication for other producers that the audience is in desperate want for more shows and television series that are good and clean and family oriented entertainment to be produced, please!

  40. Linda says:

    Sorry I missed the movie..will it be aired again?

  41. marlena says:

    this was an awesome movie we need more like it Thank you!

  42. Caroyl Howard says:

    One of the best family movies I have ever seen. Just wish we had taped it. I also think it will send people to church by the thousands and save many lost soles.

  43. Melissa Baker says:

    It was a great movie

  44. Janet Rutledge says:

    That’s more of a viewer statistics than a review

  45. Roger says:

    Ready for a part 2

  46. bwb50 says:

    WOW! What an amazingly emotional movie. All actors were awesome esp. Alyvia as Dolly. I cried through most of it , as I related to loss of a young sister and been bullied and denied as a gay kid and man. It really expresses how abuse, bullying, loss as a child CAN be used a motivation (as Dolly has done) to stand up for yourself yet do good and be kind to others instead of allowing it to make one angry, hateful, denying, excluding, abusive and even murderous. Dolly sets an Image of greatness that all should strive for or be inspired by. I wish to meet her someday! Her concerts (20+ times I’ve seen) are all equally inspirational and emotional.
    …listen to her sing ‘Imagine” and “Hello God’ if you need a lift in spirit


  47. Nancy C says:

    I loved this movie too, so glad she shared her life with us!

  48. Melissa Mikel says:

    Awesome movie now we want a series

  49. Dee says:

    I think there needs to be an encode presentation of The Coao of Many Colors. It was an awesome movie and testimony.

  50. Amanda smedley says:

    Is Dolly parton film coming to England

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