×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nbc Movie of the Week Danielle Steel’s ‘Jewels’

An overblown teleplay based on Danielle Steel's novel about an American beauty marrying into the British royal family focuses on Sarah Thompson, who marries a drab, too-good-to-be-true duke. Starting in the l930s with a wedding and winding five hours later with a baptism, "Jewel" barely reaches above pulp; haven't the Windsors had enough?

With:
Cast: Annette O'Toole, Anthony Andrews, Jurgen Prochnow, Corinne Touzet, Sheila Gish, Simon Oates, Robert Wagner, Christopher Villiers, Benedict Taylor, Chloe Anett, Yvonne Scio, Robin Hart, Giuliano Gemma, Bradley Cole, Ursula Howells, Geoffrey Whitehead, Arthur Cox, Josiane Peiffer, Vania Vilers, Francesca Hall, Pen Turner, Michele Clees, Nicholas Klein, Rowan Hawkins, Kristopher Milnes, David Thwaites, Leo Gregory, Kristy Bruce, Justin Ridgewell, Jason Richards, Benjamin Freeman, Nell Geisslinger, Amanda Parfitt, Rebecca Charles, Sarah Harper, Michael Stroud, Graham Seed, Anna Farnsworth, Klaus Nierhoff, Rafael Springer, Richard Reimer, Marco Lorenzini, Roger Seimetz, Peter Needham, Serge Tonon, Brendan Morgan, Tom Beard, Guiseppe DiCola.

An overblown teleplay based on Danielle Steel’s novel about an American beauty marrying into the British royal family focuses on Sarah Thompson, who marries a drab, too-good-to-be-true duke. Starting in the l930s with a wedding and winding five hours later with a baptism, “Jewel” barely reaches above pulp; haven’t the Windsors had enough?

With Annette O’Toole limning softheaded Sarah and Anthony Andrews the loving duke, William, the meller kicks off on its glum course when William buys Sarah a rundown chateau in France including unexplained servant Emanuelle (Corinne Touzet). Sarah bears a son, Phillip, and William takes off to fight against Germany; Phillip and Sarah stay on in occupied France, where she has no friends but Emanuelle.

Well, one other. The Germans turn the chateau into a hospital run by German commandant Joachim (Jurgen Prochnow), whom Sarah takes a platonic shine to. Pregnant and grateful for Joachim’s help, Sarah tends to the German wounded. While it makes tender TV, in real life the French would have shaved her head.

William’s back, a lot worse off for war. Sarah, pregnant again, buys family heirlooms from the destitute French and sets up a toney jewelry retail outlet.

The generational miniseries copes with Sarah and William’s brood growing up. Phillip’s sullen because, as a boy, he saw mama kissing Joachim; he sleeps with the wife of one of his brothers. The gem empire expands, the family expands, nothing’s real.

As a romantic couple, O’Toole and Andrews go pffft. Jurgen Prochow’s Joachim glides along without a ripple. Touzet’s Emanuelle remains vague. Robert Wagner turns up late but at ease as a plot device, and Christopher Villiers’ Phillip, Benedict Taylor’s second son offer surprising vitality. Ursula Howells is first-class as William’s first-class mother, and Sheila Gish, Simon Oates as Sarah’s parents are the real McCoy.

Adaptors Shelley List, Jonathan Estrin skim over the surface leaving gigantic gaps in the plot, but it doesn’t much matter: The miniseries will grab everyone in the gallery.

Nbc Movie of the Week Danielle Steel's 'Jewels'

(Sun. (18), 8-11 p.m.; Tues. (20), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production: Filmed in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by List/Estrin Prods. and RCS Video in association with NBC Prods. Exec producers-writers, Shelley List, Jonathan Estrin; producer, Hans Proppe; co-producer, Christabel Albrey; director, Roger Young; based on novel "Jewels" by Danielle Steele.

Crew: Camera, Ronnie Taylor; editor , Benjamin A. Weissman; art director, Malcolm Middleton; music, Patrick Williams; production designer, Austen Spriggs.

Cast: Cast: Annette O'Toole, Anthony Andrews, Jurgen Prochnow, Corinne Touzet, Sheila Gish, Simon Oates, Robert Wagner, Christopher Villiers, Benedict Taylor, Chloe Anett, Yvonne Scio, Robin Hart, Giuliano Gemma, Bradley Cole, Ursula Howells, Geoffrey Whitehead, Arthur Cox, Josiane Peiffer, Vania Vilers, Francesca Hall, Pen Turner, Michele Clees, Nicholas Klein, Rowan Hawkins, Kristopher Milnes, David Thwaites, Leo Gregory, Kristy Bruce, Justin Ridgewell, Jason Richards, Benjamin Freeman, Nell Geisslinger, Amanda Parfitt, Rebecca Charles, Sarah Harper, Michael Stroud, Graham Seed, Anna Farnsworth, Klaus Nierhoff, Rafael Springer, Richard Reimer, Marco Lorenzini, Roger Seimetz, Peter Needham, Serge Tonon, Brendan Morgan, Tom Beard, Guiseppe DiCola.

More TV

  • George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ Sells to Asia

    George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ Sells to Asia and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Catch-22” has caught the interest of several big-name global buyers. Chinese streaming platform iQiyi, Australian SVOD service Stan, and HBO Asia are among the latest to acquire the Hulu adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel, which is produced by and stars George Clooney. Paramount’s TV distribution unit struck the new deals for the series, which will [...]

  • Billy McFarland of the Fyre Festival

    Entertainment One Takes International Rights to Hulu's 'Fyre Fraud'

    Entertainment One has picked up international rights to Hulu’s documentary on the disastrous Fyre Festival. “Fyre Fraud” looks at the unscrupulous dealings of Billy McFarland, the self-aggrandizing huckster who sold thousands of tickets to a music festival in the Bahamas that turned out to be a sham. Duped by a promotional campaign on social media [...]

  • ‘Stan & Ollie’ Producer Making Joan

    ‘Stan & Ollie’ Producer to Make TV Series About Joan and Jackie Collins

    The colorful lives of movie star Joan Collins and her bestselling novelist sister, Jackie, will be dramatized in a TV series. Sony-backed Fable Pictures, the British film and TV producer behind “Stan & Ollie,” will make the series, having secured the TV rights to the Collinses’ story. The series, which has the working title “Joan [...]

  • Friends From College

    'Friends From College' Canceled by Netflix

    Netflix has canceled comedy series “Friends From College” after two seasons. “Friends from College will not return for a third season,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “We’re grateful to creators Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco for creating a wise, funny and supremely relatable show. We also want to thank the hard-working crew, [...]

  • Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore Opens Up About Her Marriage to Ryan Adams: ‘I Was So Sad’

    Mandy Moore opened up about her marriage to Ryan Adams on Monday’s episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. While the interview was taped before the publication of the Feb. 13 New York Times report in which multiple women, including Moore, accuse Adams of sexual misconduct or emotionally abusive behavior, she speaks freely about the “unhealthy dynamic” in [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content