Washington: Behind Closed Doors

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Washington: Behind Closed Doors
3-disc DVD cover
Created byDavid W. Rintels
Based onThe Company by John Ehrlichman
Written byEric Bercovici
John Ehrlichman
David W. Rintels
Directed byGary Nelson
StarringCliff Robertson
Jason Robards
Stefanie Powers
Theme music composerDominic Frontiere (5 episodes)
Richard Markowitz (1 episode)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
ProducersEric Bercovici
Frank Cardea
Stanley Kallis
Norman S. Powell
David W. Rintels
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc (6 episodes)
Jack Swain (5 episodes)
EditorsGerard Wilson (6 episodes)
Harry Kaye (3 episodes)
Arthur Hilton
Running time750 minutes
Production companyParamount Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 6–11, 1977

Washington: Behind Closed Doors is a 1977 American television miniseries produced by Paramount Television, that was broadcast in 6 parts, airing across six consecutive nights on ABC, between September 6 to September 11, 1977.[1]

The fictional story is loosely based on John Ehrlichman's 1976 book The Company, a novel inspired by the author's tenure as a top aide in the Nixon administration.


The film is a lavish fictionalized re-telling of the Watergate story (loosely based on ex-Nixon aide John Ehrlichman's novel The Company) mixing political intrigue and personal drama and centering on the rise of a power-hungry American president and the men with whom he surrounds himself in order to keep his grip on his office. The story builds from a soap-opera start into a trenchant study of power that corrupts.[2][3]

Primary cast[edit]


The 12 ½‐hour television miniseries was broadcast in 6 parts, airing across six consecutive nights on ABC from September 6 to September 11, 1977.[1] The DVD was released on June 5, 2012.[4]

The show did well in the Nielsen ratings. The last segment (Sunday September 11) was the third-highest rated prime time program of the week (23.6 rating, 17.2 million homes); the Thursday episode was fourth (23 rating, 16.7 million); and the debut Tuesday episode ranked eighth (22 rating, or 16 million). Other parts finished 16th (Friday), 17th (Wednesday), and 25th (Saturday; typically a low viewership night) for the same week.[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Robert Vaughn received an Emmy Award for his performance as the President's Chief of Staff, with other nominations going to the show itself as Outstanding Series, to Jason Robards for his portrayal of President Richard Monckton with its overt Nixonian images, director Gary Nelson, cinematographers Joseph Biroc and Jack Swain, art directors Jack DeShields and Jamie Claytor and set decorator Barbara Kreiger.[2]


  1. ^ a b O'Connor, John J. (6 September 1977), "TV: Opening Washington Doors", The New York Times
  2. ^ a b "Washington: Behind Closed Doors (1977)", Turner Classic Moves, archived from the original on 24 August 2012
  3. ^ "Washington: Behind Closed Doors, Season 1, Episode Guide", TV Guide
  4. ^ "Washington: Behind Closed Doors, box set", Amazon.com
  5. ^ (14 September 1977). First weeks' ratings battle goes to ABC, San Bernardino Sun-Telegram, p. C-6 (Associated Press story)

External links[edit]