‘Coat of Many Colours’ the NBC TV movie based on Dolly Parton’s song of the same name, brought 12.8 million viewers to the network on Thursday evening, according to early figures. Parton herself only appeared at the beginning of the film, singing the title song, but signer Jennifer Nettles drew praise from critics for her portrayal of the country star’s mother.

Dolly PartonDolly Parton brought her 'Coat Of Many Colors' to NBC on Thursday.

The two-hour special was the most-watched film on the ‘big four’ broadcast networks in the US in nearly four years. It also marked a four-year high in the key demographic of adult viewers aged between 18 and 49.

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The film told the story of Parton’s childhood, growing up in Tennessee as her family ‘struggle to overcome devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith and a raggedy patchwork coat that helped make Parton who she is today.’

Writing in the LA Times, critic Robert Lloyd described the film as managing ‘to be somehow clear- and misty-eyed at once, a mix of the natural and the sentimental’. While Entertainment Weekly’s Melissa Maerz remarked, ‘Parton’s story might be pure hokum. But daggum it, some of that hokum ain’t bad.’

After the success of 'Coat Of Many Colors' there may be more Parton based-projects to come from NBC. Speaking last summer, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told Rolling Stone, "We have a script underway on a couple of others, like 'Jolene' and 'I Will Always Love You.’”

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"'Coat' is the easiest one in a way because it's literally a story from her life," Greenblatt added. "The other ones are just completely fictional ideas inspired by the song so they're still forming."