The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author. In 1983 it was adapted as a television mini-series that, during its television run March 27-30, became the United States' second highest rating mini-series of all time behind Roots; both series were produced by television veteran David L. Wolper. The mini-series starred Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer, Bryan Brown, Mare Winningham, Philip Anglim, and Jean Simmons. It was directed by Daryl Duke. Set primarily on Drogheda, a fictional sheep station in the Australian outback, the story focuses on the Cleary family and spans the years 1915 to 1969.