Rags to Riches is an American musical comedy-drama that was broadcast on NBC for two seasons from 1987 to 1988. Set in the pre-British Invasion 1960s, the series tells the story of Nick Foley, a self-made millionaire who adopts five orphan girls. Each episode included musical scenes of hit songs from the era performed by the girls integrated into the plot (with the lyrics modified to provide commentary on the storyline).
Nick Foley (Joseph Bologna), the millionaire owner of Foley's Frozen Foods, is a street-wise New Jersey-born businessman with a playboy lifestyle. In the TV movie pilot which launched the series, Foley attempts to develop a family man image by bringing a group of six orphaned girls—who were featured in a newspaper story that they refused to be separated from each other—to live in the mansion in Bel Air where he lives with his butler, John Clapper (Douglas Seale). Foley does this to seal a business deal and does not intend to keep them there permanently. But Foley's plans change as he grows attached to the girls, and he ends up adopting them permanently.
The adjustment is huge on both sides, as the girls acquire a father with no parenting experience. Having spent the past few years in a rundown orphanage, the girls suddenly find themselves in a life of luxury (hence the series' title). The series follows the trials and tribulations of the girls and a man who has previously never loved anyone but himself and often struggles to cope with his new family.
In the pilot for the series, Foley takes in a group of six girls; however, Foley only adopted five of them for the remainder of the series' run: Rose, 17; Diane, 16; Marva, 15; Patti, 14; and Mickey, 8. The sixth girl, Nina, appears only in the pilot (after the pilot was produced, it was decided that six children was too many for the series cast, so Nina was written out of the series as having been reunited with her birth mother).
The series differed from regular comedy-dramas in that the girls would frequently burst into song to help explain their feelings or move along the plot. Each episode therefore contained at least two musical scenes with covers of popular songs from the early 1960s with the lyrics changed to provide commentary on the storyline of the episode.
Promoted with the tagline, "If you liked Annie, you'll like Rags to Riches", ratings for the series were not strong enough for its Friday night time slot, and NBC canceled the show part way through its second season.
Mark Mueller wrote new comedic lyrics for existing hit songs from the '50s and early '60s that were featured in most episodes of both seasons of the show. He also wrote the lyrics to the show's theme song.
On June 5, 2012, Image Entertainment released Rags to Riches: The Complete Series on Region 1 DVD.
dtp entertainment released the entire series on DVD in Germany. Season 1 was released on May 13, 2011 and season 2 on October 27, 2011.