Once an Eagle was a seven-part miniseries originally telecast December 2, 1976 through January 13, 1977; the first and last installments ran two hours each, while the interim episodes each ran 60 minutes. Based on the Anton Myrer novel, the series charts thirty years in the careers of two military men, from the outbreak of World War I to the aftermath of World War II. Sam Damon (Sam Elliot) is the "Gallant," a straight-arrow type who is an excellent family man and praiseworthy warrior. Courtney Massingale (Cliff Potts) is the "Goofus," a womanizing, self-aggrandizing conniver who knows how to play the angles to the top. Once an Eagle was the second of four story arcs seen on the NBC anthology series Best Sellers; it was preceded by Captains and the Kings, and followed by Seventh Avenue and The Rhineman Exchange.