Joshua Cabe (Buddy Ebsen) is a trapper in the old west. He hopes to set up his own homestead, but new government laws won't allow him any land unless he has a family. Cabe's own daughters refuse to come west to live with their dad, so Joshua hires three "shady ladies" (Karen Valentine, Lesley Ann Warren and Sandra Dee) to pose as his offspring. A made-for-TV movie, Daughters of Joshua Cabe did well enough in the ratings to encourage producer Aaron Spelling to develop a series based on the property. Unfortunately, neither of the two subsequent pilot films--New Daughters of Joshua Cabe and Daughters of Joshua Cabe Return, each with brand-new casts--aroused network or sponsorial interest.