The actress, who starred on the original version of "90210," said she is competing on the reality series for her dad, who suffered a "massive stroke" and is a fan of the show.
"The road he faces is a very hard one," Doherty said in the introduction that aired before her performance. "He loves the show, he asked me to do it and I can't ever say no to my dad."
Doherty, dressed in a backless black and grey dress, danced a Viennese waltz with partner Mark Ballas for her first performance on the show. When the two finished the dance, Doherty's father could be seen applauding in the audience.
"Did you see my dad's face?" she asked judge Bruno Tonioli, as he was critiquing her performance. "That's all that mattered to me."
She and Ballas earned 18 points.
Doherty told co-host Brooke Burke that seeing her father in the audience was an emotional experience.
"The first person I saw was my dad, and I love him," she said, wiping away tears. "So it was emotional - but good."
Doherty also said that performing for the judges - and a live audience of millions - made her nervous.
"I'm an actor, so I get to do take after take after take, and nobody sees my imperfections" she explained. "...This is live, so I made a couple of mistakes and I can't go back, but that's OK."