Drill Bits: TNT’s ‘Dallas’ Wins Cable Ratings Gold

Dallas, Family Business, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, TNT

You should see the other guys

“Dallas” brought ratings gold to TNT this week: Despite tough competition from the Olympics, “Family Business,” the show’s latest episode, debuted to 3.2 million viewers on August 1, becoming the evening’s most-watched cable program.

The “Dallas” audience included more than 1 million viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, the demographic advertisers pay a premium to reach. Ratings in this demo were up 8 percent from July 25, when roughly 850,000 18-to-49-year-olds watched “No Good Deed,” TNT’s previous “Dallas” episode.

This makes “Dallas” one of the few shows to get a ratings boost in the crucial demo during NBC’s Olympics coverage, which has delivered blockbuster numbers each night since the games began last week.

J.R. Ewing, Superlative Senior

Younger viewers may love “Dallas,” but the show is making waves among older audiences, too.

TNT’s depiction of J.R. as an elderly man who is nonetheless full of life is smart and refreshing, writes Elizabeth Newman, senior editor for McKnight’s, a trade publication for caregivers.

“[I]n all our pop culture portrayals of either lauding saintly grandmother types, trying to make people cringe laugh at the idea of old people being sexual (I’m looking at you, Betty White), or introducing the wacky grandfather, it’s refreshing to see a complex character in his 80s get a new lease on life,” Newman writes.

The Woman Who Saved J.R.’s Life

Speaking of superlative seniors: The Star Newspapers of Plano, Texas caught up this week with Barbara Kain, who was a stand-in for Barbara Bel Geddes on the original “Dallas” series and also played the nurse who treats J.R. after his shooting in “No More Mr. Nice Guy, Part 1.”

“I always say that I helped save J.R’s life,” Kain tells the publication.

The Double-Crosser’s Double

While we’re nosing around community newspaper websites: The Abilene Reporter-News recently profiled Gregg Dickerson, a J.R. Ewing lookalike who hires himself out for parties and other events. By the way: The Reporter-News has a long history of finding local angles in its “Dallas” coverage.

Department of Misleading Headlines

Dallas, Elena Ramos, Jordana Brewster, Last Hurrah, TNT

She loves it

The Toronto Star and a handful of other news outlets carried the following headline this week: “Brewster: I couldn’t live in Dallas.”

What’s this? Is “Dallas” heroine Jordana Brewster dissing show’s namesake city?

No, silly. Read the whole story.

“I love it there,” the actress says, adding that she met her husband while filming a movie in Texas.

Here’s the rest of Brewster’s quote: “We would love to be able to have a house there, but I don’t know if I could live in Dallas. I live in California, where you can basically wear whatever you want and be pretty casual and the lifestyle is laid back. In Dallas the women are dressed up at 7 a.m. and they’re always in heels and if you go out to a restaurant they’re never in jeans.”

See? Brewster likes Dallas just fine, thank you very much.

Line of the Week

“No, J.R., your lapses aren’t when you do wrong. Your lapses are when you do right.”

Bobby (Patrick Duffy) to his older brother in one of the many moving scenes from “Family Business.”

A Twist, But No Zing

The latest “Dallas Drinks” recipe from Cook In/Dine Out: The Sue Ellen. To honor Linda Gray’s reinterpretation of her classic character, this drink is a fresh take on an old standard: the Cosmopolitan.

And yes, it’s a “mocktail.” Who do you think we are, Harris Ryland?

“Drill Bits,” a roundup of news about TNT’s “Dallas,” is published regularly. Share your comments below.

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