TNT’s “Dallas” won’t return with new episodes until January 28 – that’s 113 days from today, not that I’m obsessive enough to keep track of such things – but details about the second season are beginning to emerge:
• Casting. Yesterday, TV Line reported Judith Light will join the cast as “an authoritative and controlling battle-ax who will fight to the death to protect the people she loves.” Speculation is the recurring character, whose name hasn’t been announced, will be the mother of Brenda Strong’s Ann Ewing.
It seems Ann’s wing of the family tree is growing: In the summer, TNT announced plans to elevate first-season guest star Mitch Pileggi, who plays Ann’s ex-husband/punching bag Harris Ryland, to a regular cast member in Season 2. And in a recent Ultimate Dallas chat, showrunner Cynthia Cidre confirmed another new character – Emma Brown, played by “Walking Dead” actress Emma Bell – will be Ann’s daughter.
Still no word on who’ll portray Drew Ramos, Elena’s brother, who Cidre discussed in an August TV Guide interview.
• Storylines. In a press release last week, TNT revealed what we’ll see during the show’s two-hour season premiere:
Sue Ellen’s run for governor will be threatened by the secret that she bribed a medical examiner to help get John Ross off the hook for murder. Ryland will come to Ann claiming to have news about her daughter. Christopher will head to Des Moines to find the real Becky Sutter, while the woman he married will start to show her true colors as Cliff Barnes’ daughter. And J.R. will team up with John Ross to take over Sue Ellen’s loan to Elena and, in turn, gain total control over Christopher and John Ross’ new startup company, Ewing Energies.
Elsewhere, during a red carpet interview last month, Jesse Metcalfe said the second season will offer “some unexpected deaths” (egad!), while Patrick Duffy told TV Guide the aforementioned Becky Sutter will be “jumping into bed with people.”
Meanwhile, tweets from Texas, where production on the second season began two weeks ago, suggest Christopher and Elena (Metcalfe and Jordana Brewster) will have a Southfork swimming pool scene, while John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher will be spending plenty of time at the nifty new offices of Ewing Energies.
Also: the Dallas Morning News spotted Strong and Henderson filming a scene at a Dallas art gallery, where Ann “commissioned a painting for her new offices,” as well as a sequence where one of the new characters takes a helicopter ride.
• Returning favorites. Dallas Decoder readers will recall Ken Kercheval recently told us he’ll appear in at least one second-season episode. There also have been reports Audrey Landers will reprise her role as Afton, the mother of Julie Gonzalo’s character, Pamela Rebecca Barnes. Cidre has also promised Linda Gray will be in all 15 second-season episodes.
Sue Ellen vs. Carrie
TNT will show “Dallas’s” second season on Monday nights at 9, where its competition will include the CW’s “The Carrie Diaries,” which is slated to take over “Gossip Girl’s” time slot in January. The “Sex and the City” prequel follows Carrie Bradshaw’s teenage years in the 1980s and stars hyphenate-phobic AnnaSophia Robb as the title character. In the Sue Ellen-vs.-Carrie showdown, our money is on Miss Texas.
‘Dallas’ on DVD
If you need a refresher on the first season of TNT’s “Dallas,” don’t worry: the DVD will go on sale beginning January 8 (that’s just 92 days from today – again, not that we’re keeping track).
Extras will include deleted scenes, audio commentary on the “Changing of the Guard” pilot, “Ewing Family Love Oak” and “Dressing Dallas” featurettes and a “Who Shot J.R.?” retrospective.
In addition, TNT will show episodes from “Dallas’s” first season during the weekend before Season 2 starts.
In a new profile, Cidre tells the Hollywood Reporter the show that inspired her most when she was younger was “The Avengers,” while her guilty pleasure is “The People’s Court.”
The “Dallas” executive producer also reveals she doesn’t “love” writing. “It’s a language thing, it comes out backwards. I know exactly what I want to say, it’s just hard for me to find the words.”
Honey, we know the feeling.
“Drill Bits,” a roundup of news about TNT’s “Dallas,” is published regularly. Share your comments below.