Drill Bits: Another Ratings Bump for ‘Dallas’

Bobby Ewing, Christopher Ewing, Elena Ramos, Jesse Metcalfe, John Ross Ewing, Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Sue Ellen Ewing

Quit squabbling, boys. Your numbers are up.

“Dallas” scored almost 2.6 million viewers on February 25, making this the third week in a row the TNT drama experienced a slight bump in the ratings. The audience included roughly 890,000 viewers in the advertiser-prized demographic of adults between ages 18 and 49.

“Dallas” is also getting a big boost from DVR users. For example, 2.5 million viewers watched the episode “Trial and Error” on February 18, but by the middle of the week, DVR users had pushed its haul to 3.2 million viewers. This audience included 1.1 million viewers between ages 18 and 49 and 1.3 million viewers between ages 25 and 54, a demographic TNT targets.

Although “Dallas’s” numbers are down from its first season, Jesse Metcalfe told the Hollywood Reporter this week that TNT executives are “still very pleased” with the show’s performance.

“We get reports from Steve Koonin (president of Turner Entertainment Networks) and from Michael Wright (TNT’s president, programming). The show is doing what they needed it to do in these winter months in the time slot that they have chosen,” Metcalfe said.

Also, keep in mind: This has been a bleak winter for the television business. Fewer people are watching stalwarts like Fox’s “American Idol” and ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” NBC’s once-promising “Smash” has collapsed and newcomers like CBS’s “The Job” failed to catch fire.

Oscar Snubs Hagman

Like a lot of “Dallas” fans, I was disappointed to see Larry Hagman excluded from the “In Memorium” reel shown during ABC’s recent Academy Awards’ broadcast. Hagman is best known for his television roles, but his credits also include notable performances in films such as “Harry and Tonto,” “Nixon” and “Primary Colors.”

Early in his career, the actor also had a small but memorable role in the 1964 Cold War classic “Fail Safe,” which “Dallas” creator David Jacobs recalled during my interview with him last year.

Hagman is featured in the Oscars’ online “In Memorium” gallery, but ABC should have made time for him in its Oscar telecast too.

More Oscars Stuff

In other Oscars news: Congrats to Robin Charters, son of “Dallas” cinematographer Rodney Charters, who did camerawork for “Life of Pi,” this year’s winner for cinematography. By the way: Rodney makes his “Dallas” directorial debut with “The Furious and the Fast,” next week’s racecar-themed episode.

Pour Me a Pamela, Please

Now that Julie Gonzalo has ditched Rebecca’s cheery dresses for Pamela’s fierce business suits, my husband Andrew thought she deserved a more sophisticated signature cocktail. Enter The Pamela, the latest addition to Andrew’s “Dallas Drinks” collection.

If you’re keeping count, Gonzalo’s character has now inspired Andrew to create two drinks and some holiday fortune cookies. He’s almost cooking for Pamela Rebecca as much as he cooks for me. Should I be worried?

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


  1. I would like a little more context to the DVR bump numbers. It sounds impressive in a vacuum. But how big a bump does the “average” (whatever that means) cable show get from the DVR numbers?

  2. It’s my understanding that those DVR numbers are reported mostly for network PR purposes, and less a factor in a show’s renewal than the Live + SD numbers. And the more they get touted, is often a sign that a network is trying to compensate for less-than-impressive Live + SD numbers. You find those numbers mostly in the network-written press releases. While basic cable networks may factor DVR numbers in a little more, and the long term trend may be to include them more, the closest accurate metric for determining a show’s success remains the Live numbers for now. I think the LIve + SD numbers are where we still need to focus. http://tinyurl.com/aqlb2pc

    • That pretty much answers my question. Great link by the way. Love the Star Wars references.
      Frankly I’m amazed that DVR numbers help at all even if they are same day. After all I think we all use DVR’s for the same purpose: a commercial elimination tool. I for one watch absolutely NOTHING live anymore. At the very least I’ll give a show a 15 minute head start so I can fast forward commercials. If I’m at all typical of a DVR user then advertisers probably don’t want us counted at all even if we’re a same day viewers.

    • Thank you, David!

  3. So glad to hear the show is increasing viewership… Might be slow… But it is going in the right direction. I got a couple of people who tried it last year briefly to try again and they are enjoying it this time.

    I too was bothered by the Oscar snub. You know, he got Oscar buzz over his role in Primary Colors. I was surprised they nodded to Klugman.. Who also had bigger success on TV than movies while leaving out Hagman. People on my Facebook feed who aren’t Dallas peeps even were commenting on it.

    • Thank you for mentioning Jack Klugman. When I saw his picture appear during the ceremony, I thought to myself: “If Quincy is included, surely J.R. will be.” I’m so disappointed he wasn’t.

  4. Nielsen is planning to overhaul their ratings system to include alot of digital devices & services that arent normally counted..theyre saying that theyll include Netflix,Xbox,online viewing,dvr etc so it is important.theyve talked about including live + 3 and some articles are mentioning that Nielsen will even go to live + 7. personally id love for Dallas to be on Friday nite but ill make time to watch it whenever its on.

    • I’m with you. The show should be airing on Friday, the way the TV Gods intended. But I’ll take it where I can get it. And it’s about time Nielsen updated their system!

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