Drill Bits: Will ‘Dallas’ Get a New Dance Partner?

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Last Hurrah, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Ready to dance again?

Now that TNT has cancelled “Monday Mornings,” we wonder: Will “Dallas” be paired with another show next season?

TNT says “Dallas” will return for its third season in “early 2014,” but the show’s time slot hasn’t been announced. The cable channel’s roster next year also includes two new dramas: “Legends,” a spy series from “Homeland” producer Howard Gordon, and “The Last Ship,” a post-apocalyptic saga from director Michael Bay. The new shows will each produce 10 episodes.

TNT also has several unscripted shows on tap, including two that will roll out early next year: “Life Flight,” which follows air-ambulance crews, and “Nashville Confidential,” a behind-the-scenes look at the country music business. The latter might be the best potential match with “Dallas,” although TNT has ordered only eight episodes of “Nashville Confidential,” while “Dallas” has a 15-hour order.

During “Dallas’s” first season last summer, TNT encouraged viewers to go online after each episode to watch the 15-minute chat show “Dallas Roundup.” This year, TNT paired “Dallas” with the hospital drama “Monday Mornings,” which held onto about half of the 2.7 million viewers that “Dallas” averaged.

TNT has more shows in its pipeline. During yesterday’s “upfronts” in New York, where television executives pitch their shows to advertisers, TNT announced plans for a Steven Spielberg-produced revival of the 1960s private eye series “Peter Gunn” and “A Bend in the Road,” a mystery show based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. Neither show will be ready anytime soon.

Also on the horizon: “Crushed,” which TNT describes as a prime-time soap opera about rivalries in the wine industry.

Prime-time soap? Rivalries? Wine? Sounds like an ideal show to follow “Dallas.”

Stream ‘Dallas’ Live

Fire up your Microsoft Surface: Next year, you’ll be able to stream “Dallas” live.

TNT and its sister TBS will become the first major channels to stream their on-air content, allowing subscribers to watch them live on any mobile device. The streaming will begin with TNT’s summer lineup, which will include “Major Crimes” and “Rizzoli & Isles.”

More Soaps Coming

Speaking of the upfronts: It looks like ABC will do its part to keep alive the prime-time soap opera genre. The network has renewed “Nashville,” “Scandal” and “Revenge,” which will be paired on Sunday nights with a new serialized drama, “Betrayal.” Meanwhile, PBS confirmed it will begin the fourth year of “Downton Abbey” in January 2014 – right around the time “Dallas” is expected to return for Season 3.

Support Your Local Sheriff!

If you missed my interview with Akai Draco, who plays Sheriff Derrick on the new “Dallas,” I hope you’ll check it out. Also, be sure to read the profile of Draco published last month in his hometown newspaper, the Upper Marlboro Gazette.

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

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