Production on “Dallas’s” third season begins today. There isn’t a lot of news to report, although insiders have dropped a few tidbits about what fans can expect when TNT begins televising the episodes next year. If you want to be surprised, stop reading here.
• Jenna Wade may return. The show’s writers are toying with bringing back Bobby’s first love, TV Guide reported last month. Said Executive Producer Cynthia Cidre: “It’s on our [planning] wall, and we’re thinking about it seriously.” Priscilla Presley, who played Jenna for five seasons on the original “Dallas,” stoked the speculation a few days later when she tweeted, “What do you think would happen if Jenna Wade returned to Dallas?”
• Cliff Barnes and Judith Ryland will return. Dallas Decoder has confirmed Ken Kercheval will be back as Cliff Barnes, but there’s no word on whether Audrey Landers will return as Afton Cooper. Meanwhile, during a recent Twitter exchange with “Dallas” writer Aaron Allen, fans expressed hope Judith Light’s character, Judith Ryland, will return in Season 3. Allen’s response: “Judith is back!”
• Good news for Linda Gray and Jordana Brewster. During another Twitter exchange with fans, Allen offered this nugget: “If you’re hoping for more Elena and Sue Ellen driven stories, you’ll LOVE season 3.” He also tweeted: “Bobby and Ann have kind of a slow burning story this year. It gets bigger in the second half.” (Sounds like a good time for Jenna to show up, no?)
• More new characters are on their way. Get ready to meet Nicholas, whom Showbiz411 describes as “a powerful billionaire businessman. Self-made. Rough childhood. Raised himself up by his bootstrap. He’s charming, sophisticated, smart, cunning.” Elsewhere, TV Guide’s William Keck tweeted about another newbie: Heather, whom he described as “a pretty tomboy ranch hand … who is attracted to bad boys.”
• New loves, old traditions. Christopher will get a new love interest, Jesse Metcalfe told “Access Hollywood” last week. (You don’t suppose it’s Heather, do you?) Meanwhile, Brenda Strong and Julie Gonzalo tweeted pictures of themselves and Emma Bell on horseback this week, leading fans to wonder if they’re preparing for an episode set at the Ewing Rodeo. Giddy up!
So when will fans get to see the Ewings back in action? TNT, which ordered 15 episodes, hasn’t announced a premiere date. One possibility: the show will begin in the winter and continue into the spring, then take a break and resume in the summer.
Let J.R. Speak
During the first two seasons of TNT’s “Dallas,” the show’s regular cast members took turns delivering the “Previously on ‘Dallas’” voiceover that starts each episode. Longtime fan Joe Siegler has an idea: Why not use Larry Hagman’s voiceover exclusively, beginning with the third-season episodes?
As Siegler sees it, this would honor Hagman and ensure his presence remains in each episode. It would almost be like ol’ J.R. is watching over his family and bringing the audience up to speed on their doings each week.
• Don’t miss Dallas Divas Derby’s interview with Kenneth Larsen, a talented artist and “Dallas” enthusiast who recently tweeted terrific drawings of Hagman and Gray.
• This week, I’m asking fellow fans to choose their all-time favorite “Dallas” cliffhanger. Head over to Dallas Decoder’s Facebook page to weigh in.
• Like to discuss “Dallas”? If so, consider dropping by one of my weekly #DallasChats, held Monday nights at 9 Eastern on Twitter. You’ll have fun, I promise!
“Drill Bits,” a roundup of news about TNT’s “Dallas,” is published regularly. Share your comments below.