Drill Bits: ‘Dallas’ Returns to TNT — and So Do Viewers

Christopher Ewing, Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Return, TNT

Nice job, boys

“Dallas” returned for its third season on February 24 — and so did the TNT dramas’s loyal fans. The episode, “The Return,” drew 2.7 million viewers, matching the show’s audience average on Monday nights last year.

“It was a big night of television and ‘Dallas’ held its own. That’s good news,” says Marc Berman, editor in chief of the industry news site TV Media Insights.

“Dallas” went head to head with the second half of NBC’s two-hour season premiere of “The Voice,” which drew 15.7 million viewers, the show’s second most-watched episode after its 2012 post-Super Bowl special. “That’s difficult competition, so the fact that [‘Dallas’] held onto last year’s audience is positive,” Berman says.

“Dallas’s” February 24 haul included 1.1 million adults between ages 25 and 49, a demographic that cable channels like TNT target, as well as 946,000 adults between 18 and 49, the group advertisers pay top dollar to reach. Berman predicts the audience for “The Return” will climb to more than 3 million once people who recorded the show on their DVRs and watch it later in the week are included.

“Dallas’s” season premiere was also a hit on Twitter, where the show’s actors live-tweeted the telecast and helped “trend” hashtags such as #DallasTNT and #JohnRoss.

Additionally, in a time when social media buzz is increasingly important to television shows, “Dallas” is gaining steam. By our count, the series has recently picked up more than 47,000 “likes” on its official Facebook page, which now boasts 1.5 million likes altogether. The show’s Twitter feed has more than 82,000 followers, up several thousand from a few days ago.

One of the “Dallas”-related hot topics on Twitter during the telecast was the introduction of the show’s retro-style split-screen opening credits — a switch Berman heartily endorses.

“As a longtime fan, it was great to see the actors’ faces in the credits again. They should have been there all along,” he says.

No Pain at These Pumps

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson

Service with a smile

“Dallas” was also a hit with New York City motorists yesterday.

Business was brisk at the Manhattan service station where TNT staged a one-day takeover to promote the third-season premiere.

TNT branded the station “Ewing Energies” and even brought in a Ewing tanker trunk, but the big draw was the bargain-basement price: The gas sold for just $1.98 a gallon, roughly half the national average.

Of course, it also didn’t hurt that Josh Henderson showed up to pump gas for a while.

Sue Ellen’s Publicity Tour

The “Dallas” cast has taken over the talk-show circuit in recent days. One of the highlights: Linda Gray’s visit to Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” where she was as charming as ever, reminiscing warmly about Larry Hagman, whom she lovingly referred to as her “bestie” for 37 years.

Altogether now: Awww!

Also, be sure to read her fun interview with the Washington Blade, the gay newspaper in Dallas Decoder’s hometown of D.C. Gray’s comments about Barbara Bel Geddes are especially hoot-worthy. Who knew Mama was such a card?

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


  1. Bravo. You always put a positive spin on things. I was initially a little disappointed in last night’s ratings but feel a little better after reading your analysis.

    • Thanks, Frank. Mr. Berman is one of the smartest guys in the business and I trust his analysis. If he had told me the numbers weren’t good, I would have reported it that way, but he was genuinely upbeat about them. I think the fact that “Dallas” held its own against “The Voice” — which had its highest-rated non-Super Bowl episode ever — is impressive.

      Now all we have to do is wait to see if the numbers hold up next week. Fingers crossed!

  2. I was wondering about the ratings. Cool interview with Linda Gray. I had not seen the Washington Blade in years. Is it still around, or just online?

  3. You want me to escort Miss Texas “personally” on her media tour all expenses paid by DALLAS Decoder? How kind C.B.! I’d be honoured boy!

  4. Awesome first episode! Can’t wait for next week

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait for this season and many more to come. Love all the characters.

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