‘Dallas’s’ Return Offers Answers, But a Big Question Remains

Dallas, Denial Anger Acceptance, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, TNT

Call to arms

“Dallas” fans are heading into next week’s “midseason premiere” with lots of questions on their minds, beginning with this: Will the series return for a fourth year? We probably won’t know the answer until the ratings for the summer episodes come in, but virtually everything else we’ve been obsessing over will be addressed in the August 18 opener, which TNT sent to TV critics and bloggers last month.

The episode, “Denial, Anger, Acceptance,” picks up immediately after the frenzied spring finale, which left Southfork in flames and Pamela in convulsions after she lured John Ross and Emma into a kinky, kooky three-way. By the time the closing credits roll on Monday, we’ll know why Pamela initiated the threesome and who survives the fire, along with who started the blaze. We’ll also find out what Judith does after spying Harris and Ann smooching outside her window, and there’ll be some twists you may or may not see coming: One character makes a dramatic confession, another bites the dust and at least four couples are left facing uncertain futures.

In other words: It’s business as usual on “Dallas,” with a notable exception — most of “Denial, Anger, Acceptance” takes place in a hospital, where almost the entire cast converges after the fire and Pamela’s overdose. It recalls the “Dallas” season premieres of yore, which often found the Ewings and Barneses rushing to the emergency room to deal with whatever shooting, suicide attempt or car crash was imperiling their loved ones at that moment. Most of those season openers from the 1980s aren’t remembered as “Dallas’s” strongest episodes today, although they invariably laid the groundwork for the classic storylines that followed. Perhaps we’ll one day say something similar about “Denial, Anger, Acceptance.”

The question is: How many of us will be watching? No matter how good “Dallas’s” remaining episodes are this season, if the ratings don’t meet TNT’s expectations, we might not get to see the Ewings rebuild Southfork. I don’t think that will be the case, but I’m also not taking anything for granted. If “Dallas” fans want to see the show return next year, we all need to be in front of our television sets on Monday night, watching the show — and hopefully chatting about it on Twitter and Facebook, since social media is so important to generating TV buzz these days.

Make no mistake: The answer to “Dallas’s” biggest cliffhanger — will the show continue? — lies with us. It’s the kind of power J.R. himself would have envied.

Are you looking forward to “Dallas’s” return? Share your comments below and read more opinions from Dallas Decoder.


  1. I will be watching, and I think “Dallas” will return.

  2. If we watch it live and then watch it again on the DVR, does that count twice in the ratings?

  3. I love this show, however I will have to be one of the dvr supporters on Monday night. I am disappointed with tnt truthfully, they know very well Monday nights do not work for the ratings of Dallas and they still expect ratings to rise, that makes no sense. Dallas should already be renewed for a fourth season because the ratings are slowly but surely rising. If tnt has any compassion to save this show then why do they not move it to a time slot that works?

  4. Dallas will return. People will watch the show. It gets its ratings. It is so deceptive to see “Dallas” numbers and compare them to the other numbers from TNT. Why? Dallas is on Monday night up against top rated cable shows and top rated broadcast television shows. NFL Monday Night Football and WWE Monday Night Raw, are just two examples. I’ll be honest, the other shows on television Monday night are good. I am glad the Dallas is picked to be in a challenging time slot. The best should go up against the best. Why are the rating numbers deceptive? Because the other shows that get higher ratings are going up against nothing, compared to the competition “Dallas” is up against. So to me, if TNT gives up on Dallas, they are giving up trying to compete with their competition. The fact that this show can hold its own in its time slot is something TNT should be very proud about!

  5. TNT did them no favors putting the show up against Monday Night Football starting in September

  6. U know, I hope Cliff Barnes gets out of jail. Sorry Beloved Brother J.R. in hell (b/c u don’t think he’d want to be in heaven do u C.B.?) but Cliffy getting out would boost the ratings!

  7. They should definitely try another time slot. Perhaps rerun the entire third season in a different time slot and compare. Monday night is tough for me personally. I usually watch the rebroadcast at 11:00 PM eastern time. Dallas is a good show. They need to work on finding the best place for it.

  8. CANDY CAPRA says:


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