Poll: Should ‘Dallas’ Return?

Dallas, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, TNT

Would you like to see “Dallas” return with new episodes? Cast your ballot below. One vote per device. Voting will end in one week. Results will be announced Monday, January 11.

Share your comments below and vote in Dallas Decoder’s other polls.

Comments

  1. Dan in WI says:

    Of course anybody who knows me knows by yes vote is provisional: Yes, but with a new creative team which will place a greater importance on continuity.

  2. Marquel Collins-Gray says:

    Yes. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Please come back. I miss my Ewing’s

  3. Yes, but hopefully with a new writing team. Of the three TNT seasons, the first was excellent, the second got off to a great start, then wasn’t as good after Larry Hagman died, though they still did very well for having to write so much so quickly, and finally, the wheels started to fall off in the third season. The story simply got much too far away from the Ewings. It’s interesting that the people behind first TNT season clearly understood what the series is about, but that the show largely turned away from it just two seasons later.

    And if Christopher really died in the season 3 cliffhanger – which I’m not convinced of – they clearly didn’t learn from the biggest mistake the original made, which was killing Bobby. They should’ve said that Bobby was attending to Ewing Oil business overseas, so it would be easy to write him back onto the show if Patrick Duffy returned. When it was obvious that the show didn’t work as well without the Bobby-JR rivalry, they basically gave Patrick a blank check to come back, but they brought him back in a way that destroyed the continuity, and the show never got its full audience back.

    Similarly, the new series wouldn’t work as well without the John Ross-Christopher rivalry, so it’s a fatal error if Christopher is really dead.

    • Dan in WI says:

      There is an important difference between killing Bobby and Christopher. Duffy is pretty close to universally loved. Metcalfe was a mixed bag in terms of people supporting him in the role.
      Then there is the fact it wasn’t the producers decision to kill Bobby all those years ago. Duffy wanted out and he was the one who requested to be killed because he didn’t want any possibility of returning. What are you going to do? I suppose they could have went against his wishes and put the character on hiatus… My memory isn’t clear on Metcaffe. Did he want out or was that a producer decision? Certainly the fiery “death” would make it possible to recast that character and hopefully get someone whose performances would be more universally loved.

      • Anonymous says:

        If I remember correctly, Metcalfe wanted out to do other things.

      • Yes, Duffy was more universally loved than Metcalfe, so it’s not a direct parallel. But nevertheless, the new series relied on the John Ross-Christopher rivalry a lot like the original relied on the JR-Bobby rivalry. I’m not saying the new series wouldn’t still be good without Christopher, I’m just saying that would be a big obstacle to overcome.

        Definitely, the original show should’ve disregarded Duffy’s request to kill Bobby. They shouldn’t known better. How many times do people say they’ll never return to a role, then later relent? Chances are, he would’ve ended up returning, and they needed to keep the door open to accommodate that return in a way that wouldn’t disrupt continuity.

        I don’t think Metcalfe wanted out, and again, I’m not convinced that Christopher was killed. It very well could’ve been simply a dramatic cliffhanger.

      • But without Bobby’s “death,” we’d have no “Swan Song.” Perish the thought!

      • Good points (as always), Dan. Thanks.

    • You are so right!

      • Thanks for commenting, Jan.

      • I’m probably the one person who liked that whole season being a dream. The series was awful that year with some really bad story lines. I remember when Pam said it was all a dream, I thought how glad I was that none of that horrible season happened. When I bought the DVDs, I skipped straight from the Bobby death scene to Pam waking up saying she dreamed he died. I felt like I didn’t miss a thing. The seasons following the dream season are much more enjoyable if you skip the dream season.

    • Thank you, Lec.

  4. yes indeed! Dallas is the best program on TV and they a deserve a big come back! everything was left up in the air,all of the actors and actresses would make ole JR proud as Miss Ellie and Jock, it took awhile for folks that the new Dallas is just that new! the next generation,folks thought it would pick up where the other Dallas ended,imposible,so, come people lets all rally and get my favorite show back on if TNT had a change of heart that’s great! but if not a new network can pick them up will be crossing my fingers and prayers for you all !

    • Thank you, Gary.

    • linda jacobson says:

      agree, gary. the crowd that loved the original dallas is now a bunch of old people. i was 27 when dallas first aired, i’m now 64. i started watching the first new season in 2012 mainly bc of jr,bobby,and sue ellen returning. after jf died, i kind of lost interest. it seemed to be going in all sorts of directions.

    • GARY RUTTER says:

      Oh yes it should! Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray and Josh Henderson , would make excellent writer and directors,along with them being the best actors on TV,they will surly beef it up,great story lines and please bring Christopher back to,if there is anything us fans can do, to help. please let us know

  5. Of course – is there any question?

  6. as I mentioned a few minutes ago, YES!!! Dallas should be back to replace the other junk on tv,…but I wanted to post ,, up here in Maine there is a house that was built to look like Southfork a bit, its a ranch,but not oil or cattle Bisson, deer,everytime I go by I am awestruck

  7. Of course it should return. It must. With Patrick Duffy as executive producer. He may not be a writer but from the interview with him here I gather that he had a very good grasp on what works in Dallas and what doesn’t.

    • Dan in WI says:

      I think you have that reversed. I don’t believe Duffy had ever tried his hand at writing Dallas but he was a co-executive producer of War of the Ewings. He has mentioned in several interviews that experience convinced him he isn’t producer/show runner material. That was the reunion movie that was largely panned by critics and fans at the time.
      If he doesn’t feel he could do the job then he probably isn’t the right man for the job.
      The truth is the ideal show runner candidate is probably someone who we don’t know the name of. It is someone who was a great fan of the original show who has seen the completely run three or more times. (I truly believe that is necessary to get a good handle on the continuity. Once or twice isn’t enough to really have the little stuff sink in.) It is someone that has a proven creative record in long form TV story telling.

      • Dan, this show touched a lot of lives, so I believe the person you describe is out there, somewhere.

      • Totally agree with you that he shouldn’t be the show runner. Personally I think someone with writing experience should run shows. But I wouldn’t mind setting him up as executive producer with the role of a creative consultant with maybe even veto rights. Not sure what show runner could live with that, but for the show it would be good. In that interview he gave to Chris he made some smart remarks about what worked in the last season and what didn’t. He was spot on and I wish he had had that voting right two years ago.

      • Dan in WI says:

        I just think he should have been allowed to direct more than one TNT episode. That episode was the one that felt the most like a CBS episode and that was a very good thing. He proven himself in that role time and again in the old days.

    • I agree with you, Q-Less. Mr. Duffy seems to understand the “Dallas” magic quite well. Thanks for commenting.

  8. My vote is obvious. Just having a poll with that question made me think it was possible for it to come back. If it did, I’d hope the time would have passed within the show and we’d see a core like Bobby, Ann, Sue Ellen, John Ross, and Christopher (with Judith Ryland as well) interacting with new characters involved with Ewing Global and Southfork.

  9. I think it needs to come back. After all, the show ended with things up in the air. There is always something that can happen in the world of the Ewings and soap operas. “Dallas” is such a huge phenomenon and it isn’t right to just leave things open like that. We need something, be it the show returning or a movie (or series of them).

  10. Anonymous says:

    time to let go, CC and TNT version was dire, it killed it off

    • I liked the TNT version and a lot of what Cynthia Cidre and her team achieved, but I know some folks don’t share that opinion.

      • Cidre and company got off to a good start, but lost it badly during the third and final season. The wheels hadn’t come off yet, but they were definitely loosening.

  11. bring it back but i dont wanna see emma yuck woman but yah i want dallas on

  12. Dale Gaglio says:

    I think any television station that doesn’t pick Dallas up is foolish!

    Such a great show! The reboot never had a chance because it wasn’t advertised properly!

    #savedallas2016

    • No arguments here, Dale. Thanks for commenting.

    • There was a much bigger problem than improper advertising, and that was terrible pacing. Season two ended in April 2013. It was bad enough that they waited for 10 months, until February 2014, to start season three, but then after a mere eight episodes, they went away for another four months, before returning with the last seven episodes of the season. So in a span of 16 months, from April 2013 to August 2014, they aired only eight episodes. It’s very hard to keep an audience that way, especially as many shows that are available to the public these days.

  13. I agree that Dallas should be brought back with a new team behind the helm.. The best case scenario would be a new creative team that were fans of the original.. Reboots are tricky and Dallas TNT wasn’t so much a reboot as it was a continuation.. A new team that were fans of the original series and would keep certain aspects in the show such as a strong family center while updating it to reflect current times so younger viewers would also tune in is preferable. Dallas had all the potential for being a multi-generational television show and had brought in younger viewers but the lackluster creative team is what did the show in on TNT and this is why viewers didn’t stick around.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes please bring it back its not right to end it without a ending! Just like they did with the glades they left us hanging not right!

  15. Definitely bring it back! I miss seeing Linda Gray on my TV screen on a weekly basis.

  16. Anonymous says:

    yes….i miss Dallas….

  17. LOVE THE SHOW, BUT NO J.R. NO DALLAS. CURRENT CAST NOT INTERESTING. BOBBY’S WIFE DOESN’T FIT. ACTING ABILITY SUCKS. J.R. JR. TO PHOONEY. NEW ARCH RIVELS JUDITH LIGHT AND SON TO WELL KNOWN FROM OTHER SHOWS. WHO’S THE BOSS, LAW AND ORDER, JAG. JUST DON’T FIT. PAM ALSO SUCKS. TO MANY GONE FROM ORIGINAL
    EITHER BY DEATH OR OLD AGE TO MAKE THE SHOW INTERESTING.

  18. We want our DALLAS back……PLEASE. Judith Ryland was the new J.R. !! Loved her!!

  19. Amy Tarbell says:

    Yes we need to put Dallas back on the air & get answers to the Cliffhanger from season 3. Unfortunately a lot of the cast has moved on to do other projects unless we can get Josh Henderson back i wonder if he would come back & star on Dallas if given the chance he is the only one suited to play John Ross. They also if Dallas ever came back they need to stop with the Mexican drug cartel the last season was based a lot on the mexicans not the Ewings. No more Cynthia Cidre producing it neither.

  20. At the very least a movue to wrap things up.

  21. I am from Australia and I thought the show was wonderful. Unfortunately it was on very late at night for most people and I don’t believe it was given enough time or advertising. Those reality shows that are on everywhere now have ruined things for all the great ones. I thought it was very well done and fast paced. Dallas was not just JR as some seem to believe … and in real life people age and die too and the new generation must take over. I think the new cast members did really well playing their parts, especial Josh Henderson! The show was definitely not given enough time to develop further. Bring it back I say!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yes, yes, and yes.

  23. Regina Haun says:

    I grew up watching the Ewings and when it came back on my daughter took a great interest in it. We enjoyed watching it together and trying to conjur up what the next episode had in store for us! At the end of each season she was immediately on her phone trying to figure out when n what was coming next…we were both shell shocked to find out the series had not been renewed…would love to see the saga continue …I very much enjoyed the time with my daughter and her crazy enthusiasm for Dallas!

  24. The craziest thing TNT did was take Dallas off. That was the best show ever and I grew up with it. I don’t even watch TNT anymore. Not worth my time now. Bring Dallas back!””””!

  25. Erin Toupin says:

    please tell me channels Dallas on jan 11,2016,

  26. When Dallas was cancelled in October, 2014, I, like all fans, was disappointed, devastated, heartbroken, and angry. I was determined NOT to let the story and saga of the Ewings end, so, I started writing episodes to continue the series online. Between October, 2014 and May, 2015, I wrote 36 episodes for season 4, picking up with episode 41, where a season 4 on TNT would begin, and ending with episode 76. From September 18 to December 25, 2015, I have posted episodes 77-92 of season 5. If anyone is interested in at least checking it out, here is the link to my website: https://johnwaldenblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/dallas/

    • Johnboy91884 – I’m an actor/screenwriter who’s working on a proposed TV series. Having seen your work, I might be interested in collaborating with you. I sent you an add request on Facebook; feel free to accept. I’d like to trade some ideas with you.

      Lec Zorn

  27. Barbara Osborn says:

    I’ve watched Dallas since it first started back in the late 1970’s and I love that show. Please bring it back. Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy can make that show just as great and I truly miss Dallas.

  28. I love Dallas,I always will and will watch it whatever channel it lands on!! I will NOT watch and I have not watched Blood & Oil,hell no!!! It’s a betrayal to our beloved Dallas.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I have always loved Dallas, old & new! I would love to see it come back, but with a few exceptions. The character of Christopher should definitely not die & the romantic scenes need to be more tasteful and less raunchy! Dallas had it’s sexy love scenes in the eighties, but they weren’t disgusting. Leaving more to the imagination is better in my opinion. And as for Christopher, he is a main character who should never be killed off. If Jesse Metcalfe doesn’t want the roll any more, replace him, he wasn’t that great anyway. Anyway, this is just my opinion. Would love to see Patrick Duffy again, in anything really!

  30. Tony Ewing says:

    Of course it needs to come back. Too many unfinished storylines. However, they need to have a team of people involved who are fans of the original Dallas to ensure that the past is correct this time. I read somewhere that the team who worked on the new Dallas hadn’t watched all the original episodes. I loved both the original and the new series but one thing that disappointed me was not seeing up the stairs! I loved the original corridor that lead to JR’s, SueEllen’s, John-Ross’, and Christopher rooms. It seemed that in the remodelling of the sets that they all sleeped downstairs now which was a bit unrealistic!!

    • Cynthia CIdre said she watched all 357 episodes of the original run before production began on the second run. It showed in season one, but certainly not in season three. I was surprised that the series strayed so badly so quickly.

      • Dan in WI says:

        Cidre never said the same thing twice in a row about watching the entire CBS run. At first she said she watched most of them. Then people got upset so she said that while no one person on the writing staff some them all between the entire writing staff someone saw each episode at least once. Then people got upset and then her tune changed again to yes she saw them all. Google it. You’ll find a variety of quotes which in my mind casts them all in doubt when a story changes that often.
        I don’t think it even shows in the first season. There is the well documented TNT season 1 gaffe of getting the Southfork mineral rights incorrect according to things laid out in CBS.
        Look you can either like or hate TNT based on what you think of those stories. But you can never saw from a defensible position that TNT’s continuity was any good.

  31. Absolutely – the reboot was just as interesting and ‘must-see’ as the original. I liked the fact that several cast members from the original were on hand as part of the new cast as well as those who made guest appearances.

  32. Luvdallas says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I would love for Dallas to return! I miss the show and the characters and the actors and the theme song and…

  33. Dallas reboot should have never been cancelled. I will never watch TNT again because of their stupid decision to drop this show. I have been watching this show since 1978, and it was so interesting to see what the Ewings have been up to recently, especially how things have changed. The reboot just started to get interesting, and ended with NO CLOSURE- totally unacceptable. I knew when Larry Hagman passed the ratings would drop, but there was still plenty of conflict going on. Please bring this show back some how, and the decision to kill off Christopher was the final nail on the coffin of this great show…

  34. deborah matheson says:

    Absolutely!! DALLAS should never have been cancelled! At the very least there should have been a proper ending.

  35. Erin Toupin says:

    what channels dallas on ,i’m on directv

  36. Anonymous says:

    I will watch it if they bring it back. But Cidre really screwed things up when she didn’t need to. Anyone who ever watched the old Dallas knew the sets they used for SouthFork interiors and they should have tried to honor that. Also, why not have Elaina be the daughter of Theresa who was in so many of the original episodes? What really made me mad was that I had just finished watching the original series and reunion movies when the new series launched. I was completely confused since the storylines were contradicting things I had just finished watching. Then I read that they decided to pull almost another “It’s a dream” on us and totally ignored the stories in the movies. There was so much good material and story opportunities from the old series that they didn’t need to spit in the faces of the fans by changing history and introducing so many new characters. Besides Christopher, lets not forget that Bobby had a son by Jenna Wade whom Ray raised. JR had at least two other kids that we know of. As “active” as JR was, one can only guess how many kids he may have out there. Considering how much older James was than John Ross, there could have been some really good material there if they had included James in the series. I don’t know if a new team could undo the Cidre damage without doing some serious editing of the Cidre storylines. I do have to admit that Josh Henderson played a great John Ross and I thought Metcalf was likeable as Christopher. Jordana Brewster was good too (still should have been Theresa’s daughter). Those are my thoughts.

  37. I will watch it if they bring it back. But Cidre really screwed things up when she didn’t need to. Anyone who ever watched the old Dallas knew the sets they used for SouthFork interiors and they should have tried to honor that. Also, why not have Elaina be the daughter of Theresa who was in so many of the original episodes? What really made me mad was that I had just finished watching the original series and reunion movies when the new series launched. I was completely confused since the storylines were contradicting things I had just finished watching. Then I read that they decided to pull almost another “It’s a dream” on us and totally ignored the stories in the movies. There was so much good material and story opportunities from the old series that they didn’t need to spit in the faces of the fans by changing history and introducing so many new characters. Besides Christopher, lets not forget that Bobby had a son by Jenna Wade whom Ray raised. JR had at least two other kids that we know of. As “active” as JR was, one can only guess how many kids he may have out there. Considering how much older James was than John Ross, there could have been some really good material there if they had included James in the series. I don’t know if a new team could undo the Cidre damage without doing some serious editing of the Cidre storylines. I do have to admit that Josh Henderson played a great John Ross and I thought Metcalf was likeable as Christopher. Jordana Brewster was good too (still should have been Theresa’s daughter). Those are my thoughts.

  38. Love this show, it should continue!!

  39. Denise Moss says:

    YES HELL YES Dallas SHOULD RETURN… TV is jux NOT the same without the EWINGS… plus soooo many answers need to be explained… #Ewingloyalty #SAVEDALLAS2016

  40. Anonymous says:

    Wrap up all the story lines as a Bobby dream thereby bringing Pam back to close the showv

  41. Revive it with Gary, Val. Make Lucy a lawyer. Mary Lee stone, John Ross’s half sister…good god, the guy who played Wendell is still alive and kicking….underused as a nemesis even in the 80s.
    as for the main baddie. KATHERINE. Morgan Brittany still looks great. Have her return and mess with Bobby. She could show proof that she was with Pam when she died. So much great stuff to use. Cast Joan Collins as sue Ellen jerk ex sister in law from England. Trouble ensues.

  42. I miss it.was getting good real because JR Ewing son .oh Oboy I really do miss it.from Anne Kimble.

  43. Sure it should but after all the fan backlash etc wanting it back after it was canceled in Oct 2014……I just cannot see who will pick it up now………………

  44. Dallas Fan Forever says:

    It def deserves to come back and I agree with everyone on a new creative team. Honestly it would not be that hard to fix where the TNT Version got off a course. I liked A lot of what Cytnhia Cidre did but then again I did not like hardly anything from season 3 lol. Dallas Decoder if you have any insight on how I could pitch Ideas to Warner Brothers and to who since so much time has passed, please contact me at bsells@pattersonauto.com so I can submit Ideas on how we can get this show back and give it the credit it deserves. Thank you

  45. Yes it should comeback and I want to help it comebcak!!!!!!Anyone on here can guide me on who to talk with at Warner Horizons shoot me names and info please. I am very serious about getting this show back on, just need guidance on how!!!!!

  46. Where are my comments on here?

  47. Yes, I believe it should come back, but not in the format they tried to use. Same song and opening great, but… do like Hawaii 5-O did, with different actors playing same people at same age during modern times. A slightly different take on oil because of what has happened, but get away from so much night time soap opera because they are a thing of the past. How about some real oil stories, with facts. Bring in more of the western events that still go on in Texas and New Mexico as advertised in Cowboys and Indian Magazine.

  48. I agree. The Ewing saga should continue. What TNT did to Dallas was absurd. Gee, I wonder how TNT’s ratings are since Dallas was cancelled. I know there’s more shows on TNT that are cancelled since Dallas left. Too bad,TNT.

  49. #Ewingloyalty #saveDallas2016

  50. I think it’s time to let it go. I liked seasons 1 and 2 of dallas tnt but feel the show went totally off the rails in season 3. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing John Ross*s sister or the continuation of the cartel storyline. Also the killing of christopher was a big mistake imo.

    I think it’s very unlikely that it will be picked up again at this point and getting everybody back would be a challenge. I loved Josh Henderson as john ross and can’t imagine anybody else playing the character now..

    I was glad the show came back, seeing John Ross and Chris as adults was something I always wanted to see, and I have my dvds now. I’m thankful for the good memories and i’m fine with how the show ended. I never expected real closure or happy endings anyway. This was Dallas afterall…

    • Maria, I’d like to see it come back, if it’s going to be good. But I generally agree with you; the wheels started coming off in season 3. The emphasis got too much away from the Ewings, and too much into violence and sensationalism. I’m not convinced that Christopher was really killed, but if he was, as I said above, it would be a huge mistake. The TNT version hinged on the Christopher-John Ross rivalry just as the CBS version hinged on the JR-Bobby rivalry. Killing off Bobby was the beginning of the end of the CBS version, and even though Bobby came back in just a year, it was too late; the audience had already started drifting away.

      • Dan in WI says:

        Was killing Bobby the beginning of the end of CBS Dallas? Yes. That said the end was five full seasons. Most shows would kill for five seasons of paychecks while on “life support.”

  51. YES

  52. julie porter says:

    I really like Dallas please return it

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I would love Dallas to return!!! I do hope another network chooses to bring it back. I truly enjoyed watching it.

  53. You people don’t know when you got a good serious working for you Dallas is one of the best shows in a long time that shows return as soon as possible you don’t have a better show than this

  54. Notify me when the new show coming back on it like I said this is the best show I’ve seen in a long time since the last Jr Ewing and his father you won’t find a better show than this

  55. Shawnconroy says:

    Yes it should tv today sucks and I believe that even though Larry hangman died that that show still has alout to offer and could go on with the right writers and plots to keep DALLAS still interesting and valid even in today’s millenals plus 40s something and older generation.

  56. andy1978 says:

    Dallas should return – I learnt a lot from the Original Series way back in 1978. Dallas back then had an Edge to it for the first few Years especially with the Who Shot JR Episode. If Dallas Does comeback it would need Juicy Story Lines Like the ones they from 1978 to 1980. , Especially with Sue Ellen and her Drinking, JR and the Bad things he got Up To, tricking People into Deals where they Faced Bankruptacy. There could still be a way Foreward with the JR Character if CGI we’re used.

    • Thank you, Andy!

    • I’d love it to return, but only if it’s going to be good. I think the TNT series was great in season one, and season two started off as if it was going to be even better. But the quick re-write caused by Larry Hagman’s death hurt, and then season three went way down. They focused too much on the Ramos family and on violence.

      If they bring the series back, I’d like them to keep the dynamic of Christopher and John Ross fighting the way their fathers did, while Bobby is trying to hold the family together. That’s a great foundation to build around.

      • I like the way you think!

      • I just posted this on Facebook also, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the new series!

        The second version of the TV series “Dallas” premiered 10 years ago today. Rather than rebooting a classic series a generation or more later, the new “Dallas” was instead a continuation; resuming the saga of the Ewing family after a 21 year hiatus. Though the new series was far less successful than the original, being relegated to the cable channel TNT and lasting a fairly modest three seasons and 40 episodes, I think that now is a good time to re-evaluate the series and figure out its place in the “Dallas” legacy.

        The original “Dallas” began in 1978 as a five episode mini-series, but quickly turned into a weekly series that ran for 13 seasons and 357 episodes. And for the first seven of those seasons, the show did almost no wrong, with its portrayal of a Texas oil family consumed by intrigue, wealth, envy, and betrayal, and spearheaded by the tense rivalry of two brothers – the scheming, deceptive, womanizing, and abrasively wisecracking J.R. (Larry Hagman), and the much more grounded and ethical Bobby (Patrick Duffy).

        “Dallas” is particularly significant in TV history as it popularized the prime time serial drama and especially the cliffhanger, most famously the “Who shot J.R.” storyline, the resolving episode of which received Super Bowl type ratings. In the five seasons from 1980-81 to 1984-85, the series finished #1 in the Nielsen ratings three times and #2 the other two times.

        But mortality began to catch up with “Dallas” amid the disastrous decision for Bobby to die when Duffy was leaving the show to pursue other opportunities. Had Bobby been said to be, for example, attending to a Ewing Oil project out of the area, it would have been very easy to write him back into the show. But when he returned just a year later – because the show realized they needed the J.R.-Bobby rivalry, and because Duffy wasn’t getting much work – the character’s death was explained to be a dream of his wife, Pamela (Victoria Principal). That wiped out all but the last scene of the previous season, and the destroyed continuity led to a steady decline in ratings, and finally to cancellation.

        After several attempts to revive “Dallas,” it finally happened in 2012, and the new series initially did a very good job combining the old and the new. The main core of the new series was J.R.’s son John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Bobby’s son Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe), each of whom was a chip of the old block, fighting with each other over family matters the way their fathers did. Meanwhile, Bobby had become the Ewing patriarch and was trying to hold the family together. The first season was rounded out by five other regular characters – J.R., his ex-wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray; also returning from the original series), Bobby’s new wife Ann (Brenda Strong), Christopher’s wife Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo), and Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster), who has romantic pasts with both John Ross and Christopher.

        Overall, that season was excellent, with a powerful group of story lines that fit together very well. John Ross aspires to be an oil tycoon like his father, with whom he has not had a good relationship and whose shadow he wants to escape, but whose approval he craves. J.R. agrees to teach John Ross about the oil business, and the two work together on a plan to trick Bobby, who is suffering from cancer, into selling the South Fork ranch to them through a mentally unstable con artist, Veronica Martinez (Leonor Varela), who is pretending to be a Mexican conservationist. Nevertheless, neither J.R. nor John Ross are shy about betraying the other anytime he believes that he will benefit from it. In contrast, Christopher is an environmentalist who opposes oil and is believes that he’s close to finding a way to use methane ice as a very productive alternative energy source. He has a close relationship with his father but still feels insecure because he was adopted, which John Ross uses to tell Christopher that he’s not a real Ewing.

        In the first episode, Christopher marries Rebecca, who seems like a great match for him, but it’s quickly obvious that she and her supposed brother Tommy (Callard Harris) are using the marriage for a devious and elaborate plan to get rich. The gradual revelation of their plan, and Christopher’s growing suspicion, is one of the highlights of the whole series. Christopher and Rebecca got together after Christopher’s break up with Elena – which it turns out happened because of an email from Christopher’s address that someone else sent with evil intentions. Elena, the daughter of the Ewings’ maid, subsequently gets involved with John Ross, but his unethical behavior ends up causing her serious discomfort.

        Bobby, aside from his illness, seems like he’s at an ideal place in his September years – happily married and away from the oil business, now focusing on raising cattle. But while Ann is a loving and devoted wife, cracks in their foundation begin to show, in large part because of trouble initiated by her ex-husband, smug local business executive Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi). And J.R., after residing in a nursing home where he was treated for depression, decides to take one more shot at getting South Fork, still believing that he was cheated out of his birth right – he was the oldest child in the family, but his mother, Eleanor “Miss Ellie” (played by Barbara Bel Geddes in the original series), instead willed the ranch to Bobby, her favorite child.

        But even when J.R. obtains ownership of South Fork, the drama is far from over. It turns out that Bobby still controls the mineral rights, and invokes them to stop J.R. and John Ross from drilling, in accordance with a promise that Bobby made to his mother. The resulting delays in the oil pumping lead to serious trouble with Venezuelan crime boss Vicente Cano (Carlos Bernard), who kills Veronica for scamming him, frames John Ross for her murder, and has him severely beaten in prison.

        J.R.’s main rival from the original series, Cliff Barnes (my fellow Hoosier Ken Kercheval), returned as a recurring character, and in addition to their mutually antagonistic relationship being renewed, Cliff was also trying to get South Fork, which the original series revealed that the Barneses were scammed out of by the Ewings. And the unhealthy appearances of both actors underscored their senses of urgency to triumph while there was still time. Hagman, who was then suffering from throat cancer, died later in 2012; Kercheval, who had recently been treated for lung cancer, died in 2019.

        Sue Ellen was around a lot, but was not a central figure in any major story lines. She mainly was a loving, concerned mother to John Ross, while still having the same sharply mixed feelings about J.R.

        The entire regular cast is first rate. Bobby, J.R., and Sue Ellen are all logical progressions of what the characters were in the original series, as are their relationships with each other. J.R. remains very crafty and resourceful, but continues to under estimate his brother. Meanwhile, Bobby believes that J.R. will never change and is always ready to fight him when necessary. Henderson and Metcalfe had teen idol appearances – possibly a reason that the series’ biggest audience was 18-40 year olds – but both still carried the acting load very well.

        Many of my favorite performances from the season, however, involve the recurring cast. Callard Gates is excellent as the audience sees his transformation from Christopher’s happy go lucky brother-in-law to a very aggressive, ruthless criminal who becomes unhinged as he sees his very ambitious plan slipping away. Carlos Bernard is a fabulous villain, with his suave presentation, and his mixture of composure with subtle threats and abrasive sarcasm. Leonor Varela tackles a very challenging role, sometimes posing as an upstanding conservationist who promises to preserve South Fork, but in private is prone to erratic mood swings, and becomes simultaneously clingy to John Ross and threatening to Elena. She’s particularly chilling in the episode in which her character is killed, as she realizes the danger that she’s in and feels helpless to get out of it. And finally, though his character lasts only four episodes, Richard Dillard is awesome as Mitch Lobell, Bobby’s lawyer of 30 years who is now secretly helping J.R. and John Ross gain ownership of South Fork. Lobell starts off as an arrogant, shameless bully who’s blackmailing John Ross and charging more than their originally agreed to price, but then suddenly turns into a panicked coward when J.R. threatens to inform the police of the drug recidivism of Lobell’s son Rick (Jason London). Lobell ends up disappearing and his whereabouts are never revealed for the remainder of the series.

        If I had to pick the best moment of season one, I would have two answers. From a standpoint of very effective plot twists, my easy favorite is the revelation of the real identity of Rebecca in the last few minutes of the season finale. It’s an awesome, super surprising moment that left me laughing because I never saw it coming! I believe that had it taken place in the original series, it would be the third most famous moment of the series, behind only J.R. getting shot, and the supposedly dead Bobby appearing in the shower.

        I did not watch the episode’s original broadcast, but rather streamed it a few hours later. Right after that episode finished airing, I saw a status update from my former classmate Jeff Perkins, saying that whoever wrote the series should win an Emmy! Yet even knowing from that post that something spectacular was going to happen, I was still floored by it!

        But my sentimental favorite is interaction between J.R. and Bobby over the last two episodes. Bobby, who still had not completely recovered from cancer, is hospitalized, and J.R.’s feelings for his brother come out. Fearing that Bobby is going to die, it’s a rare moment in which J.R. allows himself to show gentle affection, saying “I love you, Bobby” and signing the South Fork deed back to him, though J.R. was also in danger of criminal prosecution at that time, for obtaining the deed through illegal means. Then, when Bobby wakes up, he tries to help J.R. see the error of his ways, and warns him “Nobody lives forever.” That interaction and especially that line became even more sentimental when Hagman died just three months after the episode aired, and during production of the fifth episode of season 2.

        Furthermore, I think that Hagman’s death was the beginning of the end for the series. It forced the writers to quickly and dramatically re-write the last 10 of the season’s 15 episodes, which I think resulted in a decline of quality that carried over into season 3, and finally into cancellation.

        I’ll write about seasons 2 and 3 later, but regardless, I believe that season 1 is a great addition to the “Dallas” legacy and by itself made the new series worthwhile. Had it had been on a major network, I believe that the series would’ve been very highly rated.

        *On a side note, I also have a very small personal tie to the series. Every year my father hosts a gathering based around the Indianapolis 500. We have a block of tickets and among the other events is a cookout at his house when we get back from the race.

        One of the regular attenders was my father’s late friend from Florida, Steve Momot, who was a professional photographer. One year when we had two extra tickets, Steve attended with his medical doctor, Ron Arison, and his son, Amir Arison, who I was told was an actor.

        At the time, I had been acting for not quite a year, and of course I welcomed the chance to talk to a fellow actor. At the time, he had performed several one off roles in major TV series. He and I talked for approximately 10-15 minutes about working in film, and unfortunately then ended up getting distracted and talking to other people.

        When watching episode eight, I noticed the name Amir Arison in the first scene after the opening credits sequence. I knew the name rang a bell, and after thinking about it, I realized who he was! He plays Verun Rasmussen, the coroner who Sue Ellen bribed to rule Veronica’s death a suicide, to get John Ross out of jail for her murder. Verun accepts the bribe, but then in the first episode of the next season, he reveals the bribe, ruining Sue Ellen’s campaign for governor. Those were Amir’s only two episodes of the series, but just months later, he began his run on “The Blacklist,” which made him a star. I deeply regret not talking to him a lot more, but it’s still very cool that he was part of this great tradition of my family, even if just for one year!

      • Thank you for your thoughtful commentary, Lec. Reading this brought back a lot of nice memories.

      • Thanks so much Chris; I’m greatly honored! I had a great time writing that 10 year analysis, and it helped me realize even more how great that first season was – there’s so much to love about it, both in writing and performances. It was my pleasure to share that post with other “Dallas” fans, and I welcome any other thoughts about the series!

  57. Thanks so much, Chris; I’m greatly honored that you read it, and very glad that it brought back positive memories for you! I’d love to also know the way others remember the TNT series 10 years later!

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