In Hollywood, they’ll try anything twice. In this case, the TV show “Dallas” is coming back 21 years after its triumphant first run. The original "Dallas" ran for 13 years, and inspired one of the most famous cliffhangers in TV history with it’s “Who Shot J.R.?” storyline. Then, as in now, Larry Hagman plays family matriarch J.R. Ewing, head of the oil-rich clan based in Dallas. The original show was based around the shenanigans of the Ewing clan, especially brothers J.R. and Bobby. The new version is based around J.R. and Bobby’s grown sons, John Ross and Christopher Ewing.
The 10-episode season will air on TNT starting at 9 p.m. starting tonight. Linda Gray, who played J.R.’s wife in the original series and Patrick Duffy who played Bobby are both returning and will be joined by Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives” and “Passions”) and Josh Henderson (“Popstars and Desperate Housewives”). Jordana Brewster, best known for “The Fast and the Furious” franchise joins the new cast as well.
But it’s certain that this reboot will focus at least somewhat on J.R., one of television’s most popular villains. Even though he spends much of the first episode seemingly catatonic, Larry Hagman, now 80, says you can expect him to be just as dastardly as the J.R. of old.
"I think you will find he is just as big a cad now as he was then,” Hagman told Reuters. “That was just a hook to get me back in and to explain what I've been doing for the past 20 years. I've been in this place, kind of sequestered. Assisted living, I believe they call it. In the old days, they would call it bedlam. Depression – that is how they described it. Anyhow, it gets us going.”
So far, reviews have been positive, but it’s the “Dallas” fans – still strong worldwide even after the show’s first end, that will have the final say. Gray, reprising her role as J.R.’s equally scheming wife, Sue Ellen, says that so far, everyone, both old and new, is enjoying the show’s remixed version.
“The rest of the shows you have not seen, it just keeps escalating to the point to where even the actors are surprised," Gray said. "We talk among ourselves and ask 'Did you see this coming?' and the answer is always no. So everyone is in for surprises."