Last week more people watched Dallas on TNT than they watched anything that same night on the five major networks, so tune into the show tonight at 9p to see why this show stuck ratings oil.
The biggest reason to tune in is that JR Ewing is back. Last week we saw a weakened version of one TV’s biggest villains, but tonight he is just as mean as ever. He will show his son John Ross who is boss in a way only he can, but will it be enough to teach him that oh-so-very-important lesson? And he isn’t the only family member that JR will be messing with tonight, Bobby will also be tricked by his charm. Will the little brother be wise enough to know when is big bro is trying to trick him or will JR finally get what he wants…SouthFork? You have to tune in for an episode that sets up some Ewing drama for the next few episodes of Dallas.
So tonight Larry Hagman really put on that big old JR Ewing cowboy hat, and a few weeks ago I attended a press event where he told us what they had to do to get him to play the role again. He said, “Well, they called and approached me on it about a year ago I guess and I said, ‘Well… I wasn’t sure.’ And then they said, ‘Well, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray are going to be on it.’ And I said, ‘Oh well, okay.’ Then Linda called up. She says, ‘You’re gonna do it,’ and I said, ‘Okay.’ So all it took it was a Ewing family reunion to make it happen.
So once Hagman said he would do it, was it hard to fill those huge cowboy boots again. His response was, “No. Hell, I know the character. He hadn’t changed any. No, I’m very happy with that. They’re writing in that direction, too.” You will see tonight he hasn’t changed and no one is going to complain about that.
Now we know what it was like for Hagman to be part of the drama again, what about his TV wife Linda Gray? It was a little different for her because “it was with a whole new Sue Ellen because she’d been gone for 20 years. She had taken John Ross with her to London with Ian McShane, smart. And so I had to do a lot of homework for Sue Ellen. I had to really find out: Where would she be? Who would she be with? What are her values now? Why did she change? Ws it solid change or is it just surface change? What would she be doing with her new life? So, I did a lots and lots of homework. I took her to lunch. She and I had a lovely Sue Ellen/Linda Gray lunch.”
Now we know how John Ross parents prepared to once again take on the roles that made them international superstars, how did Josh Henderson learn more about the people he would be calling mom and dad. He did his homework for the role, “For me personally, before we shot the pilot—now, I knew of the entire idea of what Dallas was, but I actually was too young to remember the details of the show. So I didn’t have any of the DVDs so I YouTubed everything I could of JR and I quickly became just like everyone else, I think, originally when it was airing, in awe of how he could walk into a room as JR, destroy a man’s life in three sentences with a smile on his face, tip his hat and leave. And I couldn’t believe it. And at that time, I really started to understand that I got to come to some special to play his son because what he did was so amazing that I really had to come up with something good. So, that’s how I studied first. And then finally my mother bought me all the DVDs for Christmas. You know, the original was very racy, too. Like, I wasn’t expecting it.” And it gets really racy for him in the next few weeks.
Finally there is one star on the show that doesn’t get enough credit, it has the same name as the show and that star is Dallas. When asked if they are treated like rock stars in Texas, Linda Gray has this to say “Well, I’ve known them for so many years. I’m not from Texas like Larry and Josh, but I’ve known them. I’ve got great, great year-long relationships with these people, so it’s a different respect. I mean, my fans are older so they’re not treating us like rock stars, but they’re embracing us like family. They’re so happy that after the assassination of President Kennedy, that they had a really bad omen attached to the whole city. So now we came along and it was such a hit. Everybody’s a star in Dallas. You know, they’re all proud. They’re very proud. They’re proud of us because they feel that we opened the doors to get rid of, to erase that tragedy. So they’re all very excited. They’re more than excited to have us come back again.” It’s interesting to see how the show not only changed their lives, but it also changed the cities. Something I am sure none of us ever realized.
And something you don’t want to be the last to realize is just how excellent this show is. So get on your horse and ride yourselves over to your TV at 9p to watch Dallas. I have said it before and I will say it again, this is the best new show of the season so what more do you need to check it out.