The “new” Dallas series with new & old familiar faces

The “new” Dallas series with new & old familiar faces

Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray are back

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The return of Dallas on the TNT network (premiere June 13) showcases old familiar faces from the original– Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray– coming back as J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen. Plus some intriguing new faces have been added to the mix with Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo, and Brenda Strong as the next generation of Ewings.

Just like the original Dallas, which debuted in 1978, the new series will focuses on wealth, seduction, scandal, and Texas-sized power struggles within the oil and cattle-rich Ewing dynasty.

Hagman says, “It’s high-drama on the Southfork Ranch all over again.”

The producers felt the series should go back to the original concept of Dallas by bringing original cast members back, but tell new stories with new cast members. The stories will focus on the oil industry today and the clash with alternative energy fuels by pitting two Ewing offspring against each other. It’s J.R.’s son (Josh Henderson) verses Bobby’s boy (Jesse Metcalfe) to control the resources of Southfork, the seat of power for the Ewing clan.

Duffy credits the producers and writers for creating a seamless transition from the old show and the new. “It was like snapping your fingers and we were Bobby and Sue Ellen and J.R. again, with no time whatsoever in between.”

Duffy says even though they made several Dallas TV movies after the series, he never thought they’d be doing a weekly version of Dallas in 2012. “Linda and Larry are two of my closest friends, and it would hurt me to think we’d never work together again. This new series is the best thing that could happen in me personally.”

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All are happy that they are filming the show in Texas again. The Texas locations have been popular tourist destinations since the original show, with folks wanting to visit Plano, Texas, home to the Southfork Ranch, fictitious headquarters of Ewing Oil.

The original Dallas ran from 1978 until 1999 with the series evolving into special movies during the later year on CBS. And it spawned another popular primetime soap opera, Knots Landing.

During its long run, Dallas had cast members come and go, and among the most memorable moments were the “Who shot J.R.?” cliffhanger, plus Duffy’s memorable “stepping out of the shower scene” that explained his “death” for a season was just a bad dream.

“I thought it was a piece of brilliance to do the shower scene and bring the show back exactly to the kernel of the original success,” says Duffy, explaining it helped the show have another five years on the air. “It was a way to go back to what made Dallas what it is. It brought the entire cast back to the starting point.” He points out that’s the essence of what the new series is doing.

With all the competition out there, Hagman is hoping that Dallas will become a hit again with folks that remember the original. And he wants a young audience that is tuned into the new technologies, “who can tune it in on their iPhones and other devices and watch the show wherever they go. I’m always grateful for new fans,” he says.

Linda Gray notes, “We’re all on Twitter and Facebook, and all this wonderful new stuff they have to spread information all over the world. With that new technology people can talk to all of us.”


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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