Reporting from Pasadena CA — TNT unveiled Dallas this afternoon, a continuation of the original series, one of the most popular television shows of all time. The original Dallas, a soapish chronicle of the oil and cattle-rich Ewing family, ran from 1978 to 1991 for an astonishing 357 episodes on CBS.
The new Dallas, which debuts this summer, jumps ahead approximately 20 years in time. Original cast members are back, blended with a younger set of actors for a multi-generational romp of ambitious Ewings. TNT’s Dallas “honors the past and freshens it,” explained executive producer Michael M. Robin.
One of the younger gen cast members - Julie Gonzalo - was born the year after J.R. was shot (the third season). Born in Argnetina, she said she watched the show in Spanish.
The sizzle reel TNT screened for the critics featured sweeping helicopter shots of the Dallas skyline, and a particularly memorable line of dialog: “Bullets don’t have much of an effect on me,” spoken by J.R.
At 80 years old, Larry Hagman, the original J.R., reprises his role and he still has game. The TNT panel was wonderfully entertaining and it was fun to see some of the iconic cast members - Hagman, Linda Gray, and Patrick Duffy - back in the saddle.
Dressed in a Texas-size cowboy hat and black cowboy boots, Hagman - when asked why he decided to return to the series - quipped: ‘I’m 80! How many people do you know workin’ at 80!?”
“I think everybody on Friends owes me at least 10%,” Hagman said to a question about holding out for more money on the original Dallas. Hagman was one of the first actors to buck the system over money, although in the twitter feed @dloehr (David J. Loehr) noted “Larry might owe Martin Landau & Barbara Bain 10%…” (Mission Impossible, for those who might not remember.)
Back in the day, in the midst of negotiation, Hagman famously packed his family up and headed to London. The network caved and Hagman became one of the highest-paid stars on television.
When asked about his health (Hagman was recently diagnosed with cancer) he quipped, “I had three major scenes yesterday - and very well too, I must say.”
more later, due to troubles with Wifi in the ballroom….