This is awesome news for fans of ’80s TV and primetime soaps: TNT has officially given a greenlight to the long-in-development remake of Dallas, the classic nighttime soap about the Ewings, the Texas oil family led by the wily J.R. (Larry Hagman). The best news: as had been rumored, Hagman, Linda Gray as his ex-wife Sue Ellen and Patrick Duffy as his white sheep brother Bobby will all be part of the new show.
The series, which will air in summer 2012 on TNT, will be previewed Monday night during the season premieres of The Closer (9PM ET) and Rizzoli & Isles (10PM ET) … who’s in for another round with the Ewings?
The TNT press release on the reboot:
TNT Greenlights New Series DALLAS
TNT to Unveil Special Sneak Preview of DALLAS Monday
During Season Premieres of THE CLOSER and RIZZOLI & ISLES
New DALLAS Stars Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and Brenda Strong, Along with the Return of TV Icons Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray
TNT has given the greenlight to DALLAS, an all-new series based upon one of the most popular television dramas of all time, about the bitter rivalries and family power struggles within a Texas oil and cattle-ranching dynasty. Famous for its ratings-grabbing cliffhangers, the original series was known for its wealth, seduction, scandal and intrigues. Set in the big state of Texas, TNT’s new DALLAS — from Warner Horizon Television — also lives life large and in the fast lane and brings a new generation of stars together with cast members from the original drama series. The new DALLAS stars Josh Henderson (90210), Jesse Metcalfe (John Tucker Must Die), Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious), Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars) and Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives), and they will be joined by iconic stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of DALLAS, which is slated to premiere in summer 2012.
TNT will give viewers their first look at DALLAS on Monday with a special sneak peek during the season premieres of the network’s blockbuster hits THE CLOSER, which starts at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), and RIZZOLI & ISLES, which airs at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). TNT is unveiling today a website dedicated to the new DALLAS series, where fans can view an online photo gallery that features a first look into the show’s new and returning cast. Fans can visit the new site, http://www.dallastnt.com, to watch sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes videos. The website will be periodically updated with new materials.
“TNT has explored the possibility of an updated version of DALLAS for several years, but it wasn’t until we read Cynthia Cidre’s outstanding pilot script that we knew we had the foundation for a great new series,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “It is incredibly exciting to see both new and familiar characters in the hands of a dream cast under the guidance of the enormously talented Cidre and Mike Robin. We couldn’t be more pleased with how DALLAS has come together.”
The original DALLAS aired from 1978 to 1991 and centered on the Ewing family, a cattle and oil dynasty occupying the expansive Southfork Ranch in Texas. A long and bitter rivalry between brothers J.R. Ewing (Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Duffy) eventually led to J.R. losing control of most of the Ewing industries. In the new DALLAS, this explosive rivalry now lives on through another generation, with the future of the family fortune in the hands of the Ewing offspring: cousins John Ross Ewing (Henderson), the son of J.R. and ex-wife Sue Ellen (Gray), and Christopher Ewing (Metcalfe), the adopted son of Bobby. Brewster stars as Elena, who is involved in a love triangle with Christopher and John Ross. Gonzalo stars as Christopher’s fiancée, Rebecca. And Strong stars as Ann, Bobby’s wife.
Executive producer Cynthia Cidre, who wrote the acclaimed film The Mambo Kings and produced the TV series Cane, wrote the pilot for the new DALLAS. TNT’s series is based on the original series created by David Jacobs. The new DALLAS comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television. Michael M. Robin (The Closer) is the director and executive-producer of the pilot.
Hey TVScreeners. As you might have noticed, things have been pretty quiet on the TVScreener.com front lately. Blame a slew of holiday gift guides and other features I’ve been writing for TV Squad, plus a little 50,000-word book project that I have, oh, about a month to write … but that’ll wrap shortly (and I’ll share more about it when the release date gets closer), and things will be back to normal around the ol’ TV blog soon enough. PS – Stay tuned for a killer TVScreener.com Christmas giveaway. Seriously, hundreds of dollars worth of TV-related swag to share, and it kicks off right after Thanksgiving!
In the meantime, I had to take a sec to post about the awesome little ’80s revival that’s happening in primetime these days:
– Magnum P.I. star Tom Selleck‘s back on the tube with Blue Bloods, one of the few new hits of the fall TV season;
– The Hollywood Reporter uh, reports, that Remington Steele and James Bond movie star Pierce Brosnan is headed back to primetime, in a show that sounds Bond-ish;
– The Hub is airing back-to-back episodes of Family Ties Monday thru Thursday nights (8 and 8:30 PM), which has not only been a reminder of what a genius of comedic timing Michael J. Fox is, but, via that “Sit, Ubu, sit” ending, has helped me finally figure out the origin of my obsession with Labrador Retrievers. PS – My fellow Family Ties fans, a must-read book: The autobio of Ties creator Gary David Goldberg, called Sit, Ubu, Sit and featuring the iconic photo of the pooch on the cover;
– The ubiquitous presence of Betty White (and all the ’80s stars on her TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland) on TV, as well as in the awesome new Golden Girls: 25th Anniversary Complete Collection DVD box set (in packaging that mimics Sophia’s handbag);
– TNT’s in-the-works Dallas series remake, which may star Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and the legend himself, Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing;
– Comedies like The Middle, Modern Family and Raising Hope (which several of my TV critic cohorts and I at Scooter McGavin’s 9th Green picked as one of the best new shows of the season) have led a revival of the type of great family sitcoms we haven’t seen a prevalence of since the ’80s;
– And the new TBS ’80s college comedy Glory Daze, which, in addition to being solidly funny and starring a cast of talented, endearing newcomers, also boasts the fashions, trends and music of the ’80s. Delightful.
Oh, and though it’s not primetime, it is ’80s TV-related: The Pee-wee Herman Show, the new Broadway show that’s like being live at Pee-wee’s Playhouse. TVScreener.com reader Rich told me he’s seeing the show the day after Thanksgiving, and I cannot highly enough recommend that anyone else who loves the Playhouse and will be in NYC during the holidays check it out. Even though the show isn’t about the holidays, I can’t think of a better way to get yourself in a feel-good holiday mood.
So, who else is loving this retro vibe in primetime? Dallas will soon return … what other ’80s drama or sitcom would you love to see remade? Which other ’80s TV superstars would you like to have join Tom Selleck, Pierce Brosnan and Ed O’Neill (not to mention Cheers star Shelley Long as a Modern Family guest star and Miami Vice star Don Johnson in that recent Eastbound and Down appearance) in a return to TV land?
UPDATE 2.11.10: I originally posted this last July, when buzz started that NBC was going to remake the classic James Garner drama The Rockford Files. The Hollywood Reporter recently mentioned Matt Dillon‘s name as one of the actors producers were persuing for the redo, but in the last couple of days here at TVScreener.com, fans have been excitedly voicing their support for Stargate: Atlantis star Joe Flanigan as the man who could fill Garner’s Emmy-winning Rockford shoes.
I agree, Flanigan would be an excellent Jim Rockford, able to pull off the humor, the leading man charm, the action bits … Rockford producers, the people have spoken (and are continuing to speak). Is Mr. Flanigan on your Rockford Files short list?
FROM JULY 2009:
NBC is remaking the ’70s PI drama The Rockford Files, the classic series starring James Garner as trailer-dwellin’ ex-convict investigator Jim Rockford. NBC is moving the action to modern day, and here’s hoping they also stick with the character being in his 40s or 40s (Garner was 46 when the show began in 1974), which should make for interesting casting.
A few suggestions off the top of my head: Christian Slater, Jason Bateman (not that he’s headed back to TV anytime soon with his hot film career in full swing), Paul Rudd (ditto the film career) and Matthew Perry, who has been trying to get back to TV series work since the failure of his NBC dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and his Showtime comedy The End of Steve didn’t make the cut at the cable network.
Any other ideas about who would make the perfect new school Jim Rockford?
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred — returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) […]