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.
Will Kristin shoot J.R. again and end up floating in the Ewing pool? Will Pam dream that Bobby was murdered by her crazy, jealous half-sister, only to find him stepping out of her shower the next morning, again? Will Sue Ellen still be a drunken mess? Will J.R. still be a tomcattin’ snake? Will Lucy again have an uber-icky affair with the man who turns out to be her uncle?!
All questions we’ll soon have answered, as TNT has given the thumbs up to a pilot for an updated version of the 1978-91 classic TV drama Dallas. No casting info yet – more on that in a sec – but the show is being created by Cynthia Cidre, who wrote the screenplay for the movie The Mambo Kings and created the all-too-short-lived Jimmy Smits/Nestor Carbonell CBS drama Cane. According to the official press release from TNT, Cidre’s do-over sounds like it’ll be generally faithful to the original, as the story “focuses on the offspring of bitter rivals and brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing, who clash over the future of the Ewing dynasty while the fate of Southfork itself weighs in the balance.”
Now, back to casting … again, no word yet about who’s on TNT’s list, but here are my suggestions for the new J.R. Ewing and his younger brother/rival Bobby:
J.R.: Gary Cole. Okay, partly, I think Gary Cole should be cast in almost everything, because he’s so awesome. In particular, I think he’d be especially good as J.R. He’s great as a good guy, and I think that’s probably the way most people see him, but he’s played his fair share of more villainous characters (evil Wayne on Desperate Housewives, real-life convicted family killer Jeffrey MacDonald in the made-for-TV movie classic Fatal Vision and, of course, the terminally lame Lumbergh in Office Space, for example). And though he’s got a fine head of hair (seriously, check out that photo), and it might seem like a shame to cover it with a big ol’ Stetson, I think he can handle it. Particularly if his brother is played by …
Ron Livingston. Yep, the Office Space dudes, Lumbergh and Peter Gibbons, together again, this time as oil baron Texas brothers. Aside from the cool factor of the Office Space reunion, I think Livingston would be a good little bro to Cole’s J.R., and it would be nice to see him finally land in a series that has a shot at sticking around for a while if the pilot works.
Or perhaps you all have other ideas about who should don the tall hats as the new J.R. and Bobby? Or suggestions about who should be the new Sue Ellen, Pam, Lucy, Miss Ellie, Jock, Ray, etc.? Let’s hear ’em if you do …
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) […]