TNT has given the green light for an all-new series of Dallas based on the bitter rivalry and intense power struggle of the Ewing family, which centered around the lives of brothers J.R. and Bobby. It became the most popular TV drama for over a decade.
The cable network TNT announced in a media statement that they will give Dallas fans a sneak peek of the newly revived series on Monday during the season premiere of The Closer and Rizzoli and Isles.
Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy have all signed on to recreate their roles in the new series which is scheduled to film this summer and premiere in 2012 on the cable channel.
The original series of Dallas was broadcast from 1978, when it debuted as a mini-series, till 1991. Thirteen seasons in all for the award-winning cast. The show set records for the number of viewers who tuned in season after season to follow 'ratings-grabbing cliffhangers' and each subsequent season premiere. The popular finale of the second season, 'A House Divided', left fans guessing the identity of the assailant who fired the bullets that struck JR Ewing, leaving him near death for the summer, as Larry Hagman negotiated a new contract with producers during a Hollywood actors strike.
The season 3 premiere was named "the highest rated television episode in US history," at the time. "With a Nielsen rating of 53.3 and a 76% share, an estimated 83,000,000 people watched the episode to find the answer to the 'Who Shot J.R.' mystery." It remains as the third highest rated television episode behind MASH and Super Bowl XLIV, according to Wikipedia.
The cast for the new series will include Josh Henderson as John Ross Ewing, Jesse Metcalfe starring as Christopher Ewing, the adopted son of Bobby, along with Jordana Brewster of the 'Fast and Furious', Julie Gonzalo of 'Veronica Mars' fame and Brenda Strong, who starred in 'Desperate Housewives.'
TNT executive vice president Michael Wright said they had "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. 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, who wrote Mambo Kings, and Mike Robin. We couldn’t be more pleased with how Dallas has come together.”
The cable network has ordered 10 episodes of the new drama, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Southfork Ranch, home of the Ewing family from the television series Dallas.
In the new Dallas, the story will follow a different blood rivalry, this time between John Ross Ewing and Christopher Ewing. The young cattle barons and oil tycoons will fight for control of the family fortune and will also, of course, include a love triangle with Brewster in the center of a battle of emotions and love between the cousins.
TNT has unveiled a Dallas website today, where fans can see photos of the old and new cast, exclusive previews of the show, find downloads, and get a behind-the-scenes look at production on the dramatic series.
No word yet on where the show will be filmed. The original Southfork Ranch, where the series exterior shots were filmed from season 2 until 1989, is located in Plano, Texas. The ranch is currently an event and conference center, where daily tours are offered to Dallas fans. The ranch is owned by Forever Resorts.