Dallas: Ken Kercheval Booked for New TNT Series

Dallas Cliff Barnes returnsIt’s hard to imagine Dallas without J.R. Ewing’s number one nemesis, Cliff Barnes, and now we won’t have to. TV Guide has reported that Ken Kercheval has signed on for a multi-episode arc on the new Dallas series which will debut next summer on TNT.

Ken Kercheval and Larry Hagman share the distinction of being the only two actors who appeared in the entire run of the original Dallas series on CBS, from April 2, 1978 until May 3, 1991. He reprised his role in the 1996 reunion movie, Dallas: JR Returns, but was not in the second one, War of the Ewings. Kercheval did however take part in the 2004 special, Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork, in which the cast got together to reminisce.

In July, TNT gave the go-ahead for a new Dallas TV series. It will focus on John Ross Ewing III (Josh Henderson), the son of JR Ewing (Hagman), and Christopher Ewing (Jesse Metcalfe), the adopted son of Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy). Original castmembers Hagman, Duffy, and Linda Gray have signed on for all of the first season’s 10 episodes.

It will be interesting to see what Cliff Barnes has been up to and how much, if any, of his past will be utilized in the new series. As you may recall, his late sister Pam (Victoria Principal) was married to Bobby and was mother to Christopher. Cliff had a romantic relationship with JR’s ex-wife, Sue Ellen (Gray), for awhile and even proposed to her. Cliff also had a young daughter named Pamela and reunited with her in the first reunion movie.

What do you think? Are you glad to hear Cliff Barnes is returning to Dallas? What would you like to see happen? Perhaps his daughter could be involved with one of the young Ewing men, echoing the start of the original Dallas series?

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10 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Peter says

    The new series is flawed in that JR Ewing has lost his fortune. He didnt. For the hard core fans of the series, you will remember that JR got all of the old Ewing Oil assets except for the Ewing Building off Jeremy Wendell. He took them into the resurrected Ewing Oil after Bobby got the name back. When Bobby chose to leave the oil business he sold the company to Leanne De La Vega, played by Barbara Eden. JR would have received the market price. Leanne gave him a small percentage but then sold the company and after a few moves and different owners including Michelle Stevens and Cliff Barnes as well as JR himself Cliff finished up with the company.

    JR was after West Star and was then defeated by Carter McKay for control. He did not go broke which is where the new series is wrong.

    Christopher should also have an inheritance from Rebecca Wentworth and Wentworth Industries following her death. Jock’s will also left money for his grandchildren especially John Ross as his first known grandson.

    If we factor in the two reunion films, there is still a Ewing Oil . JR was always an intriguing character but even when he lost he still won. When he backed Cliff Barnes anonymously Cliff’s well came in as JR was about to shut him down. He was unsuccessful but he would have made money as Cliff’s financier in an attempt to break him.

    There are a few continuity errors but these could be tweaked.

    In the new series Bobby had a different lawyer and spoke of dealing with him for thirty years. The Ewing family lawyer,Ewing Oil etc all used Smithfield Bennett and dealt with Harve Smithfield.

    It seemed wrong to have Cliff as a billionaire and JR broke. It would be more correct to have them both billionaires. In the new series, for example JR needs to find $1000000 to play a card game and needs investors to get Southfork.

    This would be inaccurate. Perhaps the producers could explain it by having West Star being taken over with JR ‘s money tied up in West Star stock. It could be in escrow or similar until the sale is completed. It was a publicly traded corporation and following trends in the industry could be absorbed into an Exxon Mobil or Shell.

    JR always had hidden reserves.

    The series concentrating on the battle for Southfork and the next generation is fine but the history needs to be checked and past characters re introduced such as Mitch Cooper, Afton, Rebecca (Cliff’s daughter)

    • says

      Peter » The new show has taken some creative license with history — to make things a bit more interesting it seems. The last time we saw John Ross for example, he seemed like a well-adjusted guy. I don’t think most people have noticed or care.

      Regarding your comments about JR’s fortune, I think you’re assuming that nothing changed after the last reunion movie. JR could have lost his fortune in those years and that could be why he ended up in a catatonic depression.

  2. ALEJANDRO says


  3. Jonah says

    I think every single one of your insights are on point. I would only add that I would love to see Katheryn Wnetworth some how get redeemed, in a believable way, and return as the ‘evil’ sibling for both Pam and Cliff. I would like to see her be in their lives in the same way JR is to his brothers. I would also like to see her come with a few offspring to mix it it up with Ewing and Barnes next generation. I would also like more refrences and cameos by Valene and Gary Ewing. It would be cool to get a glimpse of their views, reactions, and feelings to the issues at Southfork. Also, the twins Betsy and Bobby should be refrenced, as well as Gary’s other child. I understand the importnace of maintaining the integrity of Knots Landing, but it could be done and done well. In addition, I would like to see Lucy a tiny bit more have some say in a background capacity about the fate of Southfork. Technically she realy is the oldest grandchild and heir to the ranch. Jock and Mrs. Ellie did mention her in aspect of their wills through the show. I would also like some part of the Farlow experience to be refrenced. Clayton was a factor, and Dusty was Sue Ellen’s ex and Dusty is a step brother to the Ewing boys. He does fit in storyline wise as an complication in the Southfork process. I would like more mention of secret legacies of monies and companies and stocks from rebecca and Herbert Wentworth. I know that cant happen with Digger. One last thing, their should be acknowledgement with Jason Ewing and his son. We all know that Jamie Ewing died in the rock climbing accident, but what about her brother. He could be dead but have a son or a daughter and son out there with legitimate Ewing blood. It was cool in the past when they allied with Cliff. Also, can we please find a way to bring in a few Southworth family memebers or history. They make it seem like the Ewings were the proginitors of Southfork. It was the Ewings who held Ewing Oil. It was the Southworth’s that held Southfork. Maybe Garrison Southfork had a few grandchildren he did not know about. Maybe a cousin who ends up with Ewing and Barnes blood could turn up and complicate the fight over Southfork. Remeber, there was Digger Barnes sister and Pam and Cliff had a cousin, Peter Barnes. Pull one more Barnes out as an ally for Cliff. The feud has always been one sided. Balance it out a bit.

  4. Patrick says

    Bobby in the shower with the previous season a dream was pure genius. Just watched the new pilot and it’s really quite good. Hopefully we will get a few summers of nuDallas !!!! JR Lives !!!!!!

  5. MartinB says

    I think the idea of bringing Dallas back to the screen is great. But I´m one of those persons who think it will only work to a real great audiance when some of the old characters are in it. It would be great to to have Cliff in it, but this also means to me the return of Afton Cooper, Cliff´s daughter and eventually Pam. We never saw her dying, although Margret Michaels stated that she was deadly sick and didn´t want Bobby and Christopher to see them loosing her again. Well, what really happened, nobody knows?? Where is J.R.s grown-up son James Beaumont (Sasha Mitchel) who was very, very popular?? Another must have in my eyes is Donna Krebbs (Susan Howard). Never understood what behind the scene intrigues killed her part off. She was very popular with the audiance, especcially in Germany,and topped always the ranking in popularity researches in the lead with Bobby, just a step behind Miss Ellie. I think there are reasons to bring her in again as she still owns Krebbs No. 1, her fisrst oil well, the one she so proudly presented to Miss Ellie (Donna Reed, at this point) in Season 8. Politics, especially in Washington can be very exhausting. Serving the State of Texas in Austin is less!!! Ray would be also a natural choice as he has all the experience of running Southfork. I hope he´ll get to know his daughter Margarete a little better, after Donna´s return, as he escaped from Switzerland and all his problems with that histerycal drama queen Jenna, who he will hopefully divorce and find back to Donna. This could bring Bobby into the bad situation that he´s confronted with Pam, who isn´t dead, and Jenna who first comes to get back Ray and then finds out she´s still interested in Bobby. And was Charlie really Naldo Marchettas child??? A lot of interesting questions, does anyone agree?

    Also there should be a healthy sense of irony and humor in it. Like in some of the old episodes (Bobby and J.R. caught in the elevator, J.R. and Callys wedding with Sue Ellen tricking J.R. into it) and a few more. What about one of these famous South Fork Barbecues where all come together and have a big fight like in the old days. I could imagine story lines that would bring Jenna and Donna in confrontation as well as Jenna and Pam. And what if there is trouble between Sue Ellen, Marylee and Afton, Cliff and J.R.? I really start to feel excited. I´m ritght into it and feel 20 again!! Did I mention the other two wifes of J.R. Cally and Vanessa???

    Would also be very nice to see Phillys and Sly appearing some time, and Marylee Stone certainly.

    I think there are so many links to the past left, that if the producers and especially the writers understand the importance of the history behind the new series it could go off like a rocket satisfiying new and the old fans of it. It could be again a world hit series. But don´t do funny things like Miss Ellie changing her head without explenation, or Bobby in the shower. This would only work in a comedy by making fun of it.

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