Back when “Who Shot J.R.?” was sweeping the country, Larry Hagman decided he could use this phenomenon to play hardball and get a big pay raise on Dallas. It ended up working very well for him. More recently, Hagman was reportedly holding out for more money to secure his involvement in the new Dallas pilot that’s being shot for TNT. Things came down to the wire so that producers actually prepared two pilot scripts, one of which would have shown J.R. Ewing in flashbacks only, via footage from the original series.
Now, it appears Hagman is on board for the project, as are Patrick Duffy and and Linda Gray. The new Dallas series will revolve around conflict between John Ross (Josh Henderson), the son of Sue Ellen and J.R., and Christopher, the adopted son of Bobby and Pam. When we last saw the young men in the first reunion movie, they were getting along quite well. That doesn’t make for good drama of course and now apparently their relationship has gone south — at least in part because of a young beauty named Elena (Jordana Brewster). It’s unknown how involved the senior members of the family will be if the pilot gets picked up as a regular series.
Here’s the press release from TNT…
TNT’s Pilot of Updated “Dallas” to Feature Returns of Original Series Stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray
Cast of Younger Dallas Generation to Include Jordana Brewster and Josh Henderson
Three iconic stars who played pivotal roles in the original version of Dallas have joined two next-generation talents in the cast for TNT’s pilot of an update of the famed series.
The original Dallas ran from 1978 to 1991 and followed the Ewing family of Southfork. The modern story of Dallas focuses on the Ewing offspring — J.R. Ewing’s son, John Ross, and the adopted son of Bobby and Pam Ewing, Christopher — as they clash over the future of the family dynasty.
The updated Dallas will include original series stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray. Hagman gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of oil baron J.R. Ewing. Gray played J.R.’s wife, Sue Ellen Ewing, while Duffy portrayed J.R.’s younger brother Bobby. In the pilot for the new Dallas, Josh Henderson (Desperate Housewives) will play John Ross. Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious) will play Elena, who is involved in a love triangle with Christopher and John Ross.
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. The pilot script is based on characters created by David Jacobs. The updated version of Dallas comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television. Michael M. Robin (The Closer) is the director and executive-producer for the pilot.
About Warner Horizon Television
Warner Horizon Television (WHTV) is one of the entertainment industry’s fastest-growing television companies, specializing in the creation of scripted series for the cable marketplace, and primetime reality series for both network and cable. Founded in 2006, this second production entity allows the Warner Bros. Television Group to expand its programming offerings and explore creative options made possible under a new business model. WHTV is currently producing more than a dozen projects. Its unscripted shows include The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad and the upcoming Take the Money and Run for ABC, School Pride for NBC and Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew for MTV, among others. Scripted programs from WHTV include Rizzoli & Isles and Memphis Beat for TNT, Glory Daze for TBS and Pretty Little Liars for ABC Family, among others.
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100.5 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy? winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; Hawthorne, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; Men of a Certain Age, with Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula; and Southland, from Emmy?-winning producer John Wells (ER); as well as the upcoming Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle, and Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting in late 2011, The Mentalist; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards?; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
What do you think? Were you a fan of the original Dallas TV show? Does the new series interest you?