Dallas: Should the TNT Series End Without JR Ewing?

Dallas without JR EwingWhen Larry Hagman died yesterday, the cast and crew of TNT’s Dallas series had finished filming six of the 15 episodes that had been ordered for the second season. He was scheduled to shoot more scenes this week and his demise reportedly came as a shock to many of those on the show.

A statement from TNT reads, “All of us at TNT are deeply saddened at the news of Larry Hagman’s passing. He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Warner Bros. and executive producers Cynthia Cidre and Michael M. Robin said, “Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history. He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity and grace. Everyone at Warner Bros. and in the Dallas family is deeply saddened by Larry’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time.”

Word is that the current Dallas’ producers and writers plan to start revising scripts and will give JR Ewing a big send-off. Years before the original Dallas ended, Hagman said, “I know what I want on JR’s tombstone. It should say: ‘Here lies upright citizen J.R. Ewing. This is the only deal he ever lost.'”

This will be the third time that Cidre has had to make script adjustments.

Should the new Dallas end without JR?

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When TNT first ordered the new Dallas pilot, Hagman was holding out for a lot more money and an agreement couldn’t be reached. Cidre reportedly came up with an alternate script for the pilot that would have incorporated vintage footage of JR from the original series. Warners Bros. apparently liked the approach a lot and was ready to move forward but Hagman finally signed on.

Last October, during the filming of the first season, Hagman announced that he was battling cancer. His airtime was cut down to three episodes just in case he wasn’t well enough for more (remember when JR disappeared off to Las Vegas?). He was ultimately able to appear in all of the episodes.

It’s hard to imagine Dallas without JR Ewing and certainly no one else could take over the role. What do you think? Do you think the series will be worth watching without Hagman? Should the new Dallas come to an end or keep going?

The second season of Dallas is set to begin airing January 28th.

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46 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Carole says

    I very much hope the show goes on, because TNT’s Dallas is about so much more than JR. And while JR won’t be there physically, his presence and legacy will be felt in every episode.

  2. Joel says

    I love JR but I do think the show can continue if done right. While he was the best part of the show I still really enjoyed the episodes he was barely in too. Larry Hagman can never be replaced but his character’s passing can cast the giant shadow like Jock in all the future episodes. RIP Mr Hagman.

  3. Melanie says

    Yes, I think the show should go on without JR. I was just a little kid when he first showed up on Dallas back in the 80’s. I can say now, as an adult, I LOVE the new show, Dallas. I even have my husband watching it with me, and he’s never been into soaps! :)
    I am happy to hear he will get a big send-off, as it is well deserved. We will all miss Larry Hagman, as NO one can replace him in the role of JR. I do agree, though, that this show actually focuses more on the next generation of Ewings, not so much JR’s generation. I guess time will tell, as we will see how this upcoming season works out, then that will determine if a 3rd season will be taped.

  4. Duane says

    Many shows have gone on with an actor died (Cheers). They can write a death scene saying he had a heart attack. Why put all the actors/behind the camera people out of work? He was a small part of it anyway because of his health. We will miss him.

  5. Nancy says

    Larry would want the series to continue on without him. I am just sure about that. A big send off would be in order and would have made him happy too. He was not a big part of the new Dallas as he was in the older series. I think it can make it without him, at least for a couple of seasons. The new actors are very good and the stories are really about the next generation of Ewings.

  6. Brenda Lewis says

    JR Ewing is Dallas. Larry Hagman cannot be replaced. I think the series should end. I know he would want the show to go on but I cannot imagine the show being a success without him.

  7. Darren A. says

    The show will go on but the ratings will drop quickly, it will then be canceled after a few more tapings. It cannot go on without Larry Hagman… it too will be a sad ending to see Dallas leave us for good.

    RIP Larry Hagman

  8. The Blue Rose says

    Larry Hagman loved the role of JR and knew that he couldn’t go on forever. I am pleased that JR will get a big send off. It was well earned and what a way for a legendary character to pass on into the sunset.

  9. Jay Boyle says

    I would not be surprised that the TNT revival of “Dallas” will go on without Larry (JR) Hagman. It would be similar to what happened on the CBS series when Jim Davis, who played the family patriarch, Jock Ewing, passed away. However, I have mixed feelings. When Dan Blocker died, Bonanza’s ratings fell severely and the show was soon cancelled. When John Ritter died doing the sitcom “8 Simple Rules”, the show went along for a year before it ended. Only time will tell how Dallas will do without the man America loved to hate but loved anyway, Larry Hagman.

  10. Dan Uff says

    I believe that Dallas can continue without its core character, JR, IF the writers build up the other characters after they have delt with his passing.

    They had to do it before when Jock died during the last series run.

  11. Marleena A says

    I think he would want the show to go on. And would love for JR to go out big. The writer’s will do that for him. RIP Larry Hagman

  12. Megan says

    I do think Dallas should go on without JR. I think they can give him a big send off like they said. JR was a good part of the show, but he wasn’t all of it.

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