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LOS ANGELES: It’s a good thing that JR Ewing only shot himself in a mirror in the final episode of Dallas back in 1991. Now he can rejoin the rest of the gang for a revival of the cult TV series.
Larry Hagman, 80, who portrayed the greedy Texas oil baron from the outset, stars in the freshly minted episodes that will start going out on Wednesday on the TNT cable television channel.
And he’s not alone – Linda Gray, 71, is returning to play his alcoholic wife Sue Ellen, and Patrick Duffy, 63, will reprise his role as Bobby, JR’s altruistic kid brother.
“I feel so blessed, honestly,” said Gray in production notes for the series that will also introduce a new generation of Ewings.
“It was surreal when they first announced it would return. We were just absolutely thrilled.”
Reaching back to the original talent pool makes Dallas a stand-out among other revivals of landmark US television series.
The original Emmy-winning series ran from April 1978 to May 1991, fascinating viewers across the world with a soap opera storyline rich in power, sex and intrigue.
“When Dallas was on we were in a major recession and people couldn’t go out because they couldn’t (afford) a babysitter, so they had to stay in on Friday night and watch something, and we were it,” Hagman recalled. “And here we are again.”
Dallas was famous for its season-ending cliffhangers, not least the “Who shot JR?” whodunnit that left fans in a state of high suspense in the summer of 1980. The shooter turned out to be his sister-in-law.
It wasn’t even clear when the series ended in 1991 whether a then-suicidal JR had shot and killed himself. – Sapa-AFP