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DALLAS' Linda Gray On J.R's Funeral Episode, Missing Larry Hagman & What Happens To Sue Ellen!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Monday night, television will say goodbye to one of its most iconic characters and the best villain of all-time, J.R Ewing on a very special episode of TNT’s Dallas (9EST/8CST).  In doing so, the cast and the viewing public, will also be saying our farewells and remembering legend, Larry Hagman (J.R.), who died of complications from cancer back in November of last year.

Look for a wake, a funeral, and some twists and turns apparently engineered by J.R. from beyond the grave during the episode entitled “J.R.’s Masterpiece”.  From what the producers and writers of Dallas have put together to honor Hagman, this episode may just be the masterpiece of the reboot of the series and for any long time Dallas fan.

Today at The Paley Center for Media’s annual PaleyFest in Beverly Hills,  the cast of Dallas was on hand for a seminar talking about the inner workings of the series, previewing what is to come, and much more. On-Air On-Soaps was there and caught up with fan favorite Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) to find out what she thought of the funeral episode, how is she doing after the passing of her dear friend, Larry Hagman, and what can we expect from Sue Ellen, post-J.R’s passing.  Here is what Linda had to say!

We heard that tomorrow night’s episode “J.R’s Masterpiece” (the funeral episode) was shown to the cast and crew at Southfork on Friday night.  Were you there … and what did you think of it?

LINDA: I did not want to see the episode with anybody else.  I watched it and it was great.  It was what it was supposed to be and I wanted to see it by myself.  I did not want to hear anybody say, “Oh, it was great. Oh, I cried.”  I did not want that.  I wanted to have it be my own experience, and then I will see it Monday night with everybody else.  But at least I have seen it, and I know what was edited out and what made it in, so I’ll know.  I was very happy with.

Courtesy/TNTZadeRosenthal

How are you feeling now several months after Larry Hagman’s passing?  I know how close you were with him.

LINDA: I think the same things I would tell anybody, and as Larry would say, “The show must go on! Stop crying and get out there.  Put that make-up on and those high heels and go do it and be the best Sue Ellen you can.”  And I would go, “OK I got it. Alright, let’s go.”

In tomorrow night’s episode there have been some preview scenes where it looks like Sue Ellen has taken a drink and fallen off the wagon! What can preview about that?

LINDA: It’s very difficult for her with J.R.’s passing. She may have a little dip and come back up.

How do you think Sue Ellen will behave now that J.R is gone? Can we expect a good Sue Ellen, or a more villainess version?

LINDA:  I think a lot of her decisions will be based off her mother/son relationship with John Ross, and what thinking about, what would J.R do?  All sorts of things come to her mind now that she wasn’t forced to check out before for 20 years.  We all in our lives have changed over 20 years, so you can’t expect Sue Ellen to be the same as she was 20 years ago, either. We hope she has looked at her life and sort of wrestled with her demons, and come out the other side a better person, or a more cleaned up version of who she was before.

So Dallas fans, are you ready to watch the emotional episode?  What do you think of Linda’s Gray comments on honoring her friend Larry Hagman?  How do you think J.R.’s death will impact Sue Ellen?  Weigh-in!

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JohnCesHummingbirdBarbara t loves One life to livetoscanti Recent comment authors
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Joliefan Forever
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Joliefan Forever

I bet that Episode is going to be Good! Sue Ellen was a great character!

John
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John

This is going to be great but sad Larry is gone. I love that the actor is back that took some time off for Y&R is back on Dallas!

ethel
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ethel

i will definitely be watching – i also have my dvr set to record it!

jim
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jim

Maybe there will be a Sue Ellen and a Gary Ewing hook up?

toscanti
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toscanti

I can’t wait to see it. Loving the show overall!

Barbara t loves One life to live
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Barbara t loves One life to live

This will be a sad one to watch tonight, Dallas will never be the same without JR Ewing, But it will survive, Sue Ellen will make out ok, She is a strong character drunk or sober.

Hummingbird
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Hummingbird

It’s going to be heartbreaking for many reasons especially for John Ross and Sue Ellen. Mother & son are headed towards a downward spiral after his passing for a spell. When their done having their pity party, they’ll raise up STRONG & do JR’s legacy PROUD. Gone but not forgotten. RIP JR.

Ces
Guest
Ces

Looking forward to tonight’s episode. Love Linda Gray and hope to see more of Sue Ellen and John Ross conspiring!

Breaking News

Bradford Anderson, Melissa Fumero & Juan Pablo Di Pace To Appear In Virtual ‘Ballots Over Broadway’

Some of your favorites who have been in both daytime and primetime soaps will be participating in this Friday August 7th’s virtual event, “Ballot Over Broadway” to benefit Higher Heights for America and Field Team 6.

Look for General Hospital’s Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), and former Dallas and Fuller House star, Juan Pablo Di Pace (Ex-Nicolas Trevino, Dallas) to join the likes of Laura Benanti, Andre De Shields and so many more from Broadway, TV and Film in an intimate evening songs.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and former One Life to Live star, Melissa Fumero (Amy and Ex-Adriana, respectively), will be speaking during the event.

Field Team 6 is a national volunteer army with a simple mission: Register Democrats. Save the world. By targeting places that need Democrats most, we aim to take the White House, flip the Senate, and expand our House majority.

Higher Heights is the only national organization providing Black women with a political home exclusively dedicated to harnessing their power to expand Black women’s elected representation and voting participation, and advance progressive policies.

The event kicks-off at 8PM PST/11 PM EST and to be able to view make sure to get your tickets or to donate by going to this link here.

So might you join the virtual event and watch Bradford, Melissa and Juan Pablo? Comment below.

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All My Children

ABC and PEOPLE’s ‘The Story of Soaps’: What Was Your Review Of It?

Tuesday’s night airing of ABC and PEOPLE’s two-hour special The Story of Soaps featured many notable daytime and primetime soap stars, past and present, clips from backstage to classic memorable moments, and some participants who were providing commentary on the erosion of the daytime soaps in our culture.  Still others, maintained and realized that everything today is serialized from the news we watch, to some of Netflix’s most binge-watchable series, and of course, the birth of reality-programming.

Throughout the airing of the special, The Story of Soaps was trending on Twitter and social media either at the #2, #3 or #4 spots for the entire duration of the broadcast presentation, and the cancelled and beloved All My Children was also at one point trending.

However, known soap writers, journalists, ardent fans, and actors of the genre, were all on Twitter last night live-tweeting their thoughts as the special went down, and there was definitely mixed reactions and reviews, when all was said and done.

What the special did not shy away from, but tackled, was Luke’s rape of Laura at the campus disco on General Hospital. and how that moment now, as Genie Francis (Laura), so eloquently put, would be considered as ‘date rape’ in our culture.  The series even included a pivotal moment where Laura addresses Luke (Tony Geary) about the rape years later, after helping Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) through her rape ordeal.

John Stamos (Ex-Blackie Parrish, GH) got a bevy of “Right On’s!” for his comment that the soaps do not get the credit that they deserve and clearly came through as one of the soaps greatest supporters, as did former The Doctors and Knots Landing star, Alec Baldwin.

However, throughout the two-hours, Andy Cohen’s commentary was thread throughout; mostly citing soap’s demise and the creation of reality-programming and his “Real Housewives” franchise, that the special touted as the new soap operas.  It continued on the narrative that people preferred to see real-life drama then made-up drama on a fictional soap.  And while, that has been a trend in American culture for decades, the commentary came off as often out of place in a celebration of the soaps; and bringing in a lot of negativity to the special that soap fans were tired of hearing.

In a lighting rod moment, Cohen stated: “I know Susan Lucci doesn’t agree with me, but I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves.”

The special did also address the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live, (which many were not sure they were going to do – given this special was airing on ABC), where One Life’s leading lady and six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki) said what we all wanted to sa ywhen the ax fell on the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, “People were horrified”.

Clearly, OJ Simpson and his murder trial and reality-programming were also given a chunk of time to show where the once mighty landscape of daytime soaps which once had 13 shows on the air, dwindled town to 4.  But, it would have been nice to see more time spent on how in this day and age, the people in this current landscape of the genre work so hard to get episodes done at an unbelievable pace, and how in that climate the performers still deliver gut-wrenching performances.

Photo: ABC

Former Loving, OLTL and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, did point out how the once powerful soaps, just don’t have the dollars they used to, and need to, to help with production costs and their taping schedule.

Viewers were reminded of soaps’ socially relevant storylines including hankie-inducing moments from: Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Stone’s (Michael Sutton) HIV/AIDS storyline on General Hospital, to Billy Douglas being a gay teen coming out on One Life to Live, played by a young Ryan Phillippe.

There also did not seem time spent on the contributions of William J. Bell; one of the most prominent writers of the soap genre of all-time.

For many commenting on social media last night, there seemed to be a feeling of some glaring omissions of participants who could speak on this genre, who have been in the trenches as soap producers, soap writers, pundits, actors, and more, who were not included in the special.

So, what was your review of The Story of Soaps? How would you grade it? Do you feel it accurately reflected the history of the genre?  Were you happily surprised,  or when it came to the end where you over it, or somewhere in between? Sound off in the comment section below.  Below are some tweets from notables who have worked as an actor, a writer, and a journalist in the soaps.  

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Dallas

DALLAS Online Reunion Coming With Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and More

Time to revisit Southfork during the coronavirus pandemic, with news on Friday that some of the cast from the original CBS primetime soap, Dallas will be participating in an online virtual chat next week!

According to Deadline, confirmed thus far are: Patrick Duffy (Ex-Bobby), Linda Gray (Ex-Sue Ellen), Charlene Tilton (Ex-Lucy) and Steve Kanaly (Ex-Ray).

They will all be part of the conversation on Friday, April 24th beginning at 8 p. m. EST.  The stars are taking part in the Stars in the House livestream series to raise money for The Actors Fund’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, who have been bantering with cast members of several former and beloved shows, you can watch the virtual chat up on the Stars in the House website and on YouTube.

Since the first Stars in the House episode on March 16, the series has raised approximately $209,600 to benefit The Actors Fund.

So, will you be checking out the Dallas reunion next Friday? Comment below.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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