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TNT Dallas Producers Are Beginning To Prep Send-Off for Larry Hagman's J.R. Ewing!

Courtesy/TNT

Courtesy/TNT

The producers of TNT’s Dallas are already at work on how to deal with the death of Larry Hagman on-screen and his iconic character of J.R. Ewing, and just how to give him a proper send-off!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hagman’s death yesterday may have caught the creative team off-guard!  Larry Hagman had already completed filming of six episodes of the 15 ordered for the second season of the soap, and will appear when new episodes kick off Jan. 28.   At the moment there is no timeline on how production of Dallas will be affected by his passing.

On Friday evening, Dallas executive producers Cynthia Cidre and Michael Robin in a joint statement that Hagman was “a giant, larger-than-life personality” and loved playing “this globally recognized character.”

So here we go again!  Television and the soap genre is losing another legend.  Weigh in on how you think the new Dallas should give a proper farewell to Hagman and good ole’ J.R.!

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SUSANChristineSTEPHANIE O'DANIELMKDoug Recent comment authors
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Joanne
Joanne

I wouldn’t venture to guess………what a huge loss………the new Dallas is so good………I can’t imagine how they will write him out……….and it’s ironic that in the show Bobby is the one battling cancer……….it’s very sad. I’m looking forward to the return in January, but Mr. Hagman will definitely be missed, and will leave a large void in this iconic show.

SUSAN
SUSAN

AGREE 100% JR IS IRREPLACBLE

Matthew E. Crowley
Matthew E. Crowley

I think that JR Ewing has to go out with a bang Like his father befor him kill in a Carsh.

Christine
Christine

I agree.

Didn’t Jock die in a plane crash or something? It was so many years ago that I saw that.

gloria
gloria

I burst into tears when I heard this news this morning. Weird, I thought about him last when I could not get to sleep! I don’t know why he was on mind. I watched the very first episode of Dallas in early 1977 when I was in high school & never missed it, not even once. I watched reruns on TNT until I could practically recite the lines with the characters! Also loved Larry on Jeannie. I loved the new Dallas last year & have been counting the days till it comes back. To lose him now, what a loss. So sorry for his family & his dear Dallas friends. That is one thing that I always loved-the relationships he maintained with Linda Gray & Patrick Duffy & others from the show-that they all were really friends & kept in touch & the fact that he died in Dallas with “Sue Ellen” at his side . . .

stephie
stephie

Very well said, and echoing my thoughts exactly.

gloria
gloria

Thanks Stephie

SUSAN
SUSAN

so true my thoughts exactly

Mary SF
Mary SF

I don’t envy these producers because whatever direction they chose someone, some where will complain it wasn’t done right. But given their faithful take on the old classic I am certain they will weave an ending the will be fitting for JR, and honor Larry at the same time.

The Professor
The Professor

Wow! I had no idea. Larry Hagman will never be forgotten. He was defiently one of the true icons in television history. Defiently top ten and may be number one as Drama goes. Dallas was my favorite show of all time and its return to television had been well done.

What I hope for the future show is two things. 1st, Do not try to replace J.R. Ewing with any other actor (this includes John Ross). J.R. was an original and Dallas was wise enough long ago to not try an replace Jock Ewing. That character’s legacy was felt througout Dallas future seasons even without actor, Jim Davis (Jock). Perhaps, J.R.’s absence can be fuel to unite the Ewing Clan against those outside the family. 2nd, Future conflict can still exist by including J.R.’s other sons who are not on the canvas. Remember James Beaumont (J.R.’s oldest son) and wife Cally who produced another off spring.

R.I.P. Larry/J.R.

SUSAN
SUSAN

AGREE HE NEEDDS the best send off of any icon on tv

he will be missed and hopefully the new dallas can continue without jr

but it will be a hard task for the cast and i do love the new show very much

but the original was the greatest tv soap in its prime because everyone rushed
home on friday nites to see what “ole jr was up too”

because back then you could not dvr or tivo for the first few yrs dallas was on
so if you missed friday nite you missed alot

eric
eric

i am sure it will be something awesome, just like jocks death was, with a killer will to follow, we will miss you larry!!!!!

Cole
Cole

Between losing Hagman, and Flannery departing B&B, and the passing of the Daytime Icon John Ingle, the genre will never be the same. More tears, more sorrow…where is the light at the end of the tunnel for Daytime and Soap fans in general?

Christine
Christine

Sadly the light at the end of the tunnel has to come in the form of one of these younger actors knocking the pants off the current generation.

The “kids” these days do not want to work, but just collect a paycheck. I remember when my husband was working on THE POLAR EXPRESS (starring Tom Hanks). I had lunch with him in the commissary one day at Sony and walked right past Mr. Hanks. He was wearing the motion capture suit and had motion capture sensors ALL OVER his face. He had to be uncomfortable, but you would not know it from his demeanor. He was as nice as could be. Toby Maguire, on the other hand, I heard nothing but complaints from him about having to wear the motion capture sensors for his role as Spider-Man. It was the difference between night and day between these two. I’m glad Sony and he parted ways and they can get someone who actually wants to do the work.

It is the same with motion pictures. I fear when we lose Clint Eastwood because there are only a handful of actors dedicated to the craft – all aspects – like him and the ones before him. I can only think of a few my age that are potential candidates – Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and possibly Ryan Gosling depending on whether he continues the craft.

I have to admit it has been a hard week with the losses of actor and character this week. Shoes that can never be filled. 🙁

SUSAN
SUSAN

i agree larry hagman and clint eastwood are in the same icon status

SUSAN
SUSAN

cole you are so right on

Doug
Doug

I cannot believe the producers were too surprised. Unlike daytime, an actor of Hagman’s age and health issues would have gone through a physical to be insurance. The writers and producers have done a good job to set up John Ross as the heir apparent who never felt he had his father’s respect. Though it is terrible, there are years of story potential .

MK
MK

I think the new Dallas made a good impression with John Ross taking the spotlight and JR working behind the scenes. That can still happen (off camera) I think they should keep JR alive Off screen. With JR at near-death multiple times, I doubt anyone would believe it. I also love adding James and Harper (Cally’s son) to the conflict. If Jock and Miss Ellie’s presence can still exist, JR surely can (off screen).

STEPHANIE O'DANIEL
STEPHANIE O'DANIEL

I think JR should be replaced by another actor. The show would not be the same without a JR person. The series is basically based on the scheming character and how others react to it and how others plan to outwit him, or survive his schemes and machinations. JR’s schemes are the reason why people watch the show. You gotta find a charming, skirt chasing, lying, back stabbing, scheming person to replace Larry Hagman or the show will not be the same. The other actors are important but only if JR sets them up.

SUSAN
SUSAN

NO!!! NO!!! NO WAY LARRY HAGMAN AS JR NOT POSSIBLE TO REPLACE
IT WOULD NOT WORK JUST MY OPINION

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.

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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.

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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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Breaking News

‘Dallas’ star Ken Kercheval Dead At Age 83

Sad news to report for fans of the iconic primetime soap, Dallas.  Ken Kercheval, who played the thorn in J.R. Ewing’s (Larry Hagman) side, Cliff Barnes, has passed away.   The actor was 83 and died at his home in Indiana on Sunday.   The cause of death is under wraps.  He had been previously open about being a lung cancer survivor after years of smoking.

Kercheval was on Dallas for its entire run on CBS from 1978 to 1991, and returned to the TNT reboot from 2012 to 2014 to reprise his signature role.

On Dallas, Cliff Barnes was always the perennial loser when he went toe to toe with ruthless J.R, but in the final season, Cliff beats J.R at his own game and takes over Ewing Oil.  Cliff was also hopelessly in love with Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray) and was the brother to Pam Barnes, played by Victoria Principal.

As for Ken’s first big acting breaks, that came on daytime soap operas when early in his career he appeared on Search for Tomorrow and How to Survive a Marriage.

Later, he appeared on episodic dramas such as Starsky & Hutch, and Crossing Jordan.  His final role was in a movie, 2019’s Surviving in L.A. said to be a comedy/drama in which he plays the business manager of a former teen sitcom star who trashed her life through drug abuse and is fresh out of rehab.

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Share your thoughts on the passing of Ken Kercheval in the comment section below.   But first, watch him as Cliff Barnes in this scene from TNT’s Dallas when he sees J.R. for the first time in years!

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