WARNING: This article contains spoilers regarding the 2012 TNT TV show, Dallas.
Who says a reboot can't pack a punch?
In true Texas fashion, the 2012 premiere of the Dallas TV show was off with a bang. Almost seven million viewers tuned in for the two-hour series premiere of TNT's rebooted version of the 1980s soap classic. Viewers were treated to some good ol' greed, lust and a whole heap of drama.
I woke up to a ton of emails from people from Turner and Warner Bros. and the cast just saying 'Wow, this is great. Congratulations!' actor Josh Henderson, who plays John Ross Ewing, told TV Fanatic of the success of the premiere. It was so exciting. It was a good day but I was in my bed reading my email. I ended up being up until about four or five that night celebrating with friends.
Fans of the original Dallas TV series were welcomed by some familiar faces: J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray). All three actors were more than thrilled to return to the Lone Star State and pick up where they left off 20 years ago.
I said, 'who's on the show?' and they said Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Hagman told Reuters. I said 'done deal' before I even saw the script. We're buddies. It's three musketeers kinda stuff. We like working with each other.
It was like coming home, he added. If it gets half the people watching that we had for the original, we would probably be No. 1 nowadays. With the built-in audience we have left from a couple of generations ago, and the new kids that are really good actors, and good scripts, I think it will be successful. And if it is not, it's fun anyway.
Fun? Sure. Dramatic? Definitely.
The two-hour Dallas premiere was a roller coaster. Cousins Christopher (Jesse Metcalf), adopted son of Bobby, and John Ross (Josh Henderson), son of J.R. and Sue Ellen, are fighting over the rights to Southfork, which J.R. wants to reclaim for himself after leaving the care facility he has been in while recovering from depression. Bobby offers up the land to Marta Del Sol, a woman who promises to protect the environment, but she turns out to be as shady a character as anyone and could give those Ewing boys a run for their money.
And what is Dallas without some lovers' turmoil?
Christopher comes home with fiancée Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo) for their wedding. Before he left to stud in Asia, Christopher was engaged to Elena (Jordana Brewster), a childhood friend and Southfork native. When Christopher and Elena get a moment alone together, Elena brings up the email that broke them up -- a message she received from him on the night before their wedding, saying that he could not go through with the vows. But Christopher tells him he never sent an email. When Elena confronts John Ross, who has been in love with her for years and chased her after Christopher left, he denies sending it as well. Christopher is now happily married; or, possibly, just married, since Rebecca reveals that she is not who she appears.
The Dallas premiere left viewers dangling from more than one cliffhanger. The cast of 2012 Dallas have offered up some spoilers regarding the upcoming season. Do you want to know what is in store for Southfork's most raucous family?
Two Generations of Ewing
The drama between J.R. Ewing and his son, John Ross, has only just begun. In the season premiere, viewers saw that in an attempt to get back control of Southfork, J.R. Ewing snapped back to his conniving ways. But John Ross proves that the apple does not fall too far from the tree. He is just as devious as his father and is willing to step on good ol' dad's toes if that is what it takes to rise to power.
That sets up the game between J.R. and John Ross and sets up the battlefield, actor Henderson told Entertainment Weekly. We're both feeling each other out. He knows he can't really trust me, and he feels like he's one-upped me. But John Ross is a mover and a shaker, and I always try to stay one step ahead of him.
The stakes become huge. Huge in the sense of money, pride, and safety -- it gets dangerous. It's juicy.
Love triangles? More like love webs. The relationships in Dallas are certainly just as entangling as ever.
Here is a simple breakdown: Christopher was engaged to Elena. He and Elena broke up. He moved to Asia. He met Rebecca. They got engaged. John Ross has been in love with Elena. He followed Elena to Mexico after she and his cousin broke up. The two began dating. When Christopher came back with Rebecca it became clear that some feelings between him and Elena still lingering, much to the chagrin of John Ross.
Actresses Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo offered up some spoilers about love in Dallas.
I'm playing Rebecca, who is brand new to this whole family, to this new dynamic, to this already established crazy, dynasty of a family and she's just trying to find her way and she's just really in love with Christopher and she just wants to fit in, Gonzalo told Access Hollywood.
Once in Southfork, Rebecca meets Elena, who does not have it as easy as one might think.
She's an outsider, and yet she's a part of them in that she's very loyal to Bobby and Ann, Brewster told IGN in a previous interview. I think that Bobby's almost like a foster dad to her because she lost her dad so young, and I think Bobby helped with her education. Of course, Christopher's her first love, so I think there's that relationship, which I think is very interesting. So Elena's really interesting because there's this conflict where she wants to draw on Southfork -- she's very ambitious -- and yet she's very loyal to them, and I think deep down she's a very moral, good character. So that was really fun to play.
Don't expect any flashbacks showing how the love between Christopher and Elena grew.
No [flashbacks], but that would be really fun, the actress told Access Hollywood. That would be really fun to shoot... Actually, they did have a flashback. They had like a mini Elena ... a younger Elena ... but I think they cut that out unfortunately. It was like Elena and Christopher playing.
As for her relationship with John Ross, Elena might not be done with power-hungry Ewing just yet.
I think she just really wants to believe that's he's turned [over] a leaf and I think that John Ross does really love Elena, said Brewster. I think that's what's so interesting about all these characters, is that they're so complex and they think that they're doing the right thing. I think she wants to believe that he's doing the right thing and he's not. It's not black or white with these characters. It's very gray. So, I think it's an interesting journey between Elena and John Ross.
And catfights are more Dynasty than Dallas.
It's more below the surface, said Brewster.
And it's so much smarter than that, added Gonzalo. We're totally doing that [on the inside], but on the outside, we're very proper.
Charlene Tilton Will Be Back
During Wednesday's premiere, fans of Dallas feasted their eyes on another original character, Charlene Tilton. Tilton played Lucy Ewing, the rowdy niece of J.R. Ewing. She became extremely popular for her wild child character and teenage boys across the nation considered her their pin-up girl. Tilton made her reappearance during the 2012 premiere at Christopher's wedding.
Her popularity continues to boom 20 years later.
Following the TNT show's debut, Yahoo searches on 'charlene tilton' gushed 342 percent, reported Yahoo TV. Related lookups on 'charlene tilton new dallas' spiked over 2,000 percent, and queries for 'how old is charlene tilton' jumped 225 percent (she's 53, by the way). Even her character moved the search needle -- queries for 'lucy ewing' more than tripled overnight.
Fans of Lucy Ewing are in luck! Tilton is set to stick around for more than one episode of the new TNT series.
You know that Charlene Tilton [who played Lucy Ewing] comes back for a couple episodes, and Steve Kanaly [who played Ray Krebbs] and Kenny Kercheval [who played Cliff Barnes] come back for a couple, Patrick Duffy told the Huffington Post. Cynthia was asked this a few months ago and she said, 'I will tell you that any actor who has had a part on Dallas and is still alive, the option is out there and they can come back.' So anything's a possibility -- if it would service the show, any of those characters could resurface, as long as that character is still alive.
The 2012 version of the Dallas TV show is taking things to another, more dramatic level. On that level are some mega surprises for viewers.
There's a few unexpected deaths, actor Metcalf told Entertainment Weekly.
Will Bobby die from his gastrointestinal tumors? Will J.R. commit suicide (something he considered at the end of the original series in 1991) if he cannot return to power? Will John Ross die at the hands of someone he has crossed?
Stay tuned. This ain't no rodeo.