Keep telling yourself this is not a reboot. In a new extended trailer, TNT is primed to set the record straight that when Dallas returns to television after two decades away, it will be working to catch up where the series last left off – not start the tale of the Ewing’s and their wealth of dysfunction over again.
In this Dallas, J.R.(Larry Hagman) and Bobby (Patrick Duffy) continue on in Southfork, but now the focus has shifted to their sons, John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe), as the boys stake their claim on the Ewing name – albeit in disparate ways. John Ross, being the son of the more ruthless J.R., is interested solely in continuing to drill for oil, while Christopher, whose father is the kindhearted Bobby, sees his focus shifting toward alternative fuel sources and green energy.
Check out the extended preview below:
While TNT has hedged its bets by bringing back (most of) the iconic stars of the original Dallas, there is no certainty that will translate into ratings gold. For one thing, the trend of classic television series being reworked for a modern generation has been a hit-or-miss, as the failure of ABC’s Charlie’s Angels and the success of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 can attest.
More importantly, the fact remains that many of today’s television audience wasn’t even alive when Dallas went off the air in 1991, and it is just as likely that the only exposure to Patrick Duffy most younger viewers have had, was as one the legs of the South Park monster, Scuzzlebutt.
The shift in time is certainly the big question regarding this revival of Dallas: As Scuzzlebutt’s leg Duffy clearly states in the promo, the show was “epic, in terms of appointment television.” And that statement is where much of the soap opera’s success originated. During its 14-year span, Dallas was synonymous with cliffhangers that promised devastating ramifications for the characters, and in an era lacking DVR, Hulu and encore airings, it was the epitome of must-see-TV. How else can you explain the cultural significance of the question: “Who shot J.R.?”
But now, with the advent of the aforementioned live broadcast alternatives, what will this new Dallas use in order to ensnare viewers, week after week?
Furthermore, as the worldview of oil has changed dramatically in the last 20 years – which will no doubt be depicted in the new series’ modern setting – it will be interesting to see how much bearing (if any) the current spate of socio-political protests will have on the show. Given the climate toward the uber rich, a program depicting the trappings of (among other things) inordinate wealth may be somewhat ill timed.
Then again, maybe audiences will tune in just to watch the 1% implode.
Dallas is expected to hit TNT sometime during the summer of 2012.