Dallas (TV series)

Dallas (TV series)
Dallas title card from 1989–1991
Format Serial drama
Prime time soap opera
Created by David Jacobs
Directed by Irving J. Moore
Starring Barbara Bel Geddes
Jim Davis
Patrick Duffy
Linda Gray
Larry Hagman
Susan Howard
Steve Kanaly
Howard Keel
George Kennedy
Ken Kercheval
Audrey Landers
Cathy Podewell
Priscilla Beaulieu Presley
Victoria Principal
Dack Rambo
Donna Reed
Charlene Tilton
Sheree J. Wilson
Theme music composer Jerrold Immel
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 13 (plus mini-series)
No. of episodes 357 (List of episodes)
Running time 45 Minutes
Production company(s) Lorimar Productions (1978-1986)
Lorimar Telepictures (1986-1988)
Lorimar Television (1988-1991)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480p SDTV
Audio format Mono 1978–1986
Stereo 1986–88
CBS Stereosound 1988–91
Original run April 2, 1978 (1978-04-02) – May 3, 1991 (1991-05-03)
Followed by Dallas: The Early Years
Dallas: J.R. Returns
Dallas: War of the Ewings
Dallas (2012)
Related shows Knots Landing
The Southfork Ranch, home of the Ewing family
The original cast of Dallas. Clockwise from top right are: Larry Hagman (in cowboy hat), Linda Gray, Jim Davis, Charlene Tilton, Victoria Principal, Patrick Duffy, and Barbara Bel Geddes

Dallas is an American serial drama/prime time soap opera that revolves around the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and cattle-ranching industries. Throughout the series, Larry Hagman stars as greedy, scheming oil baron J. R. Ewing. The show also starred stage/screen actress Barbara Bel Geddes as family matriarch Miss Ellie, and movie Western actor Jim Davis in his last role as Ewing patriarch Jock Ewing before his death in 1981.

The show debuted in April 1978 as a five-part miniseries on the CBS network, and then was subsequently broadcast for thirteen seasons from April 2, 1978 to May 3, 1991. Dallas was included in Time magazine's 2007 list of "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME."[1] The show was also famous for its cliffhangers, including the "Who shot J.R.?" mystery, and the "Dream Season", in which the entirety of season eight was revealed to have been a dream of one of the characters.

In 2010, TNT (sister company to Warner Bros. Television who are the current copyright owners of the series) announced they were producing a new, updated series of Dallas.[2] The new series is a continuation of the original series and will primarily center around J.R. Ewing's son John Ross Ewing III, and Bobby Ewing's adopted son Christopher Ewing, though various stars of the original series will be reprising their roles.[3] The new series is due to air on the TNT channel in mid-2012.



The show's central character is John Ross "J.R." Ewing Jr., a greedy, scheming oil baron played by Larry Hagman (a Fort Worth native). J.R. was only intended to be a supporting character when the show premiered, as the series was originally based around J.R.'s brother Bobby and his new bride, Pam. However, J.R.'s machinations became popular with viewers and he quickly became the focus of the series.[4]

Creator David Jacobs originated the idea for a drama series about four married couples (which would later become the spinoff series Knots Landing), but CBS wanted a glitzy "saga-like" show. Jacobs therefore created Dallas, a series about a wealthy family in the oil business. When Dallas proved to be a hit, CBS reconsidered Jacobs' original idea and turned Knots Landing into a spin-off of Dallas in late 1979.

The Dallas miniseries that started in April 1978 was shot entirely on location in Dallas, Texas, and at the Cloyce Box Ranch in Frisco, Texas. Later, most interiors for the show were shot at the MGM studios in Hollywood, with some exteriors being shot at the Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, and other sections of Dallas, until 1989, when rising production costs led to all filming being relocated to California. Typically the cast and crew would spend six to eight weeks filming on-location sequences in the Dallas area during the summer prior to the season, then film the remainder of the season in the Los Angeles area; less than half of the episodes in a given season had on-location sequences filmed in Dallas. MGM built a full-size replica of the Southfork Ranch backyard and pool on one of its soundstages, allowing for filming of "location" shots during the latter part of the season.


The show is known for its wealth, sex, intrigue, and power struggles. When the series began, the founder of Ewing Oil and patriarch of the Ewing family was John Ross "Jock" Ewing, Sr. (veteran movie actor Jim Davis), a ruthless oil tycoon who had allegedly cheated his one-time partner, Willard "Digger" Barnes (David Wayne, later replaced by Keenan Wynn) out of his share of the company as well as Digger's only love, Eleanor "Ellie" Southworth (veteran stage/movie actress Barbara Bel Geddes). Later, the offspring of Jock's brother would claim that their father was integral to the oil boom that created the Ewing dynasty, and sued the estate.

Jock and Miss Ellie raised three sons, J.R. (Larry Hagman), Gary (David Ackroyd and later Ted Shackelford) and Bobby (Patrick Duffy). J.R., the eldest Ewing son, unscrupulous and unhappily married to a former Miss Texas, Sue Ellen Shepard Ewing (Linda Gray), was frequently at odds with his youngest brother, Bobby, who had the morals and integrity that their daddy's namesake lacked. Middle son Gary was Ellie's favorite as he displayed Southworth (her side of the family) traits. Gary was in disfavor with both Jock and JR, and dismissed as a weak link, though Gary maintained a warm relationship with the other Ewings. Gary married a former waitress Valene "Val" Clements Ewing (later Gibson Waleska Ewing) (Joan Van Ark), who produced the first heir, the petite and saucy Lucy (Charlene Tilton), who displayed a spoiled, boy-hungry personna while residing at Southfork Ranch. Lucy had been sleeping with the ranch foreman, Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly). Ray would later be revealed as a half-sibling, an illegitimate son through an extramarital affair Jock had during World War II. Kanaly was unhappy with his small, one dimensional role and considered leaving the show. To add depth to Kanaly's character, Hagman suggested that the writers create a plot wherein Ray becomes half-brother to J.R., Gary, and Bobby, noting his resemblance to Davis. The episode where Ray and half-niece Lucy had a fling is, as Kanaly told Dinah Shore in an appearance on her show, "prayerfully forgotten, I hope."

Ray had previously engaged in a short fling with Pamela Barnes (Victoria Principal), who was Digger Barnes' (David Wayne) stepdaughter and Cliff's (Ken Kercheval) half-sister. However, Pam loved Bobby Ewing and the two married. J.R., who loathed the Barnes family, was not happy with Pam living at Southfork and constantly tried to undermine her marriage to Bobby. The feeling of acrimony was mutual from Cliff and he too tried to undermine their marriage, but in time he grew to accept it and Bobby as his brother in law.

The series ended most of its seasons with ratings-grabbing cliffhangers.[5] Some notable cliffhangers included the landmark "Who shot J.R.?" episode (which TV Guide ranked #69 on its list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time"[6]), an unidentified floating female corpse in the Southfork swimming pool, and a blazing house fire.

Cast of characters

Original main cast

Larry Hagman as John Ross "J.R." Ewing, Jr. (1978–1991 – entire run)
Eldest son of Jock and Miss Ellie.

Episodes: 357

Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing (1978–1985, 1986–1991)
Youngest son of Jock and Miss Ellie.

Episodes: 327

Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing (1978–1989, 1991)
J.R.'s long-suffering alcoholic wife. Although it is commonly believed that Gray was a principal cast member from the start, in reality she had mere guest-star status during the show's short first season (essentially an extended pilot). After impressing the producers with her talent while filming, in particular during an episode when the Ewings were held hostage and Sue Ellen was forced to reprise her Miss Texas "victory parade" in tears for the kidnappers, they decided to make Sue Ellen a lead character once the show was picked up for a full season.

Episodes: 308

Victoria Principal (1978–1987), Margaret Michaels (briefly in 1988) as Pamela Barnes Ewing
Bobby's wife, who is often forced to act as a buffer between the two feuding families. The producers' original intent was to center the entire show around the character of Pam, but it became almost immediately clear after the show's short five-episode season that J.R. was the standout character. Although Pam was undeniably a lead character for her ten seasons on the show, she was a "breakout character" to the extent that J.R. was. It was obvious since the pilot that both Pam and JR, until Pam's departure in 1987, were the stars of the show. This was shown in the pilot, "Digger's Daughter."

Episodes: 250

Jim Davis as John Ross "Jock" Ewing, Sr. (1978–1981)
Founder of Ewing Oil and head of the Ewing family.

Episodes: 75

Barbara Bel Geddes as Eleanor "Miss Ellie" Southworth Ewing (1978–1984, 1985–1990)
Jock's wife, whose family originally owned Southfork Ranch.

Episodes: 280

Charlene Tilton as Lucy Ewing Cooper (1978–1985, 1988–1990)
Gary and Val's daughter. Saucy granddaughter of Jock and Miss Ellie, and niece of J.R. and Bobby.

Episodes: 221

Steve Kanaly as Ray Krebbs (1978–1988)
Ranch foreman; Jock's illegitimate son.

Episodes: 268

Ken Kercheval as Cliff Barnes (1978–1991 – entire run)
Pam's brother, whose schemes are aimed directly against the Ewings, specifically J.R.

Episodes: 327

Additional cast members

Susan Howard as Donna Culver Krebbs (1979–1987)
Widow of former Texas Senator Sam Culver who has an affair with and later marries Ray.

Episodes: 197

Howard Keel as Clayton Farlow (Spring 1981–1991)
Dignified, and sometimes hot-tempered, oil baron. Miss Ellie's second husband and stepfather of J.R., Gary, and Bobby.

Episodes: 234

Priscilla Beaulieu Presley (1983–1988), Morgan Fairchild (briefly in 1978), and Francine Tacker (briefly in 1980) as Jenna Wade
Bobby's first true love and the mother of his only biological child Lucas Wade.

Episodes: 134

Audrey Landers as Afton Cooper (1981–1984, 1989)
Mitch's sister and aspiring singer who becomes Cliff's girlfriend, after a brief affair with J.R., and later mother of his daughter Pamela Rebecca Cooper.

Episodes: 84

Donna Reed as Miss Ellie (1984–1985)

Episodes: 24

Matriarch of the Ewing family.
Dack Rambo as Jack Ewing (Spring 1985–1987)
A wandering cousin, son of Jock's brother Jason.

Episodes: 51

Sheree J. Wilson as April Stevens Ewing (1986–1991)
Jack's ex-wife, who eventually marries Bobby.

Episodes: 108

George Kennedy as Carter McKay (1988–1991)
Becomes the head of WestStar oil and the adversary of J.R.

Episodes: 67

Cathy Podewell as Cally Harper Ewing (1988–1991)
J.R.'s young second wife.

Episodes: 56

Kimberly Foster as Michelle Stevens (1989–1991)
April's sister, who marries J.R.'s eldest son James and then Cliff Barnes.

Episodes: 37

Sasha Mitchell as James Richard Beaumont (1989–1991)
J.R.'s illegitimate son with old flame Vanessa Beaumont.

Episodes: 39

Lesley-Anne Down as Stephanie Rogers (Spring 1990)
PR woman who plots to make Cliff a powerful political figure.

Episodes: 7

Barbara Stock as Liz Adams (Spring 1990–1991)
Cliff's girlfriend during the final season.

Episodes: 19

Important secondary characters

Tina Louise as Julie Gray (1978–1979)
J.R.'s first secretary, with whom he is personally involved.

Episodes: 5

David Wayne (1978–1979) and Keenan Wynn (1979–1980) as Willard "Digger" Barnes
Cliff and Pam's father, former partner and sworn enemy of Jock Ewing. A legendary prospector but erratic personality, it was implied in Dallas: The Early Years that Digger could smell oil underground.

Episodes: 4 (David) Episodes: 10 (Keenan)

Ted Shackelford (1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1991 guest appearances) and David Ackroyd (briefly in 1978) as Garrison Arthur "Gary" Ewing
Alcoholic black sheep of the Ewing family and Lucy's father, who moves away to California to star in the spinoff series Knots Landing.

Episode: 9

Joan Van Ark as Valene "Val" Clements Ewing (later Gibson Waleska Ewing) (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1991 guest appearances)
Gary's wife and Lucy's mother, a central character on Dallas spinoff Knots Landing.

Episodes: 8

Mary Crosby (1979–1981, 1991) and Colleen Camp (briefly in 1979) as Kristin Shepard
Sue Ellen's scheming sister, who has an affair with J.R. Was revealed to be the one who shot J.R. in the infamous "Who Shot J.R.?" Cliffhanger.

Episodes: 28

Randolph Powell as Alan Beam (1979–1980)
Smooth-talking, ambitious lawyer who works for J.R. and was briefly engaged to Lucy.

Episodes: 18

Jared Martin as Steven "Dusty" Farlow (1979–1982, 1985, 1991)
Clayton's adopted son and Sue Ellen's sometimes lover. Biological son of Jessica Farlow.

Episodes: 34

Leigh McCloskey as Mitch Cooper (1980–1982, 1985, 1988)
Lucy's husband and Afton's brother.

Episodes: 46

William Smithers as Jeremy Wendell (1981, 1984–1989)
Head of the powerful WestStar Oil and proverbial thorn in J.R.'s side.

Episodes: 49

Susan Flannery as Leslie Stewart (1981)
A public relations agent who works with Ewing Oil and secretly tapes her conversations with J.R.

Episodes: 11

Priscilla Pointer as Rebecca Blake Barnes Wentworth (1981–1983)
Mother of Pam, Cliff and Katherine

Episodes: 44

Morgan Brittany as Katherine Wentworth (1981–1985, 1987)
Wicked half-sister of Pam and Cliff, who falls in love with Bobby, then tries to kill him.

Episodes: 57

Lois Chiles as Holly Harwood (1982–1983)
Oil heiress who becomes involved in a complex scheme with J.R. and causes Sue Ellen to drink again.

Episodes: 25

Timothy Patrick Murphy as Mickey Trotter (1982–1983)
Ray's rebellious cousin who becomes involved with Lucy.

Episodes: 27

John Beck as Mark Graison (Spring 1983–1984, 1985–1986)
Pamela's beau after her first divorce from Bobby whom Pam vows to marry in Spring 1984 due to his contraction of a fatal disease

Episodes: 67

Omri Katz (1983–1991) and Tyler Banks (1980–1983) as John Ross Ewing III
J.R. and Sue Ellen's son.

Episodes: 133

Christopher Atkins as Peter Richards (1983–1984)
Twenty-year old lover of Sue Ellen and mentor to little John Ross.

Episodes: 27

Shalane McCall as Charlie Wade (1983–1988)
Jenna's daughter.

Episodes: 86

Alexis Smith as Lady Jessica Farlow Montford (1984, 1990)
Clayton's criminally insane sister and biological mother of Dusty Farlow.

Episodes: 11

Deborah Shelton as Mandy Winger (1984–1987)
A model who becomes one of J.R.'s many mistresses. She was previously involved romantically with Cliff Barnes.

Episodes: 62

Jenilee Harrison as Jamie Ewing Barnes (1984–1986)
Daughter of Jock's brother Jason who Cliff marries to gain control of her share of Ewing Oil. She later divorces Cliff, moves to California

Episodes: 69

Fredric Lehne as Eddie Cronin (1984–1985)
Lucy's lover.

Episodes: 19

Daniel Pilon as Renaldo Marchetta (1984–1985)
Jenna's ex-husband and Charlie's father.

Episodes: 9

Joshua Harris (1985–1991) and Eric Farlow (1983–1985) as Christopher Ewing
Bobby and Pam's adopted son, biological son of Kristin Shepard and Jeff Farraday.

Episodes: 92

Martha Scott as Patricia Shepard (1979 and 1985)
Sue Ellen and Kristin's money hungry mother.

Episodes: 10

Barbara Carrera as Angelica Nero (1985–1986)
Exotic businesswoman who dangerously tangles with J.R.

Episodes: 25

Steve Forrest as Ben Stivers/Wes Parmalee (1986)
Ranch hand who claims to be Jock.

Episodes: 15

Jack Scalia as Nicholas Pearce (1987–1988, 1991)
Stockbroker who becomes infatuated with Sue Ellen.

Episodes: 12

Andrew Stevens as Casey Denault (1987–1989)
Young hustler who works for J.R., romances Lucy in order to use her money.

Episodes: 32

Leigh Taylor-Young as Kimberly Cryder (1987–1988)
Daughter of the largest owner of WestStar stock, whom J.R. tries to marry in order to gain control of the company.

Episodes: 20

Beth Toussaint as Tracy McKay Lawton (1988–1989)
Carter McKay's daughter who becomes involved with Bobby.

Episodes: 17

Jeri Gaile as Rose Daniels McKay (1988–1991)
Carter's young wife.

Episodes: 15

Ian McShane as Don Lockwood (1989)
English film director who helps produce Sue Ellen's idea for an unflattering film about J.R., eventually Sue Ellen moves to London and marries him.

Episodes: 13

J. Eddie Peck as Tommy McKay (1989)
Son of Carter McKay, a drug dealer.

Episodes: 13

Gayle Hunnicutt as Vanessa Beaumont (1989–1991)
Mother of J.R.'s eldest son James Richard Beaumont, an old flame of J.R., briefly attempts to rekindle their romance after J.R. has married Cally.

Episodes: 13

Susan Lucci as Hilary Taylor/faux Sheila Foley (1990–1991)
Psychotic kidnapper who causes April's death as April and Bobby honeymoon in Europe.

Episodes: 6

Deirdre Imershein as Jory Taylor (1991)
Daughter of Hilary Taylor who becomes romantically involved with Bobby Ewing.

Episodes: 8

Barbara Eden as Lee Ann De La Vega (1990–1991)
An old girlfriend of J.R. who plots revenge against him for making her have an abortion, making her unable to have children.

Episodes: 5

Gene Evans as Garrison Southworth (January 1979)
Ellie's long lost brother who is afflicted with a terminal illness and returns to Southfork to live out the rest of his life. Gary Ewing is named after him.

Episodes: 1

Sandy Ward as Jeb Ames (1978–1979)
One of J.R.'s business associates, involved in a deal based on the infamous Red Files.

Episodes: 5

John Ashton (1978–1979) and Ed Nelson (briefly in 1978) as Willie Joe Garr
One of J.R.'s business associates, involved in a deal based on the infamous Red Files.

Episodes: 6

Lisa LeMole as Susan (1978)
J.R.'s second secretary.

Episodes: 5

Meg Gallagher as Louella Caraway Lee (1978–1981)
J.R.'s third secretary.

Episodes: 37

Jeanna Michaels (1979–1981) and Donna Bullock (briefly in 1978) as Connie Brasher
Bobby's first secretary.

Episodes: 32

Don Starr as Jordan Lee (1978–1990)
A member of the cartel.

Episodes: 88

Fern Fitzgerald as Marilee Stone (1979–1987, 1989)
Promiscuous female member of the cartel, whose husband committed suicide after losing money in a deal with J.R.

Episodes: 73

Barbara Babcock as Liz Craig (1978–1982)
Pam's boss at The Store.

Episodes: 16

John Zaremba (1978–1986) and Dan Ammerman (briefly in 1978) as Dr. Harlen Danvers
The Ewing family physician.

Episodes: 13

Dennis Patrick as Vaughn Leland (1979–1984)
Cattleman's Bank executive.

Episodes: 19

George O. Petrie as Harv Smithfield (1979–1991)
The Ewing family's attorney.

Episodes: 50

Tom Fuccello as Senator Dave Culver (1979–1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991)
Donna's stepson.

Episodes: 35

Jeff Cooper as Dr. Simon Ellby (1979–1981)
Sue Ellen's psychiatrist.

Episodes: 19

E.J. André as Mr. Eugene Bullock (1979–1983)
Elderly international shipping tycoon.

Episodes: 6

Karlene Crockett as Muriel Gillis (1979–1983)
Lucy's nerdy best friend.

Episodes: 12

Morgan Woodward as Punk Anderson (1980–1987)
Oil executive and Jock's best friend.

Episodes: 55

Stephen Elliott as Scotty Demarest (1980, 1985, 1987)
The Ewing family's criminal attorney.

Episodes: 14

Joanna Cassidy (1980–1981) and Andra Akers (briefly in 1979) as Sally Bullock
Wife of Eugene Bullock.

Episodes: 2

Anne Francis as Arliss Cooper (1981)
Mother of Mitch and Afton, Lucy's mother-in-law.

Episodes: 4

Sherill Lynn Rettino as Jackie Dugan (1979–1981, 1982, 1983–1991)
Pam's co-worker at The Store, later Cliff's secretary at Barnes-Wentworth Oil, eventually James' secretary at Ewing Oil.

Episodes: 158

Deborah Tranelli as Phyllis Wapner (1981–1991)
Bobby's second secretary.

Episodes: 130

Debbie Rennard as Sylvia "Sly" Lovegren (1981–1991)
J.R.'s fourth secretary.

Episodes: 164

Roseanna Christiansen as Teresa (1982–1987, 1989–1990, 1991)
The Ewing's maid.

Episodes: 96

Alice Hirson as Mavis Anderson (1982–1988)
Punk's wife and Miss Ellie's best friend.

Episode: 26

Danone Simpson as Kendall Chapman (1982–1991)
Ewing Oil receptionist.

Episodes: 89

Martin E. Brooks as Edgar Randolph (1983–1984)
Government worker in charge of Offshore Oil Field auctions that JR drives to sanitarium from blackmail about his troubled past.

Episodes: 10 .

Family tree

John Ross "Jock" Ewing, Sr.
Eleanor "Miss Ellie" Southworth Ewing Farlow
Clayton Farlow
John Ross "J.R." Ewing, Jr.
Sue Ellen Shepard Ewing
Garrison Arthur "Gary" Ewing
Valene Clements Ewing
Bobby James Ewing
Pamela Jeanne Barnes Ewing
John Ross Ewing III
Lucy Ewing Cooper
Mitch Cooper
Bobby Ewing
Betsy Ewing
Christopher Ewing (adopted)

Deaths and departures

By the time the series ended, most of the family had departed:

  • Jock Ewing (Jim Davis) was the first to depart, with the actor's death in 1981.
  • Bobby Ewing was constantly heartbroken, having lost (by death) both Pamela Ewing and April Stevens Ewing and also Jenna Wade (ultimately to brother Ray) after realizing he still loved Pam. His 1985 "death" and subsequent absence for one season was explained away as the infamous "dream" year, which effectively erased anything that had happened during 1985-1986.
  • Pamela Ewing was severely injured in a car accident in the 1986–1987 season finale, and left Bobby and Christopher due to her apparent inability to let them see her in such a physically disfigured fashion. Nevertheless, while Victoria Principal never returned again to the series as Pam during its final four years before cancellation, Margaret Michaels, a Principal look-alike, played the character in the season premiere of 1988–1989.
  • Donna Culver Krebbs and Ray Krebbs divorced in 1987, the former moving to Washington, D.C. Ray then subsequently left Dallas with his new wife, Jenna, bound for Europe by the fall of 1988.
  • Lucy Ewing returned to Southfork in spring 1988, but then left again two years later for Europe as well.
  • Sue Ellen Ewing left Dallas in 1989 to move to London with her new film-director boyfriend and then-husband.
  • Barbara Bel Geddes left the series in 1984, replaced as Miss Ellie for one season by Donna Reed, returning the following year in a high-profile public relations debacle that left Reed infuriated and in litigation with series producers. At the end of 1990, Miss Ellie and Clayton left Dallas, traveling and presumably later settling in Europe, near Ray & Jenna. Miss Ellie did not return for the final season.
  • Clayton Farlow returned only briefly in the final season, clearing up business that included deeding Southfork to Bobby.



Dallas was notable for its cliffhangers. Throughout the series' run, nearly every season ended with some sort of cliffhanging ending designed to drive ratings up for the season premiere the following year.

Miniseries cliffhanger: Although this really was not a cliffhanger, the end of the fifth episode of the original Dallas miniseries saw J.R. go up to the loft of the barn to talk to Pam, who had gone up there to find Lucy, who she believed was up there having a tryst with ranch foreman Ray. J.R., intoxicated, tries to convince her to tell Bobby not to leave the ranch. However, she does not want to be bothered, and, in trying to escape J.R., she falls from the loft, landing square on her stomach. Pam, who is pregnant, miscarries her unborn child. Later, Sue Ellen questions J.R. as to whether it was really an accident or did he mean for Pam to fall on purpose, however, J.R. does not answer her, leaving it up to the viewer to decide.

Season One cliffhanger: Sue Ellen's drinking problem has landed her in a sanitarium, where she is pregnant with a child she believes is Cliff Barnes'. She escapes from the sanitarium, gets drunk, and then gets into a severe car accident, putting her life and the baby's life in danger. The doctors deliver the baby, named John Ross Ewing III (after J.R (John Ross, Jr.). and Jock (John Ross, Sr.)), but he is very small on delivery and is not out of the woods yet. Neither is his mother, who, as the episode ends, is clinging to life. A very distraught J.R. is watching his wife at the end of the episode in tears, saying that she's "just gotta live."

Season Two cliffhanger: To cap off a season where J.R. has angered nearly everyone in the state of Texas, someone comes into his office late at night and shoots him twice.

Season Three cliffhanger: Cliff finds a body in the Southfork pool while heading to a late-night business meeting with Bobby. He goes to see who it is (factors point to Pam although there is no definitive evidence to that effect), and when he looks back up J.R. is standing on the balcony over the pool, near the area where the person fell. Believing J.R. is responsible Cliff says to his rival, "She's dead. You bastard."

Season Four cliffhanger: Cliff Barnes' year had not been a good one. Sue Ellen, with whom he'd had an off and on relationship, decided to return to J.R. and marry him again. In addition, J.R. helped to nearly drive Cliff's mother's tool and die company into bankruptcy, which cost Cliff his job. He attempts suicide with an overdose of pills and a guilt-ridden Sue Ellen rushes to his bedside as Cliff lays in a coma. J.R. tries to convince Sue Ellen that it was not anybody's fault but Cliff's for what happened, but Sue Ellen disagrees and says she does not know if she can remarry J.R. if Cliff dies.

Season Five cliffhanger: A drunk Sue Ellen and Ray Krebbs' cousin Mickey Trotter are involved in an accident, in a car belonging to J.R., just outside Southfork. Sue Ellen emerges unhurt, but Mickey is paralyzed and in a coma. Ray finds out that the driver of the other car was Walt Driscoll, J.R.'s rival. He also learns that Driscoll deliberately caused the accident, thinking that J.R. was driving, as a means of revenge for being put in jail by J.R. earlier in the year. An angered Ray comes to Southfork late at night demanding answers from J.R., who was not expecting to see him. J.R. asks him what is going on and Ray says he's going to kill J.R. for what happened. J.R. throws a candle holder at Ray, which misses him and knocks over another candle holder with lit candles in it. As the two brawl, the candles ignite a fire and the smoke starts to creep into both John Ross and Sue Ellen's bedrooms. J.R. notices the fire and tries to break free of Ray, finally knocking him out with a telephone, and runs upstairs to try and save his wife and son. Ray recovers and runs after J.R. but is consumed by smoke and falls. J.R. is hit with a falling beam as he gets upstairs and both men are unconscious as Southfork burns.

Season Six cliffhanger: Just like in season two, J.R. was crossing people left and right. And just like in season two, a mysterious figure broke into his office at Ewing Oil at night. Someone is sitting in his office chair with their back to the potential assassin, who fires three shots at this person. The person slumps out of the chair and falls on the floor, and the audience sees that Bobby Ewing has been shot.

Season Seven cliffhanger: Bobby, who has been divorced from Pam for two years and is engaged to Jenna Wade, decides that he wants to remarry his ex-wife instead and Pam agrees. The next morning, as the two are getting set to leave, someone drives a car at a high rate of speed toward Pam. Bobby shoves her out of the way just before she is hit, but cannot get out of the way of the car in time to save himself and is hit and severely injured. Bobby is rushed to the hospital where he later dies. (In the Season Nine premiere, Bobby's death and all of Season Eight would be revealed as a dream that Pam was having)

Season Eight cliffhanger: Evil businesswoman Angelica Nero intends to kill J.R. and his cousin Jack for double crossing her, but J.R. has her apprehended by the police. Unfortunately, Angelica has already put her plans into motion. She has her henchman attach a car bomb to Jack's car, which explodes with Jamie inside. After hearing this on the phone, J.R. runs out of his office to go to Jack's apartment. As he leaves the office, Sue Ellen arrives in the other elevator looking for him. As soon as she enters J.R.'s office, a time bomb left by Angelica goes off, and the entire floor that houses Ewing Oil explodes, showering debris onto the street below. The scene then shifts to Pam in bed, the day after her marriage to Mark Graison. Pam wakes up to hear the shower running. Assuming it's Mark, she opens the shower door, only to find Bobby Ewing, alive and well. (In the Season Nine premiere, Bobby's death and all of Season Eight would be revealed as a dream that Pam was having). It should be noted however, that with the exception of Bobby's death, all other major "facts" of Season Eight somehow come to pass to preserve the over all continuity of other story lines.

Season Nine cliffhanger: Pam, on her way home from the doctor's office after finding out she can finally conceive a baby, crashes into the fuel tank of a semi-truck, engulfing her car in a fiery explosion.

Season Ten cliffhanger: J.R. and Sue Ellen's new beau Nicholas Pearce fight in J.R.'s penthouse hotel suite, and during the course of the fight Pearce goes over the balcony and falls to his death. Shocked by what she has just seen and believing that J.R. has killed her lover, Sue Ellen then picks up a gun from the floor and shoots J.R. three times. She then picks up the phone and tells the police she would like to report a double murder.

Season Eleven cliffhanger: Sue Ellen prepares to leave Dallas for good, but before she does she has one last surprise for her ex-husband J.R. Sue Ellen has made a biographical motion picture about her marriage to him (with actors portraying them and the other Ewings) and previews the film to J.R. who is shocked by what he has just seen. Sue Ellen tells J.R. that she is leaving Dallas, but if he ever crosses her again in the future- or even if she wakes up on the wrong side of bed one morning-she will release the film and J.R. will be made "the laughing stock of Texas" and ruined forever. She then leaves Dallas, triumphant at last.

Season Twelve cliffhanger: After deliberately committing himself into a sanitarium in order to persuade a patient (Clayton's sister Jessica) to sign over her voting majority in Weststar Oil, J.R.'s plan backfires when Cally Harper, his latest scorned woman, and his illegitimate son James Beaumont coerce him into signing a property waiver before they will allow him to be released. Once he does, James tears up J.R.'s release papers anyway leaving him trapped in the sanitarium with no means of escape.

Season Thirteen cliffhanger: After finally losing Ewing Oil to Cliff Barnes, control of Southfork to Bobby, and being abandoned by his wife and children, a drunk and despondent J.R. begins walking around the ranch alone with a loaded gun wishing he had never been born. A gunshot is later fired in J.R.'s bedroom as Bobby returns to Southfork, and he rushes up to J.R.'s room and gasps, saying "Oh, my God!" as the series ends. (See below for more information.)

Final episode

In this episode, titled "Conundrum" (originally aired on CBS, May 3, 1991), J.R. is contemplating committing suicide. Southfork was taken out of his control and given to Bobby by Miss Ellie, while Cliff Barnes now had control of Ewing Oil. Clayton had given J.R. voting rights at Weststar, but J.R. was tricked into believing he would become Chairman of Weststar by Carter McKay. J.R. had sold his half of Ewing Oil to Cliff to take over Weststar, but old foe and stepbrother Dusty Farlow revealed that he had sold his Weststar shares to McKay, thus making McKay the majority stockholder. McKay fired J.R. from Weststar after revealing that he had set him up (McKay had sent two Weststar directors to J.R. and convinced him to sell Ewing Oil to pave the way for a Weststar takeover that would never happen). John Ross, his own son, disowned him and moved to London to be with his mother. Now, drunk and despondent, J.R. walks around the pool with a bourbon bottle and a loaded gun, when suddenly another person comes into view...a spirit named Adam (portrayed by Joel Grey), whose "boss" has been watching J.R. and likes him. Adam proceeds to take him on a journey to show him what life would have been like for other people if he had not been born. Among what he shows him:

  • Without J.R., Gary became the oldest Ewing son, and the youngest was Jason (who would have been born had J.R. never been around; Jason never appeared in the TV series as he did not really exist).
  • With Gary in charge of Ewing Oil upon Jock's retirement, the company went bankrupt. Stress from it killed Jock, and Miss Ellie died of a broken heart two years later; she never meets Clayton Farlow.
  • Jason, a shady real estate developer swindled Gary and Bobby out of their shares in the company and Southfork, and proceeded to tear the compound down and build tract houses on it called Southfork Estates. Also the most hated Brother. Bobby tells Jason he never forgot the $500,000 (Possibly from the amount he had from what was left of Ewing Oil after liquadition sale of the Ewing Building) he blew and destroyed Bobby's savings on a bad real estate deal which led to Bobby being a hustler and Jason confirmed that was the only real estate he ever had lost money. Which also led to Jason being a big shady Real Estate Developer much worst then JR ever was
  • Having never met Pam, Bobby continued his wild ways from before and ended up as a down-on-his-luck hustler who was behind on alimony payments to his wife Annie and kids J.R., Bobby, and Ellie. He also ends up behind on his gambling debts to Carter McKay, who owns casinos in Las Vegas. (McKay was fired by Jeremy Wendell at Westar.)
  • Gary became a successful divorce lawyer who never married, and thus never had Lucy Ewing, J.R.'s niece. (He does eventually meet Valene Clements, his wife in the real world, but nothing ever comes of it other than a date whose outcome was never discussed.)
  • Without having met J.R., Cally Harper never left her poor roots, and ends up as a battered wife who lives with her husband in a shack, where she kills him and (according to Adam) will be convicted and sentenced to life in prison as no one would believe she was beaten.
  • Without J.R. in the way and forcing him to be a part of the Ewing/Barnes rivalry, Cliff Barnes was able to earn a law degree and enter politics, becoming Vice President of the United States and later Acting President due to a stroke suffered by the President.
  • Since J.R. was never born (and thus, never shot), Kristin Shepard never met him (and, thus, never died), and became a successful con artist in Los Angeles. She poses as a hooker initially and then a police officer, which sees her accept a bribe from an embarrassed customer.
  • Having never met J.R., Sue Ellen has become a successful soap opera star, with Nicholas Pearce (who was never killed off) as her loving husband.
  • With J.R. out of the picture and Jock dying before he could find out, Ray Krebbs never knew of his Ewing blood ties. After an injury he suffered in a Ewing Oil-sponsored rodeo, Ray became a down on his luck ranchhand, forcing to work two or three jobs to support his family, who are loving and very supportive of him. He does have a son called Jock.

After one final scene where Bobby settles his gambling debts with McKay, Adam eggs J.R. on to kill himself. J.R. will not do it, as he does not want Adam to be sent back to heaven with his job incomplete. Adam laughs at this, saying "Angel? What makes you think I'm from heaven?" A startled J.R. wakes up, gun and bourbon still in hands, and the scene appears to be a dream... only Adam returns, appearing to J.R. in his mirror, dressed entirely in red, and continuing to egg him on. J.R. slowly raises the loaded gun to his head, unaware that Bobby has returned home. The gun goes off while Bobby is in the hallway, and he rushes to J.R.'s room. He looks into the room, gasps, "Oh, my God," and the series ends on that note with the fate of J.R. never settled (although it eventually would be five years later, in the reunion movie, Dallas: J.R. Returns). It was believed J.R. killed himself, although in later years it was revealed he had shot the mirror (although no glass was heard).[7]

Production details

Dallas originally aired on Saturday nights when it debuted as a regular series. Within a month, the show was moved to Sunday nights, where it would stay until halfway through the season, when it took a Friday-night slot. Dallas remained on Fridays until the show ended in 1991, alternating between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. airings.

The "Who Done It?" episode of Dallas that revealed "Who shot J.R.?", the famous 1980 cliffhanger, received the highest domestic ratings at that point with over 90 million American viewers tuning in for the answer. The last episode of M*A*S*H in 1983 finally had more viewers than Dallas. The final episode of The Fugitive, broadcast in August 1967, was watched by a higher percentage of television-owning Americans (72%), although it had lesser absolute numbers. Internationally Dallas still holds the record for the most watched episode with nearly 360 million viewers tuning in to see who shot J.R.[8]


A prequel story, Dallas: The Early Years, was a made-for-TV movie that first aired on March 23, 1986 on CBS during the eighth season of the TV series.

There were also two made-for-TV reunion movies that aired on CBS several years after the series ended, Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996) and Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998).


Season Premiere Finale Episodes Rank
Miniseries April 2, 1978 April 30, 1978 5 #44
Season 1 September 23, 1978 April 6, 1979 24 #40
Season 2 September 21, 1979 March 21, 1980 25 #6
Season 3 November 7, 1980 May 1, 1981 23 #1
Season 4 October 9, 1981 April 9, 1982 26 #1
Season 5 October 1, 1982 May 6, 1983 28 #2
Season 6 September 30, 1983 May 18, 1984 30 #1
Season 7 September 28, 1984 May 17, 1985 30 #3
Season 8 September 27, 1985 May 16, 1986 31 #6
Season 9 September 26, 1986 May 15, 1987 29 #11
Season 10 September 25, 1987 May 13, 1988 30 #22
Season 11 October 28, 1988 May 19, 1989 26 #29
Season 12 September 22, 1989 May 11, 1990 27 #43
Season 13 November 2, 1990 May 3, 1991 23 #61
JR Returns November 15, 1996 1 #10
War Of The Ewings April 24, 1998 1 #23

DVD releases

Season 1 on DVD is the original mini-series. When the show went to formal production as a regular weekly series, what is on DVD referred to as Season 2 was Season 1 of the weekly series.

The show is rated  M  in Australia and  M  in New Zealand for its low-level violence.

DVD Season Common Season Count Ep # Region 1 Region 2 (UK) Region 2 (Germany) Region 4 Comments
Seasons 1 & 2 Mini-Series & Season 1 29 August 8, 2004 November 1, 2004 May 20, 2005 October 22, 2004 The first-and-second-seasons DVD box set has five double-sided DVDs, which contain the 5 episodes from the miniseries and the 24 episodes from the first regular season. The Region 1 release includes a "Soap Talk" Dallas reunion special. Both Region 1 and Region 2 have three commentaries by actors Larry Hagman and Charlene Tilton, and series creator David Jacobs.
Season 3 Season 2 25 August 9, 2005 September 26, 2005 September 16, 2005 October 19, 2005 The third-season DVD box set has five double-sided DVDs, which contain the 25 episodes from that season. It includes commentaries by Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray on two major episodes and the special documentary Who Shot J.R.?: The Dallas Phenomenon.
Season 4 Season 3 23 January 24, 2006 May 22, 2006 June 16, 2006 May 5, 2006 The fourth-season DVD box set has four double-sided DVDs, which contain the 23 episodes from that season. It includes a cast reunion special from 2004: Dallas Reunion: The Return To Southfork, which aired on CBS on November 7, 2004.
Season 5 Season 4 26 August 1, 2006 November 17, 2006 November 17, 2006 December 6, 2006 The fifth-season DVD box set has five double-sided DVDs, which contain the 26 episodes from that season. It includes a documentary called: A Living Landmark: A Tour of the Real Southfork Ranch.
Season 6 Season 5 28 January 30, 2007 February 19, 2007 March 2, 2007 June 5, 2007 The sixth-season DVD box set has five double-sided DVDs, which contain the 28 episodes from that season. It includes a documentary that delves into the legacy of Dallas then and now.
Season 7 Season 6 30 July 31, 2007 September 17, 2007 August 17, 2007 TBA The seventh-season DVD box set has five double-sided DVDs, which contain the 30 episodes from that season. It includes the story behind the iconic Dallas theme song and is titled The Music of Dallas.
Season 8 Season 7 30 February 12, 2008 February 18, 2008 March 28, 2008 TBA The eighth-season DVD box set has five double-sided DVDs, which contain the 30 episodes from that season. The special feature is called Dallas Makeover – Travilla Style and deals with the Emmy award winning costumes of the show.
Season 9 Season 8 31 July 15, 2008 September 22, 2008 August 15, 2008 TBA The ninth-season DVD box set has four double-sided DVDs, which contain the 31 episodes from that season. The special features include the documentary Seasons of Change, an in depth look at the most famous dream sequence of all time, the entire ninth season, and its impact on the storylines, the fans, and stars. There is also a look back at Season 8 to examine the effect of Barbara Bel Geddes' departure for a year, and her eventual return.
Season 10 Season 9 29 January 13, 2009 January 19, 2009 January 16, 2009 TBA The tenth-season DVD box set has three double-sided DVDs, which contain the 29 episodes from that season. The opening episode, "Return to Camelot" is the two part syndicated version. This set contains no special features, unlike previous releases.
Season 11 Season 10 30 April 21, 2009 July 20, 2009 July 17, 2009 TBA The eleventh-season DVD box set has three double-sided DVDs, which contain the 30 episodes from that season. The opening episode, "After the Fall" is the two part syndicated version. This set contains no special features, just as the previous release.
Season 12 Season 11 26 January 19, 2010[9] March 1, 2010[10] March 5, 2010 TBA The Complete Twelfth Season DVD box set has three double-sided DVDs, which contain the 26 episodes from that season. Like Seasons 10 and 11, this set contains no special features.
Season 13 Season 12 27 April 13, 2010[11] September 13, 2010[12] November 5, 2010 TBA The Complete Thirteenth Season DVD box set has three double-sided DVDs, which contain the 27 episodes from that season. Like Seasons 10, 11, & 12, this set contains no special features.
Season 14 Season 13 23 January 18, 2011[13] March 21, 2011[14] January 21, 2011 TBA The Complete Fourteenth Season DVD box set has five single-sided DVDs, which contain the 23 episodes from that season. This is the first-ever season to contain single-sided discs.
Dallas: The Movie Collection TV Movies 4 April 12, 2011


TBA July 8, 2011 TBA The Early Years, J.R. Returns, The War Of The Ewings, Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork

N.B.: The Early Years is labelled as being widescreen. It is in 16x9 anamorphic mode, but only by placing black bars on either side of the original 1:33:1 image.


Dallas began airing on SoapNet in 2003, but has been off that network since August 2008 following SoapNet's decision not to renew their rights to it. Previously the show aired on TNN.

Dallas was syndicated to local stations beginning in the 1980s, but it is unclear as to what markets still air the series.

On January 1, 2011, CMT aired the Show for 1 day.[dated info]

It has been announced for the UK channel CBS Drama that the entire series is to be shown starting on the 30th September 2011.[16]

New series

In 2010, the TNT channel announced they had ordered a pilot for the continuation of the Dallas series. The new series will center primarily around John Ross and Christopher Ewing, the now-grown sons of J.R. and Bobby. After viewing the completed pilot episode, TNT proceeded to order further episodes (10 in all) to be screened in mid-2012. The new series will also feature several stars of the original series (including Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray) reprising their original roles.


  • A Dallas comic strip ran in newspapers during the 1980s, illustrated by cartoonist Dick Kulpa and distributed by the L.A. Times Syndicate.
  • There was a 1980s computer game based on the series called Dallas Quest.
  • On November 7, 2004, CBS aired a prime-time special enitled Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork, in which the stars reminisced about their work on the series (by coincidence, actorHoward Keel, who played Clayton Farlow, had died earlier that same day). The special was later included as a bonus feature on the season 4 and "TV Movies Collection" DVD sets.


In 2007, British comedian Justin Lee Collins went about searching for all the stars of Dallas to bring them back together for a special reunion party. The show was broadcast at 9 p.m. Sunday, May 27, 2007, on UK television network Channel 4 as part of the Bring Back... series. After hunting down most of the main cast by any means necessary (e.g., climbing over security fences and ambushing hotels), Collins managed to interview them and gain more knowledge about some of the decisions made throughout the show's seasons. The participants amongst the cast were Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Ken Kercheval, Charlene Tilton, Susan Howard and Mary Crosby. He held his own Oil Baron's Ball, where unfortunately none of the main cast turned up. However, in a surprise move, the actor who played baby Christopher (Eric Farlow) turned up.

On November 8, 2008, a reunion to commemorate the show's 30th anniversary was held at Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, reuniting original cast members Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Ken Kercheval, Steve Kanaly and Charlene Tilton. Other cast members in attendance were: Susan Howard, Audrey Landers, Mary Crosby, and Sheree J. Wilson. The front and back lawn of the fictional Ewing family home played host to a massive barbecue filled with people from the Dallas area, across the U.S. and around the world (who paid as much as $1,000) to reminisce and celebrate the series, as well as meeting with cast members. During the festivities, Kercheval said he was shocked to see the continued support for the show 17 years after it last aired. "I don't understand it," he said. "The staying power. Who knew?" Linda Gray also fondly remembered her time on the show: "I think it was a special time. It was a time when there weren't a hundred million channels and the Internet and all of the other things that came to existence."

In March 2011, the Texas Theatre in Dallas began showing two episodes of Dallas on the big screen every Sunday; over 100 patrons, some in costume of their favorite characters, appeared at the free screenings every week. However, the screenings came to an abrupt end in May 2011 after Warner Bros. issued a cease-and-desist against the Texas Theatre for unauthorised showings, citing the fact that those that were involved in the show's production were not getting paid or benefitting from these screenings.[17]

J.R. Ewing's hat, a foremost symbol of the show's inherent "Americanness" that contributed to its hold over audiences on a global scale, is currently held in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's collections.[18]

See also

Downtown Dallas from the Trinity River.jpg Dallas-Fort Worth portal


  1. ^ Poniewozik, James (September 6, 2007). "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME". Time (Time.com). http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1651341_1659192_1652529,00.html. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ Jordan, Chris. "TNT, TBS Order 4 Pilots, Including 'Dallas' Update" TV Squad; September 8, 2010
  3. ^ "Will You Watch the New Dallas Reboot?". People.com. 2011-02-02. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20463058,00.html. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  4. ^ Jacobs, David (April 15, 1990). "TV VIEW; When the Rich And the Powerful Were Riding High". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/15/arts/tv-view-when-the-rich-and-the-powerful-were-riding-high.html?scp=10&sq=jr%20ewing%20dallas&st=cse. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  5. ^ Meisler, Andy (May 7, 1995). "TELEVISION; When J. R. Was Shot The Cliffhanger Was Born". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/07/arts/television-when-j-r-was-shot-the-cliffhanger-was-born.html. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  6. ^ "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time" TV Guide; June 15, 2009; Pages 34–49
  7. ^ Carter, Bill (May 6, 1991). "So 'Dallas' Is Finally Over. Or Is It?". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/06/arts/so-dallas-is-finally-over-or-is-it.html. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  8. ^ Goodbye Texas, hello Woking!
  9. ^ Dallas Season 12 DVD at Amazon.com
  10. ^ Dallas Season 12 UK confirmation at Ultimate Dallas
  11. ^ Dallas Season 13 TvShowsOn.com
  12. ^ Dallas Season 13 Play.com
  13. ^ Dallas The Complete 14th and Final Season Announced TVShowsOnDVD
  14. ^ http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/17589258/Dallas-Season-14/Product.html
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/tv/2011/03/25/entire-run-of-dallas-357-episdoes-to-be-repeated-on-cbs-drama-in-the-autumn-115875-23014032/
  17. ^ Dallas Observer: "Warner Bros. Tells Texas Theatre to "Cease And Desist" Dallas Screenings. Now.", May 13, 2011.
  18. ^ "J.R.'s Hat". National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. http://historywired.si.edu/object.cfm?ID=56. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 

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