in , ,

Why Producers Killed J.R. on Dallas

America’s favourite TV show Dallas registered a 14-season-long successful run before coming to an end in 1991. The show narrated the story of the affluent Texas oil family The Ewings and became so popular that other than inspiring TV movies, it also led to a spin-off series Knots Landing, which also became a massive hit in itself. In 2010, TNT announced a reboot series that would pick up from where the show had left in 1991. The reboot version came to an end on September 22, 2014.

The TIME magazine included Dallas in its list of 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME. Dallas is most certainly an iconic show that gave us many unforgettable characters. Perhaps the most memorable of these characters is J.R. Ewing, the show’s breakout character who was supposed to appear in the show only occasionally. However, as the series advanced, the audience became more invested in J.R. Ewing than Bobby Ewing who was supposed to be the original lead. J.R.’s character was killed in season 3 finale of the original Dallas. Why? We not only answer this question in this video but also tell you some fun facts about one of television’s most successful series.

Here’s Why Producers Killed J.R. on Dallas

J.R. or John Ross Ewing Jr. is undoubtedly the most famous character from Dallas. The egocentric and psychopathic oil baron appeared in all 357 episodes of the series and was a real crowd-puller. Actor Larry Hangman played the role not just in the original series but also in the reboot version that lasted from 2012 to 2014. However, even after being the show’s most famous character, the producers of Dallas decided to kill J.R. in the 25th and final episode of season three of the show. The episode is considered one of the famous cliffhanger episodes of all time. The audiences were promised that during November 21, 1980, episode, it would be revealed to them who killed J.R, and believe it or not, 350 million people sat glued to their screen to find out who J.R.’s mystery killer was.

Since J.R. was so popular, his death came as a big surprise. So, why did the producers and writers of Dallas decide to kill the series’ most famous character? Well, the success of the show had gone to Larry Hangman’s head, and he had become quite difficult to deal with. During the third season, Larry decided to take undue advantage of his popularity and threatened to leave the show unless the producers agreed to meet all of his demands. The producers were pissed and instead of caving in, decided to kill Hangman’s character, J.R.

Hangman and Gray Were Great Buddies

While Larry Hangman’s attitude towards the writers and producers of Dallas was certainly not appreciable, there was one person on the sets he got along really well with and that was Linda Gray, who played Sue Ellen Wing, J.R.’s unhappy wife. Thankfully, their relationship was entirely platonic — the two were just great friends, which was a good thing. After all, when co-actors enter into romantic relationships, love eventually always becomes a problem in some or other way. Gray once famously said that acting with Hangman was similar to playing tennis with someone who knew the game better than her.

Hangman Drank like a Fish

On Dallas, it was Linda Gray’s character Sue Ellen who drowned the sorrows resulting out of her unhappy marriage to J.R. in alcohol. In fact, after a point, Linda got so tired of playing the drunk woman that she decided to quit the show. Yes, Linda Gray quit the show because she didn’t want to play the same character any longer.

Though Sue Ellen was the one who struggled with alcoholism in Dallas, in real life, it was Larry Hangman who drank like a fish. Patrick Duffy who played the youngest Ewing son Bobby accepted in an interview that he and Hangman drank a lot while on the sets of Dallas. According to Duffy, the two would start their day on the sets with a glass of champagne, followed by another drink during lunch hours, and would end the shooting with a bottle of wine. This would usually be followed by another drink before dinner. Further, according to Duffy, while he would not drink in between shots, Hangman consumed alcohol through the day.

Are you enjoying these facts about Dallas? The audiences loved Dallas, but they hated season 9, which came to be known as The Dream Season. We will tell you how and why the writers of the show decided to come up with The Dream Season. Meanwhile, if you are enjoying this video, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel.

In Hangman’s Opinion, J.R. Was Not a Bad Guy

J.R. Ewing was most certainly a flawed character — he had many problems. However, according to Hangman, the guy was just misunderstood. In an interview given to Ultimate Dallas, Hangman weighed on J.R. According to Hangman, J.R. is a businessman and therefore, he has to be the way he is. More importantly, since the guy always takes care of his family, one cannot say he is an all-out bad character.

Well, they say the best villains are those who feel convinced that they are doing the right thing. Perhaps the true reason behind J.R.’s popularity is the fact that Hangman believed that J.R. was right and therefore, played the part with conviction.

Thousands of Dallas Fans Visit the Southfork Ranch Each Year

Those who have seen the show must most certainly be familiar with the Southfork Ranch. The ranch houses the Ewing Mansion, which was at the centre of Dallas. The Southfork Ranch has been turned into a museum and event space now and every year, thousands of Dallas fans visit the ranch. The ranch houses the graves of Miss Ellie, Jock, and J.R. Of course, the graves are empty, but fans nevertheless visit them and pay their respects. Funnily, after J.R. was shot dead on the show, the fans of Dallas held a vigil for their favourite character, much to the anguish of the family that lived there. That day, the lawn at Southfork was filled with hundreds of disappointed Dallas fans.

Even those who have not seen Dallas are well-aware of the show’s iconic theme song. After all, the show’s catchy theme song gets stuck in the head easily.

Dallas Fans Have Jerold Immel to Thank for the Show’s Theme Song

Jerold Immel is the man behind Dallas’ iconic theme song. Immel did not only write and compose the theme song of the show but also created the score for the entire series. That apart, he was also chosen to create music for the first two Dallas TV movies. He also scored the music for Knots Landing as well as the 2012-reboot version of Dallas. However, Immel is most prominently remembered for his work on Voyagers! and Gunsmoke.


 Was Initially Called


When David Jacobs started working on the plot for the show, he didn’t have much in mind, but he knew one thing for sure that he wanted to base the story in Texas and that it would be about a family dealing in oil. During his background research, Jacobs came to understand that Houston was the oil town in Texas and therefore, he chose Houston as the base for his story. After working on the script, Jacob approached the executives at Lorimar Television. The script landed in Lorimar executive Michael Filerman’s hands and he loved it.

However, there was one thing about the script that he didn’t like, the name Houston. According to Filerman, the title ‘Houston’ did not have any ring to it. He suggested that Jacobs move his story to Dallas. Dallas was a banking and insurance town and therefore, the idea did not appeal much to Jacobs. Further, Jacobs knew nothing about the town, except for the fact that the city was the site of Kennedy assassination. However, he decided to listen to Filerman and it is good that he did. Dallas certainly sounds better than Houston.

Here’s another fun fact about the show: Dallas was supposed to be a five-episode miniseries and David Jacobs wrote only the first and final episode of the original script. Arthur Bernard Lewis, Virginia Aldrige, and Camille Marchetta worked on the other three episodes. Of these three, Lewis emerged as the show’s most prominent writer.

Victoria Principal Refused to Return to the Show Even After Being Offered a Hefty Fee

Pamela Ewing and Bobby Ewing’s love story had millions of viewers hooked to the show. It was a tragic but unforgettable story. Victoria Principal played Pamela Barnes Ewing on Dallas for ten seasons. During season 10, her character dies in a tragic car accident after her car runs into a truck carrying propane and butane, leaving Pamela’s body completely charred.

After Pamela’s death, the fans of the show kept rooting for her return. Thus, the producers of Dallas approached Victoria Principal to make a return to the series. However, Victoria did not want to spoil what had been a perfectly memorable ending to her character and storyline and therefore, she declined. In return, the producers offered to pay her a big cheque, which would have made her the highest-paid actress on television. Victoria, however, didn’t budge, and that is why the producers cast Margaret Michaels as Pamela, with the background story being that Pamela had undergone extreme plastic surgery to revive her face after the accident.

The Dream Season Was Conceived to Bring Back Patrick Duffy

Patrick Duffy decided to quit the show to pursue the other opportunities that were coming his way. Thus, his character was killed in season 8 finale of Dallas. However, after Patrick departed from the show, not only did the show’s rating decline, but Patrick also realized that he wasn’t getting the kind of work that he had expected. Therefore, when the production company Lorimar, as well as Larry Hangman, asked him to return to the series, he agreed almost immediately. However, the problem was how does one explain his return to the show? To make it possible, the entire season nine was annulled as a dream that Pamela Barnes saw. Thus, everything that happened in season nine stood cancelled in season 10. Well, the audiences hated the twist. However, they clearly forgave the writers and actors as the show lasted another five years after ‘The Dream Season.’

There Is a Reason Why Sue Ellen Lost the Election

In the 2012 reboot version, Sue Ellen ran for governor of Texas. The audiences were told that Sue had amassed a lot of wealth and powerful friends over the years to be able to run for the highest office in the state. However, Linda Gray was told from the very beginning that she would lose the election. Why? Well, the producers told her that if she won, they would have to fly her in and out of Austin, the state’s capital, a lot and frankly, they didn’t have the budget for it. What a shame! All of us were rooting for Sue.

Dallas remains one of America’s most famous and popular TV series. Is it one of your favourites too? What’s your opinion of the entire Dream Season and who was your favourite character on the show? Share your views and opinions through the comments section — we love hearing from you.

Before you move to the next Facts Verse video, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon to stay updated on all our latest videos.

Michael Landon Wet the Bed Until 12 Years Old

How Danny DeVito Got Cast in Taxi