When Dallas first came on our screens in 1978, it didn’t really take off. It seemed the world wasn’t ready for the soap opera surrounding the oil-rich Ewing family. But as the third season came about, popularity grew, and the series has since gone on to be one of the most popular TV shows in history. But if you want to know a bit more, check out these Dallas secrets…
Keeping up appearances
Dallas ran for a whopping 357 episodes and featured many main characters. However, only one of these characters appeared in every single episode of the show. That actor was Larry Hagman, who played everyone’s favorite, John Ross ‘J.R.’ Ewing, Jr. Well, done Hagman.
Famous actress, Linda Gray played Sue Ellen in Dallas. But when Gray came onto the show, she didn’t have an actual part. Instead, she just improvised parts in the background. Eventually, her hard work and perseverance paid off, and her character was eventually bulked out, and she became a regular and one of the main characters on the show.
Who plays J.R?
We all know Larry Hagman as J.R., But he nearly didn’t get the part. In fact, Hagman wasn’t the first choice for the role of J.R. The role was initially offered to another actor, Robert Foxworth, but he turned it down because he didn’t feel the character was really ‘him’ and felt the character needed softening before he could play him. But his rejection played in Larry Hagman’s favor…
Who shot J.R.?
Dallas was extremely popular in the states and built up a huge fanbase. The show became even more popular after J.R. was shot, and the “Who Shot J.R.” episode in 1980 was one of the highest rating shows of all time. The episode was viewed by 83 million people in the US and more than 300 million people across the world. Woah. It held the record for the highest rated episode until it was overtaken by the M*A*S*H finale in 1983.
During the middle part of the ‘80s, Linda Gray (who played Sue Ellen) was fired, very briefly from the show. It was reported that she asked for the chance to direct episodes of the show, like her co-workers, and also asked for a pay-rise. The network felt this was unacceptable and fired her. But Larry Hagman got her back on the show, after threatening to leave himself if she wasn’t given back her job. Go, Larry!
The house we see on Dallas was called the Southfork Ranch and is a real house. The home is called Duncan Acres in Texas and was even owned by a man called Joe R. Duncan (J.R). But as Dallas became more and more popular, many fans and tourists used to visit the ‘Southfork Ranch’ at all times of the day. This became a nuisance to the Duncan family, so they were forced to sell their home, and the house is now a Dallas museum.
Controversy over the show
Although millions of people enjoyed watching the show, there were some who found it to be controversial and inappropriate, especially in different countries. In Germany, one of their main broadcasting networks, ARD refused to translate or show seven episodes from seasons one to three because they believed their storylines were unnecessary and too controversial for their viewers.