TNT's Dallas: 10 Highlights From the Show's Nostalgia-Heavy TCA Press Tour Panel

Jokes about showers, shootings and senior citizenship set the tone for a lighthearted, nostalgia-heavy Dallas panel Saturday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.

Joining Southfork veterans Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray to talk up the forthcoming TNT update (premiering this summer) were the next generation of Ewings, including Jesse Metcalfe, Josh Henderson, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and Brenda Strong.

Here are 10 highlights from the session:

1 | TNT’s top exec, Michael Wright, insisted the show was neither a reboot nor a remake, but rather, “A continuation of the story of the Ewings.”

2 | A palpable chill could be felt (and a smattering of snickers heard) when a reporter asked whether Victoria Principal would make an appearance as Bobby’s first wife, Pam. “I don’t know yet,” responded exec producer Cynthia Cidre rather icily. (FYI: The show is set to wrap production on its first season on Jan. 31).

3 | Cidre later confirmed that Pam is alive. “The mythology that we carry forward is that after she had that crash with the oil tanker [in the ’80s], and left the family and abandoned [her son] Christopher (now played by Metcalfe), she went and eventually had plastic surgery and married [her surgeon].” (Bobby, meanwhile, has similarly moved on with Strong’s character.)

4 | Further underscoring the huge generational gap between the old and new guard, Brewster announced that she was “born the year J.R. was shot.”

5 |  The series does not marginalize the original cast post-pilot. “It was never our intent to use the big three as bait,” maintained Cidre. “It was really to integrate them with the full cast.” Added Duffy: “So far we’ve been in every episode.”

6 | Hagman’s recent cancer diagnosis has had little impact on production. “They gave me a little time off, but in this biz you can shoot three or four episodes at the same time,” he told TVLine. “My treatment is going very well. They’re not writing me out, I can tell you that.”

7 | Asked why he agreed to resurrect J.R., a still-spry Hagman cracked, “Working at 80 years old! How many people can say that?” (He later joked that the Friends cast “owes me at least 10 percent” for the precedent-setting hard line he took during contract negotiations during Dallas‘ original run.)

8 | J.R. and Sue Ellen’s relationship remains as tempestuous as ever. “Yesterday we did a scene after 13 years and she gave me my first slap,” revealed Hagman. Gray quickly added with a laugh, “It was great.”

9 | Metcalfe took a subtle dig at Desperate Housewives while raving about the bond he shares with his Dallas co-stars. “I’ve had great experiences [before],” he said, “but I never felt that my cast was my family, and it makes for great chemistry and bleeds into the work.” Less subtle was his reaction when a reporter reminded him that he remains best known for playing a shirtless gardener on DH. “Please don’t tell me that,” he sighed.

10 | Asked about his iconic season-erasing shower scene during the original Dallas, Duffy gamely replied, “I don’t do showers anymore,” before turning to Henderson and Metcalfe and adding, “That’s these guys.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. dee123 says:

    It’s not Desperate Housewives fault that Jesse Metcalfe has the acting range of a paper bag. He will be the one let down of this probably.

  2. Gerald says:

    I will watch it out of curiosity and because of the original characters: Sue Ellen, Bobby and JR…. I really don’t care about the other stuff though. Plus, I really hate the actors portraying the sons as they’re both terrible actors and I can’t stand them.
    I’m glad that they are really planning to use the old characters and have them really be part of the show, instead of using them as ratings bait like 90210.
    As for Pam, I would love for her to come back and have a love triangle with Bobby and his wife. That being said, they got it all wrong as Pam died. After the car crash, she was severely burned in the fire. While recovering from her burns, she decided to get away from the Ewings, disappear and divorce Bobby for a second time.
    She resurfaced using her late Aunt Maggie’s & late Cousin Jimmy’s last name Monahan and going by the name Pamela Monahan. Tracked down by her brother Cliff, Pam had undergone plastic surgery. She told him that she was also involved with her doctor and that she wished to have no further ties to Dallas, or anyone from her past. Pam later explained to the doctor that she lied because of having an unspecified, fatal illness, and that she did not want to burden Bobby, Cliff or Christopher with the ordeal of losing her all over again

    • scorpo says:

      so how did they get it wrong. You just said everything that they did. Pam did NOT die. As you had said it was left as she was alive saying she had a fatal illness. It was never addressed again, so it is possible that her illness was not fatal at all. I think it would be AWESOME if they pulled a Melrose Place and brought Pam back much like they did with Kimberly out of the blue on MP!

    • Cynthia DeLaSalle says:

      I will watch…am so excited..I think to continue the series is a brilliant idea….can’t wait for it to start…good luck, hope is gets great reviews…

  3. mike says:

    anybody know if this will air on any Canadian channels

  4. kris says:

    OMG who is Linda Gray’s plastic surgeon? She looks AWESOME for her age!

  5. marco says:

    Linda is so beautiful. Time has been very kind to her. She has such a warm and genuine personality as well

  6. simon pal says:

    Cant wait for new dallas. I know we got it on channel 5 here in the uk. But does anyone know the date it will be shown in the uk.