Blood and Oil Preview

Blood & Oil Baron Don Johnson Deflects Dallas/J.R. Ewing Comparisons

Though Don Johnson plays a ruthless oil baron on the new ABC drama Blood & Oil (fka Oil fka Boom), any comparisons to Dallas end there.

“The only thing that we have in common is that tangentially oil is a part of it,” the actor attested Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.

And while Johnson holds the iconic TV character of J.R. Ewing, played by the late Larry Hagman, in high regard, he shrugs off that comparison as well. “I know a lot of these [powerful] guys, so I took an amalgamation … and rolled them into Hap Briggs,” his Blood & Oil alter ego.

Premiering Sunday, Sept. 27 at 9/8c, Blood & Oil follows young marrieds Billy (Gossip Girl‘s Chace Crawford) and Cody Lefever (Red Band Society‘s Rebecca Rittenhouse) CHACE CRAWFORD, REBECCA RITTENHOUSEas they make tracks for Rock Springs, North Dakota, where “a millionaire is made every day” in the wake of a massive oil find. There they meet Hap Briggs, “the Baron of the Bakken” of North Dakota, who is willing to play a little dirty to get what he wants.

Airing on Sunday evening, “We are in historically a primetime soap slot,” notes Johnson, who is also an executive producer on the series, “and my feeling was, is, and remains that we are elevating the expectations to a higher level.

“You’re going to get the triangles and the twists and turns and the soapiness, but along with that you’re going to get incredibly sophisticated, well-told stories… That’s really what attracted me to the material.”

And it’s a good thing the Miami Vice vet took a shine as he did, as he was the producers’ prime pick to tackle the pivotal role.

“Don was our first choice, he was our only choice, there was no ‘Plan B’ — we got incredibly lucky,” executive producer Tony Krantz shared. “We know that we got not only a smart producer, but we got an icon America looks at and loves.”

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  1. Jistine says:

    When I originally watched the trailer, I thought of Dallas. Then when I heard that the creator of the Dallas reboot was joining the show as EP (I think that’s her title, not positive), I couldn’t help but think of Dallas more! I’ll still be checking the show out! Love Don and it will be interesting to see Chace in something very different from Gossip Girl.

    • Susannah says:

      The creator of the Dallas reboot is part of this show? That’s discouraging as that was really bad in my opinion. I still want to watch Blood & Oil though, I can’t resist a good soap. I hope it’s as good as Revenge was that first season.

  2. Mr. Tran K says:

    Blood & Oil is always a carbon copy of Dallas now I can imagine seeing Don Johnson’s character as the inner JR Ewing and I also see Amber Valletta’s character as the inner Sue Ellen. As for the series, not in the mood for it when it’s going up against The Good Wife in the 9 p.m. Sunday night time slot.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      “always”? It hasn’t even been on yet.

      • Mr. Tran K says:

        So what gives Matt? I meant to say that Blood & Oil is like a Dallas rip-off and I guess you don’t get that message. Complain all you want Matt ’cause I really don’t care about your honest opinion.

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    I generally don’t get why people compare shows like that but even if it is similar Dallas isn’t on the air anymore and this one is so why not check it out. I know I plan too.

    • David4 says:

      I agree. It’s like comparing every cop show on the air. Or saying every comedy about a group of friends is just like Friends.

      • Bob Backus says:

        On the surface, you are right, but shows like Dallas and Miami Vice etc were huge if not iconic, so when you copy it it’s noticed more. While every cop show is superficially similar to another cop show, if you suddenly had one attempting to be stylish, slick and about the drug trade in Miami, (almost like Silk Stockings- never saw it but) then I think you can legitimately say it’s a rip-off.

      • GuyAwks says:

        Exactly. Noone says that legal shows or cop shows or medical shows are carbon copies of each other even though they are. Yet when two soaps share vaguely similar premises, 30 years apart, it’s a crime against originality.

  4. H says:

    I don’t see why the Dallas comparison is a bad thing. What brings the show down is the terrible Chace Crawford.

  5. Boiler says:

    I feel like I need a shower after watching Don Johnson. No thanks on this one

  6. Ralph says:

    I just want Dallas back!

  7. Annie says:

    It’s odd that so many people who are involved in primetime serials don’t want to embrace the soap label. Everything about the show screams that it is a soap, and there is nothing wrong with that.

  8. There’s a big Dallas shaped hole in my tv schedule, so I hope it’s just enough like Dallas to fill that void.

  9. Miller says:

    I am so happy to have Don Johnson back on TV! I will definitely watch this!

  10. Abe Froman says:

    Didn’t people think Dynasty was a Dallas rip off way back when?

  11. j r you wing says:

    Dallas rip off. Call Patrick Duffy for his comment. Put Dallas back on!

  12. Diz says:

    I love Don Johnson. I will definately be tuning in.

  13. June Schott says:

    I saw a couple of the trailers and some of the scenery is not North Dakota. We don’t have snow covered mountains in North Dakota.

  14. Alicia says:

    Not having seen the character, Don Johnson is no Larry Hagman. Hagman’s JR Ewing set the stage for antiheroes.

    There should be no comparison, because there IS NO comparison.

  15. Ally Oop says:

    Two new shows this fall really really excite me: Blood & Oil and Quantico.

  16. GuyAwks says:

    Blood & Oil is the new Revenge- I couldn’t be more excited for it! Finally another soap about rich people that isn’t a Shondaland mess.