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.”