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Last updated at 09:33 BST, Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dallas comeback


18 June 2012

In terms of comebacks, it could be one of the most unlikely. Yet one of the world's most popular long-running TV series, Dallas, is returning to television. There will be new characters, but the show's producers are hoping viewers will once again get excited by JR's evil plans, and his brother Bobby's selfless devotion.


John McManus

Larry Hagman

One of the Dallas actors, Larry Hagman


Click to hear the report


It was the soap opera that gripped us with the feuding and love-lives of the Ewing family, oil millionaires from Texas, who despite their vast wealth, all chose to live side by side in a vast ranch. Dallas became so popular that it was sold to TV networks around the world and the 1980 cliff hanger of 'who shot JR', the show's resident villain, was watched by 80 million people.

JR of course, survived the shooting, and now his character, played by Larry Hagman, is swaggering through Texas once more, alongside his saintly brother Bobby, and alcoholic ex-wife Sue-Ellen. The original series became synonymous with a free-market 'greed is good' view of the world, where it was acceptable, and even expected, that the rich would flaunt their wealth.

So making money will still be the main motivator for most of the Ewings. Yet in the middle of a global downturn, with real Americans struggling to find jobs and pay their bills, will anyone want to watch it again? Larry Hagman is optimistic. He says the original series became popular during a US recession, as people chose to stay at home to save money, and watched TV instead. Of course, what viewers will really want to see, is JR getting away with double-crossing his own family... again... and again... and again...


Click to hear the vocabulary


soap opera

a television or radio drama series dealing typically with daily events in the lives of the same group of characters.


take a firm hold of



cliff hanger

ending in suspense


walking confidently


good - almost holy


closely associated


show off