Dallas was a long-running primetime television soap opera about a wealthy Texas oil family. The first show aired on the CBS network from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991.
The series is probably best-known for the central character of J.R. Ewing, the vain, greedy, scheming, crass oil baron played by Larry Hagman for the show's entire run.
It is also known for two famous episodes that made TV history:
- "Who Done It?" - The 1979 - 1980 season ended with J.R. being shot. Viewers had to wait all summer to learn whether J.R. would survive, and which of his many enemies was responsible. "Who Done It?" aired on November 7, 1980. It was one of the highest-rated episodes of a TV show up to that time. The great success of this stunt helped usher in the practice of ending a television season with a big cliffhanger. This entered into United States popular culture, with t-shirts printed with such references as "Who Shot J.R.?" and "I Shot J.R.!" being common over the summer.
- "Return to Camelot" - One of the show's stars, Patrick Duffy, left the program in the spring of 1985. His character, Bobby, was plowed down by a car and died, on camera, on May 17, 1985. When Duffy agreed to return to the show in 1986, producers ended the 1985-1986 season, on May 16, 1986 with a shot of Duffy emerging from a shower. Fans had to wait until September 26 to learn how the writers would explain Duffy's return. Most were disappointed with the solution: Bobby's ex-wife, Pam, had dreamt the entire previous season, including Bobby's death. This caused a conflict elsewhere, as references to Bobby's death were made in the spin-off TV show Knots Landing.
The series was shot at the Southfork Ranch which is now a tourist attraction and a convention center. It is located in Plano
, a suburb north of Dallas
. Many of the show's exteriors, including shots of each protagonist's respective skyscraper office, were also shot in the Dallas area.
A spin-off series, Knots Landing, ran from 1979 to 1993.
- Miss Ellie Ewing Farlow, played by Barbara Bel Geddes (and, for a brief period, by Donna Reed)
- John Ross (Jock) Ewing Senior, played by Jim Davis
- Bobby Ewing, played by Patrick Duffy
- Michelle Stevens, played by Kimberly Foster
- Sue Ellen Ewing, played by Linda Gray
- John Ross (J.R.) Ewing Junior, played by Larry Hagman
- Donna Culver Krebbs, played by Susan Howard
- Ray Krebbs, played by Steve Kanaly
- Clayton Farlow, played by Howard Keel
- Carter McKay, played by George Kennedy
- Cliff Barnes, played by Ken Kercheval
- James Beaumont, played by Sasha Mitchell
- Callie Harper Ewing, played by Cathy Podewell
- Jenna Wade, played by Priscilla Presley
- Pamela Barnes Ewing, played by Victoria Principal
- Jack Ewing, played by Dack Rambo
- Lucy Ewing, played by Charlene Tilton
- April Stevens, played by Sheree J. Wilson