“Dallas” traced the stories of the feuding Ewing and Barnes families against the backdrop of the Texas oil industry
“Dallas” aired it’s first episode 43 years ago today
“Dallas” aired it’s first episode 42 years ago today on April 2, 1978. The prime-time television soap opera ran from 1978 to 1991 on CBS and became one of the world’s most popular TV shows. Tracing the stories of the feuding Ewing and Barnes families against the backdrop of the Texas oil industry, the show featured an ensemble cast. Larry Hagman starred as ruthless oil tycoon J.R. Ewing. After a slow start, the show became a Top 10 rating hit and was the top-rated prime-time show in the U.S. for three years in the 1980s. “Dallas” was famous for cliffhanger episodes to close its seasons, guaranteeing a big audience at the start of the next season. It’s 1980 “Who Done It” episode, which revealed who shot J.R. Ewing the question became a cultural phenomenon, remains the second-highest rated single television broadcast in U.S. history. “Dallas” lead to a spinoff series ”Knots Landing”, (1979 to 1993) a prequel TV movie, two TV movies that aired after the series was canceled, and a 2012 TV revival that ran for three seasons on TNT. The series won four Emmy Awards, including a 1980 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series win for Bel Geddes. With its 357 episodes, Dallas remains one of the longest lasting full-hour prime-time dramas in American TV history, behind Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (400+ episodes), Bonanza (430 episodes), Law & Order (456 episodes), and Gunsmoke (635 episodes). In 2007, Dallas was included in TIME magazine’s list of “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME”.
By Ken Warren, 2017/18
Look back at “Dallas” 1978 Intro
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