Channel Control: Stars Walk Red Carpet for New ‘Dallas’

The new series premieres Wednesday, June 13 on TNT. It revolves around the continuing family infighting of the Ewings. However this time around, J.R. (Larry Hagman), Bobby (Patrick Duffy), and Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) are the referees to the scheming battles between their sons John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe). Their significant others are caught in the crossfire and no doubt add to the trouble the dysfunctional family makes for themselves.

They say everything’s bigger in Texas and that goes for red carpet events as well. The Winspear Opera House in downtown Dallas played host to a special star-studded VIP sneak preview screening of the first two episodes of the new show. Major press outlets including Fox and even Warner Bros. themselves packed the red carpet walk as Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Brenda Strong,  Jordana Brewster, Jesse Metcalfe, Josh Henderson, and Julie Gonzalo all took turns greeting them and answering questions. Executive producer Cynthia Cidre was also in attendance as well as other cast and crew.

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The celebrities showed up in their luxury shuttle buses and limos and were greeted by hundreds of fans. People lined up on both sides of the red carpet as others sat on blankets enjoying a live band. A monolithic “Dallas” promotional “wall” was erected in the middle of the opera house’s lawn. As they began arriving, the fans stuck out their memorabilia from the television show to get autographs and asked to snap a picture with their favorite actors.

You could immediately tell that each of the veteran actors from the original show were incredibly excited to be back in the roles that made them famous.

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Patrick Duffy shared where his character Bobby Ewing is at mentally 14 years after the last TV-movie.

“He’s the patriarch of the Ewing family now. Think back to the original “Dallas.” (Remember) Jim Davis and Barbara Bel Geddes sitting at the table together and that’s me. I am now the combination of both of those. That’s my role. Cynthia wrote me as that moral compass for the show. I’m the go-to arbitrator, peacemaker, and the sounding board. He still has the passion and everything, but he also has patience,” Duffy said.

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Linda Gray shined a little light on what we can expect out of her as an older Sue Ellen Ewing.

“She’s divorced from J.R. Ewing. She’s richer than J.R. Ewing (smiling). She still has some guilt about the way she raised her son. There’s some motherly guilt. She’s a very powerful, creative, wealthy woman living very well in Dallas, TX,” Gray commented.   

Larry Hagman was very quick to respond to the question of what’s changed about J.R. Ewing in the past 14 years.

“There’s not a damn thing different about him. You can’t change your spots at that age,” Hagman proclaimed.

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The new members of the cast were grateful to be given the chance to become a part of such an iconic legacy like “Dallas.” Each one was very vocal about how fortunate they are to be a part of such a legendary revival.

“This intertwines the old generation and the new generation. I think it’s really exciting to see how much they’ve screwed up their kids and how they’re interacting,” Jordana Brewster (Elena Ramos) remarked.

“It’s humbling and an honor. Everyone has been so lovely. Patrick, Linda, and Larry have been so welcoming. They want to make this show as successful as the original one,” proclaimed Julie Gonzalo (Rebecca Sutter).

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“It’s exciting (and) a pure joy for me,” stated Jesse Metcalfe (Christopher Ewing).

“It’s a ton of fun. (It was) a little intimidating and nerve-wracking. I knew that John Ross really needed to be on his toes and try to stay a step ahead of everyone, whether it was Sue Ellen, J.R., Bobby, or Christopher. I’m just having a blast,” said Josh Henderson (John Ross Ewing III).

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Each actor did their very best to get to as many fans as they could and sign autographs, take pictures, and chat with them. Security and event organizers had to physically usher some of them into the building and away from enthusiasts to get them to the advance screening on time. That’s not surprising, since Texas is also known as a friendly state. Ironically, I don’t think we’ll be seeing much friendliness in the Lone Star State on Wednesday nights when “Dallas” airs.  

For more pictures go here.