The “Who Shot J.R” storyline propelled the U.S saga to new heights and attracted millions of viewers around the world – with the press also showing a great interest. The storyline saw the entire cast of the series have reason to want the double-dealing businessman dead but in the end it was his mistress Kristin Shephard (Mary Crosby), the sister of Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), who was revealed to have done the deed.
Now producers plan to write the character of J.R Ewing out of the series – following the death of actor Larry Hagman last year – in a similar whodunit story. Show-runner Cynthia Cidre told TV Guide Magazine:
“We all felt having J.R. die of natural causes would have been completely inappropriate, not only to the character, but also to Larry Hagman,”
Filming recently began for J.R’s funeral which will see the return of several old faces to South Fork. Actresses Deborah Shelton and Cathy Podewell are returning for the special send-off. Shelton played Mandy Winger between 1984 to 1987; originally introduced as a love interest for Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) she later became mistress to J.R much to the annoyance of Sue Ellen. Cathy Podewell played JR’s second wife Cally between 1988 and 1991.
Also expected to feature in the funeral episode will be JR’s brother Gary Ewing (Ted Shackelford), half-brother Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly) and his niece Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton). Rumours continue to persist that former cast member Victoria Principal, who played Pam Barnes Ewing, will return for the funeral episode. However, producers have previously stated they do not have any plans to write the character of Pam back into the series and have also indicated Principal is not interested in returning.
Dallas will return to Channel Five, in the UK, on Tuesday 29th January.