There’ll be a big Ewing family reunion at Southfork in the second season of Dallas as Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackelford agree to reprise their respective roles.
TNT‘s revival of Dallas will bring back two more familiar and popular characters from the original series for its forthcoming second season. TV Guide magazine has confirmed that Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackelford are heading back to Southfork.
The two played Gary and Valene Ewing; the parents of Lucy ‘poison dwarf’ Ewing (Charlene Tilton). Gary Ewing is the alcoholic brother of JR (Larry Hagman), Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and Ray (Steve Kanaly). He was the ‘black-sheep’ of the family in the eyes of JR and father Jock (Jim Davis) because he showed little interest in the oil business.
Gary and Valene were recurring characters on the original Dallas before being spun off into their own series; Knots Landing. The hugely popular spin-off ran between 1979 and 1993 but despite starring in the series the duo still occasionally returned to the parent series. However, after 1985 that changed when Dallas producers decided to wipe off an entire season as a dream to bring back Bobby Ewing from the dead.
Knots Landing had made reference to Bobby’s death, with Gary attending the funeral, and storylines revolved around the characters passing. After the dream storyline on Dallas the two shows distanced themselves and in the universe of Knots Landing the heart-throb remained dead! Shackelford and Van Ark did, however, appear in the original series finale of Dallas in 1991.
Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackelford are returning for three episodes of the second series. Quite how the producers deal with the fact Bobby’s dead as far as Valene and Gary are concerned is anyone’s guess (quietly ignored probably). The duo were offered cameos during the first series of TNT’s revival but turned them down. It was also recently rumoured that Audrey Landers is to reprise her role of Afton Cooper-Barnes, the ex-wife of Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), in the second series.