‘Dallas’ Star Linda Gray Opened Up About Bringing Show Back for Revival

by Allison Hambrick
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

In an era when reboots and revivals are the norm, it’s hard to keep track of which shows got a second chance. Dallas was one of the first.

Back in 2012, the series returned after 20 years off the air. Original series cast members Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman, and Linda Gray returned as Bobby, J.R., and Sue Ellen Ewing, respectively. Additionally, a handful of actors from the original show made appearances, most importantly Ken Kercheval as J.R.’s nemesis Cliff Barnes. Other cast members included Jesse Metcalfe, Justin Henderson, Brenda Strong, and Julie Gonzalo.

Dallas picked up where the original series left off in 1991. It revolves around the Ewing family and their two main ownerships: Ewing Oil and Southfork Ranch. While the original series focused on the rivalries between Bobby and J.R. as well as J.R. and Cliff, the revival focused on that of their sons, John Ross and Christopher.

It received positive reviews, though it only lasted three seasons due to declining ratings. This was largely a result of the death of Larry Hagman. As the iconic J.R. Ewing, Hagman changed television. His presence on the show was irreplaceable, though they did give him an excellent send-off. In season two of the revival, an entire storyline saw the recreation of the iconic “Who Shot J.R.?” mystery, with a reasonably satisfying payoff.

Linda Gray Talks Revisiting Dallas

In an appearance on The Queen Latifah Show, Gray described her experiences with revisiting the show that made her famous. The actress said “doing what I have a passion for right now at my age, on television doing a character I love… I mean, that’s a gift.”

Gray poked fun at her character’s previous storylines. When Queen Latifah joked that she was “drunk on power,” Gray responded that “Sue Ellen was just drunk.” Even so, she felt “it was lovely to be a part of television history.”

“During that time, we didn’t have TiVo,” Gray continued. “We didn’t have VCR. There were three networks, and that’s it. Now it’s a whole different game.”

As for her young costars, Gray did admit that the cast of Dallas was pretty attractive.

“You gotta go to the gym,” explained Gray. “Look at these bodies, and you go ‘oh, I’m not going to just forget the gym another day.’ You look at them, and they’re great. They’re fabulous, and they’re charming. They’re sexy, and they’re talented, you know. It’s like what happened another 20 years after the original show. To be doing it again is quite phenomenal.”

While Dallas ended for the second time in 2014, it retains a loyal fanbase. The original show is available to stream on Amazon Prime, but the revival is only available for purchase or rent.