JR is back as Dallas returns to US screens

Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Brenda Strong, Jesse Metcalfe and Julie Gonzalo in Dallas. Photo: Zade Rosenthal

JR and Bobby Ewing appeared on American television screens for the first time in 21 years last night, as the classic 1980s soap opera Dallas returned.

Larry Hagman, 79, reprised his famous role as a wealthy oil tycoon and was joined by Patrick Duffy, who plays Bobby, and Linda Grey, JR's ex-wife Sue Ellen.

Dallas returns in US
Linda Grey continues her role as Sue Ellen Ewing in Dallas. Credit: Erik Heinila / TNT

The original cast were joined by some younger Ewings, including Desperate Housewives and John Tucker Must Die star Jesse Metcalfe - who plays Christopher.

Dallas returns in US
Christopher Ewing is preparing for his wedding to Rebecca in the first episode. Credit: Zade Rosenthal / TNT

Jordana Brewster, from The Fast and the Furious films, and Julie Gonzalo, from Veronica Mars, also play characters from the new Ewing generation.

Dallas returns in US
Christopher's wife-to-be Rebecca and John Ross' girlfriend Elena have a complicated past with the younger Ewings. Credit: Zade Rosenthal / TNT

The 10-episode series will be broadcast on American network TNT throughout this summer and is set to hit UK screens later this year on Channel 5.

Dallas returns in US
JR Ewing (right) with his son John Ross (Josh Henderson) in the show's first episode. Credit: Zade Rosenthal / TNT

Hagman said the new Dallas is fast-paced and will keep the audience on their toes:

Well, it's the same but different, in the fact that they can take five shows and condense it into one.

They have five different themes going. And it's so fast, you've got to pay attention. If you let your attention wander, you've missed a part of it.

– Larry Hagman

Dallas attracted large audiences in Britain during the 1980s and the cliffhanger in which JR was shot is still one of the most viewed television programmes ever.

Dallas returns in US
The Dallas cast will hit UK screens later this year. Credit: Mark Seliger / TNT

The original Dallas ran from 1978 to 1991 and was broadcast on US network CBS and ran to UK audiences on the BBC.

Lewis Vaughan Jones reports on the return of Dallas to American television screens.