Tag Archives: Dallas

Jesse Metcalfe Convinced ‘Dallas’ Will Have Long Life Even After J.R.’s Death

jesse metcalfeWith so much focus on the loss of Larry Hagman – and the death and funeral of his dastardly TV alter ego, J.R. Ewing – as the second season of TNT’s “Dallas” gets underway this week, one can’t help but wonder whether the show can go on once they’re finished saying goodbye.

Jesse Metcalfe is convinced it can.  Asked if he thinks there will be a Season 3, the handsome 34-year-old actor now known to “Dallas” fans as Christopher Ewing answers flatly, “I know it will happen.

“Obviously, I don’t have that information yet from the powers that be,” he adds.  “But I feel strongly that this is a hit show and that the ensemble of actors we have is incredibly talented.  We all have great chemistry, and the writing is very strong.”

He acknowledges, “Yes, it was Larry Hagman’s show.  He was the heart and soul of the show — by far the most popular character on the show.  Most people identify the show with J.R. Ewing.  I thought we would have more time with Larry, and that time was definitely cut short.  But the writers and the producers and of course the actors are doing everything they can to honor Larry and honor J.R. and do everything in the best way that they can.  And that’s why they’ve succeeded in producing some of the most entertaining episodes.  Out of a very tragic event comes some very exciting television — and I don’t think Larry would have wanted it any other way.”

Indeed.  With show re-creator Cynthia Cidre having revealed that J.R.’s death will not be from natural causes,  Hagman will posthumously rack up what will, in all probability, be the distinction of playing the only TV character to have not one, but two major murder mysteries surrounding him.  Of course you’ll recall the ratings record-breaking “Who Shot J.R.?” of 1980.

The storylines involving the younger generation of Ewings are rolling on as well.  Christopher, the ecology-minded, adopted son of nice guy Bobby (Patrick Duffy), has won back the lovely Elena (Jordana Brewster) from J.R.’s ever-more-craven oilman son John Ross (Josh Henderson) — and the cousins are fighting for control of their Ewing Energies company.

“Elena and Christopher are still in the honeymoon stage of their rekindled romance, and certainly John Ross is not very happy about that.  He gets his digs in wherever he can,” Metcalfe relates.  “But for at least the first half of the second season Elena and Christopher are pretty solid.  I’d say the first season was more raw emotions, the second season is more of a chess match.  And obviously, we’re always in each other’s faces — we’re all living in the same place, Southfork, and working in the same place, Ewing Energies.”

The “Dallas” team certainly doesn’t have THAT degree of closeness, but the cast members do stay in Dallas condos while shooting is underway, they do hang out together, they do sound fond of each other.  Metcalfe says, “If anything, we’ve all grown closer in the wake of Larry’s death.“

The Carmel Valley, California-born actor, who gained public attention as sexy teenage gardener John Rowland on “Desperate Housewives” — and went on to big screen success with “John Tucker Must Die” — makes it clear he cares very much about the “Dallas” fans.  In fact, he sounds downright affectionate toward those who “stuck with the original show through all 13 seasons and now are staying with our show.  You feel a responsibility toward them.”  He says he hasn’t found any downside to his newfound “Dallas” fame – here or overseas.  The show is a huge hit in the U.K. and elsewhere.

But fame does have its, um, distractions.  For instance, it’s been widely reported Metcalfe is engaged to the beautiful Cara Santana.  But he says, “No, I’m not getting married.  I have a very serious girlfriend but that’s just a piece of misinformation that keeps reappearing.”  He laughs, “As if there wasn’t enough pressure already.”

This season’s shooting will wrap in April, and Metcalfe would like to find a juicy new assignment, he says.  In fact, “All of us are looking for hiatus projects.  I’d just like a piece of material that feels right for me, a story I want to tell.  That’s a great thing about being on a cable show.  It’s not that rigorous a schedule.  It’s intense while you’re shooting it, but it’s only 15 episodes.  The first season was 10, now we’re lucky enough to get 15.  But it’s still only six months of the year – very different from a 22-episode season.”

So, he wouldn’t mind continuing to play Christopher on and on?

“I think the viewers are going to be very pleased with Season 2,” he says.  “So I don’t see any reason why there won’t be a third, a fourth, and probably a fifth season.”

Time will tell.




Brenda Strong Addresses Victoria Principal ‘Dallas’ Rumors

Forget internet rumors that have Victoria Principal making a surprise appearance on the “Dallas” continuation that TNT is offering up tomorrow (6/13).

“I’m not sure where those rumors were generated.  I do know that she’s not part of our first season,” says Brenda Strong, who segued from “Desperate Housewives” to becoming the current Mrs. Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy).  “That doesn’t mean that if we continue on that she won’t be a part in some way.  Our executive producers haven’t denied the possibility of any of the older character coming back”.

As you are likely aware, Larry Hagman and Linda Gray are back, along with Duffy, in addition to brief guest turns by Charlene Tilton and Ken Kercheval.  As far as the new guard, TNT has hit a gusher with the oh-so-watchable Jesse Metcalfe, Josh Hamilton, Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo.

Brenda’s character, Ann, is a perfect fit into theTexasclan.  She and Bobby have been wed seven years as viewers rejoin the action at Southfork Ranch.  “InLos Angeles, that’s a long-term marriage,” she quips.

Brenda says that the new and original cast members bonded so well and spent so much time together while shooting in Dallas, “That long-term friendship of Larry and Linda and Patrick started bleeding over into the rest of us.  We wanted to spend time together, so we did.  I think part of it is that we all got lifted up out of our normal lives and deposited into this magical place half-way across the country.”

Hence, Jesse and Patrick would be out horseback riding together while Brenda and Julie were working on their shotgun skills at the target range.  Cast members went to concerts together, or met to view episodes of the original series.  “Julie had all 14 seasons,” notes Brenda.

As far as whether the zeitgeist is right for Ewings2, she points out, “There are similarities between now and the ’70s.  We’re in an economic crisis, and that’s the climate we had then.  That’s why people love to hate J.R. Ewing — because he’s a man with a lot of money and a lot of immorality.  I think in a lot of ways, it’s a guilty pleasure for those who are struggling to escape to a more rich and decadent environment.  In that respect, we’re right on the money — no pun intended.”

Eric Braeden: ‘They’re Replacing the Soaps with Crap’

Eric Braeden and the real John Jacob Astor

Daytime royalty, with 32 years of playing Victor Newman on “The Young and the Restless” so far, Eric Braeden doesn’t mince words when he talks about how it feels to be on one of the last soaps standing.  “Not very good, to be honest.  They’re replacing the soaps with bull#$@!, with crap.  It’s what happens when huge corporations take over, things are reduced to the lowest common denominator,” blasts the actor, who is being seen on the big screen now as the “Titanic’s” wealthiest passenger, John Jacob Astor.

“You cannot tell me that all of a sudden, people who have been used to the novelistic form of entertainment, soap operas, have suddenly lost interest,” he goes on.  “This form of serialized storytelling goes back to radio, to serialized novels.  Dickens was essentially a soap opera writer.  The desire to see, to be part of that has not died suddenly.  I think it has died in the minds of some executives.”

Braeden’s last contractual go-round, in 2009, was so difficult that for awhile, it appeared he might be ending his run with the show.  He finally wound up with his current three-year deal that runs into the fall.  His feelings about his future on “Y&R”?  “To be honest with you, I don’t know.  I don’t,” he says.  “It depends on how hostile an environment the negotiations are carried out in.  If it’s as adversarial as it was, I have no interest.”

And yet, his love of the work itself continues, he is quick to add.  “I love acting and the challenge of making something real…I think soap actors are the most disciplined lot of all.  Of course, all the way to work, I reflect on the idea that I am still one of the few people working.  I’m deeply grateful to be able to do that.”

SPEAKING OF SOAPS:  Daytime drama fans were heartened this week by ABC’s decision to renew the stalwart “General Hospital,” and give the heave-ho to one of the new alternative daytime shows, “The Revolution.”  And, while soaps have largely disappeared from daytime, they’re proliferating in prime time.  Several soap writers have migrated to ABC Family, grinding out serialized fare for the younger set.  TNT’s upcoming “Dallas” continuation is already causing big excitement months before its June 13 debut.  A network press mailing of the first seven episodes already has many viewers hooked.  Wait until you see that hot younger generation of Ewings!  And what could be soapier than the probable return of Judith Krantz’ “Scruples” as an ABC series starring beautiful people Claire Forlani, Chad Michael Murray and Boris Kodjoe?  Shooting this month, the “Scruples” pilot boasts a script from Bob Brush and Mel Harris, who are executive producing along with Tony Krantz (the elder of author Judith and the late Steve Krantz’ sons), Annette Savitch and Natalie Portman.

Brenda Strong Ready to Go From One Prime Time Soap to Another — Or Both

Brenda Strong

“Desperate Housewives” Emmy nominee Brenda Strong is thrilled with her nod from the Television Academy, but hard-pressed to come up with a reason why she’s been singled out for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance honors this year and not the other six years the series has been on the air.  “I have no idea.  Did somebody on ‘Family Guy’ not submit?” she asks wryly.  It could be just an accumulation of appreciation, friends have suggested to  her, or it just might be her turn.

Strong, who narrates the show as deceased housewife Mary Alice Young, will be appearing in front of the cameras more often as flashbacks begin to reveal more “Desperate” secrets come fall.  “Mary Alice is book-ending the season.  We have to act like it’s the last season, because we don’t  know if it is or not,” she says.  As for herself, “I would be happy to be Mary Alice Young ’til somebody sent the cows home and turned out the lights.”

If by chance “Desperate Housewives” did continue beyond what’s expected tobe its final year, Strong would be doing double duty — because she’s heading for Dallas this October to begin playing Mrs. Bobby Ewing in TNT’s 2012 “Dallas” reboot.  But that wouldn’t be a problem.  As she points out, “Technology is such now that as long as you have an ISDN line, you can record voiceovers from Timbukutu if you want to.”

If she does have any concern about work, it’s that audiences that still fondly remember Victoria Principal’s (late) Pam Ewing will accept her as Ann Ewing.  Comments Brenda, “The people on ‘Dallas’ were bigger than life when I was an up and coming actress.  I think it’s a great idea that we get to reshape it for another generation.  I love that we get to explore these real Shakespearean themes with our tongues in our cheeks.  Really, it’s family drama of Biblical proportions.”

Meanwhile, there are the Emmys.  Strong is being escorted by her 16-year-old son, Zakery, who is now also an actor.  Asked about feeling like her fellow nominees in the category are strange bedfellows, she quips, “Yes, but I won’t be sleeping with Porky Pig anytime soon.”  Porky Pig actor Bob Bergen is among the nominees in her category, as is Seth Green for multiple voices on his “Robot Chicken,” Maurice LaMarche for “Futurama,” Dan Castellaneta for “The Simpsons,” and Christopher Plummer for narrating “Moguls & Movie Stars – The Birth Of Hollywood.”

“In a weird way, it takes the pressure off, because they’re not doing what I do,” she says.  “But I’m honored to be in a category with these seasoned pros — and to be in the same sentence as Christopher Plummer, who I have so much respect for, that’s really a great place to be.”

Patrick Duffy Amazed by Response to New ‘Dallas’ — Already

cast of TNT's "Dallas" for 2012

TNT sneaked a teaser of its planned 2012 reboot of “Dallas” last week  — and apparently sparked a colossal commotion among fans of that granddaddy of prime time serials.  “It’s unbeliveable,” Patrick Duffy tells us.  “All around the world, people I’ve had contacts with through the years are already planning how they’re going to have their traditional ‘Dallas’ dinners and parties to watch it.  On the Facebook page, they’re so excited.” reports the actor still remembered as the relatively nice Ewing brother, Bobby. 

 Patrick reports that production is due to begin in October, and he and his wife Carlyn are moving to Dallas for the duration of the first 10-episode season shoot.  As “Dallas” followers are already aware, this time around, much of the action will center on the young generation of the rich and rowdy Texas oil clan (played by Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo) — with dastardly J.R. (Larry Hagman), his ex-wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and Bobby all still on the scene.

 “The three of us will be integral to the storyline, but not overpoweringly so.  We will be pulling our end of the wagon,” says Duffy.  Brenda Strong of “Desperate Housewives” is playing Bobby’s wife of 15 years, Ann. “We’re already a long-established married couple,” he notes.  As far as his beloved Pam (Victoria Principal), Duffy reminds, “Pam actually died on the show, so her participation was never an option.  It’s the same with Mama and Daddy not coming back.  That’s not to say that certain old cast members won’t appear.”

Hagman, Duffy and Gray have remained close pals since the original “Dallas” finsihed its run in 1991.  According to Duffy, “Over the years we’ve been approached about redoing ‘Dallas’ in some form, but I never read a script that was not laughable, and that includes the feature scripts involving film stars,” none of which ever saw production.  The new “Dallas” Executive Producers Cynthia Cidre (“The Mambo Kings”) and Mike Robin (“The Closer”) “wrote to all three of us simultaneously.  They knew we would talk amongst ourselves first, and we did; we discussed and tore apart the script.  We all knew we were going to do it.  We all felt Cynthia had finally gotten it right and come up with the perfect way to bring ‘Dallas’ into a new generation.  We are totally committed to this project.”

It’s definitely a walk down memory lane kind of time for Duffy, whose first TV movies and series, “The Man From Atlantis,” have been remastered for a new DVD release Tuesday (7/26) through the Warner Archive Collection on-demand online service (www.warnerarchive.com).  Though the show lasted but one season, it gained an avid cult following and proved popular internationally, including in China.  Duffy played an amnesiac amphibious guy who just might be the last citizen of the lost continent of Atlantis. 
 “The most discomforting thing was the lenses in my eyes; they covered the entire eyeball and were put on with suction cups,” he says.  Also, to get an electric green look “they were colored with what was essentially airplane paint and another clear layer of airplane paint covered that.  That was the worst part.  My eyes just burned at the end of the day.  They threw me out in the bay in September, October, November and it had to look like a day in the park, but it was cold,” he recalls.  “I couldn’t do it now, at 62, but, you know, at 28 you’re bulletproof.”