“Dallas” buried J.R. Ewing this past season, but the series will live on, now that TNT has renewed it for a third season.
The renewal agreement with producer Warner Horizon Television, announced Tuesday, calls for a 15-episode third season that will premiere early next year (much like the show’s second season, which started in January and ended earlier this month).
The third season will give the show an opportunity to see if it can move on and thrive without the imposing figure of iconic star Larry Hagman, who died last fall while Season Two was in the midst of filming.
The death of Hagman and the character he played — devious J.R. Ewing, who loomed so large in both the original “Dallas” and the TNT reboot — occupied the attention of the show’s creators and characters for a major portion of the show’s second season. J.R.’s funeral was held in the episode that aired March 10, about midway through the season.
With this third-season renewal, the show gets to move past that, with Josh Henderson inheriting and shouldering the bulk of J.R.’s deviousness and duplicity in the role of John Ross Ewing, J.R.’s son.
TNT acknowledged the “opportunity” to move on in its Tuesday press release. ” ‘Dallas’ has built a passionately loyal following with its expertly woven storylines, clever twists and turns, and numerous outstanding performances by a cast that spans generations,” said Michael Wright, president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, in a prepared statement. “Although we said goodbye to Larry Hagman and his iconic character, J.R. Ewing, this year, ‘Dallas’ has many more stories left to tell, and the Ewing clan will continue to honor J.R.’s memory by keeping its audience surprised and delighted.”