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Two weeks after wrapping up its third season, the primetime soap will not return for a fourth, the Turner-owned cable network announced Friday.
“TNT has decided not to renew Dallas. We are extremely proud of the series, which defied expectations by standing as a worthy continuation of the Ewing saga. We want to thank everyone involved with the show, from the extraordinary cast to the impeccable production team, led by the show’s creative forces, [executive producers] Cynthia Cidre and Mike Robin,” said a TNT spokesperson in a statement. “We especially want to thank the people of Dallas for their warm and generous hospitality during the production of the series.”
Developed by Cidre, Dallas got off to an incredibly promising start in 2012, opening to nearly 7 million viewers in its first outing. That number started to dwindle quickly and was all but snuffed out by TNT’s decision to shift the series from the boom time of summer to the more competitive winter landscape. By the time the network moved it back to the summer, the series was pulling fewer than 2 million viewers in live-plus-same-day ratings. It quietly exited the schedule with 1.7 million viewers on Sept. 22 to its finale, which saw the death of a major character.
Production also received a blow early on with the death of actor Larry Hagman in 2012. The 81-year-old TV icon had reprised the role of J.R. Ewing, central to both the original series and the remake, and was filming the series’ second season when he died from complications of leukemia. His death was written into the series, with J.R.’s funeral episode in 2013 hitting season highs averaging 3.5 million viewers in live-plus-three.
Dallas featured a mix of original castmembers (Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Hagman) and new faces (Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo, Brenda Strong, Juan Pablo Di Pace). Picking up two decades after the original series, Dallas continued the story of the Ewings, a wealthy family in Dallas in the oil and cattle ranch industries.
Dallas’ cancellation comes at a time of transition for TNT following the departure of TNT, TBS and TCM programming president Michael Wright. It currently has a scripted stable that includes Murder in the First, Franklin & Bash, Rizzoli & Isles, Legends, Major Crimes, Perception, The Last Ship and Falling Skies, which leaves the schedule after its fifth season next year, as well as forthcoming series Transporter, The Librarians, Proof and Public Morals.
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