On November 21, 1980, 350 million people around the world tuned in to television’s popular prime-time drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. Here are 6 things you didn’t know about the hit television show “Dallas.”
Communism May Have Fallen Because of “Dallas” “Dallas” was aired in many places around the world, including Romania and Russia. Nicolae Ceau?escu, the last Romanian communist leader, was reportedly tricked into thinking the show was anti-capitalist. According to Hagman, viewers could see the show, which featured the wealthy, feuding Texas oil family, and he thought it led viewers in communist countries to question authority and want more in their personal lives.
Larry Hagman Was Not The First Choice to Play J.R.! Believe it or not, Hagman was actually not the first person to be offered the part of J.R, with Robert Foxworth being offered, and declining the role. Foxworth said that the role needed to be softer, whilst Hagman made it his own and the rest is history!
Hagman’s Contract for the Show Determined Whether J.R. Lived After the character J.R. was shot, whether Hagman returned to the role depended on his demand for an increase in salary. In the fourth episode during the fourth season, viewers discovered that Kristin was the person who shot J.R., which is something fans had been waiting for with bated breath. Hagman received his raise in salary and a percentage of the series, so he stayed on the show.
A Video Game Was Made Based on the Television Show The Dallas Quest was released by Datasoft in 1984 and was based on the television show. The premise was that the player had to search for an oil field map, and if they found it, they would be paid $2 million. Along the way, the player had to fight off the Ewings, angry cattle, and monkeys.
A Song Was Written About the Television Show Hank Williams, Jr. repeatedly mentions the show’s characters in his 1985 song, “This Ain’t Dallas.” He sings about how they are a working family in Tennessee and are not J.R. and Sue Ellen with their chauffeur-driven limousine. The song reached number four on one of the country charts on Billboard.
The Spin-Off Was Created Before The Main Show! “Knots Landing” was presented as a spin-off of “Dallas” when it debuted in 1979, but it had actually been conceived before “Dallas”. When creator David Jacobs pitched “Knots Landing” to CBS, the network executives liked the idea but wanted to go with something more "saga-like". Jacobs then created Dallas, which the network accepted and premiered in 1978. After Dallas became a hit, Jacobs was then able to adapt Knots Landing as a spin-off series by way of incorporating characters introduced in the parent series.