TNT Casts Jordana Brewster in DALLAS Reboot

     January 29, 2011


TNT has cast Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious) as one of the leads in their upcoming reboot of Dallas.  The new series is a continuation of the Ewing saga told in the original show, which ran 14 seasons from 1978-1991.  Dallas 2.0 focuses on the bitter rivalry of the vaguely related John Ross (son of J.R. Ewing) and Christopher (adopted by Bobby and Pam Ewing).  TV Line reports Brewster will play Elena, the daughter of the Southfork ranch’s cook embroiled in a love triangle with John and Christopher.  The pilot was scripted by executive producer Cynthia Cidre (Cane).

Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Gray are likely to reprise their roles as J.R., Bobby, and Sue Ellen Ewing, respectively.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of both the original and the reboot.

Despite an astounding 357 episodes on record, I can’t say I’ve seen a single minute of Dallas.  But I’ll always admire the show for the monstrous ratings it pulled in at its peak.  “Who Done It” (better known to pop culture as “Who Shot J.R.?“) stands among the most watched episodes of all time: more than half of America’s televisions were tuned in to Dallas that 1980 night for an audience of 83 million viewers — about 38% of the population at the time.  Amazing.  Won’t even approach a tenth of that on TNT.

Here’s the synopsis for the outset of the series:dallas-dvd-cover

Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), youngest of three sons of independent oilman Jock Ewing (Jim Davis), arrives at the Ewing clan’s Southfork ranch just outside Dallas, Texas, with a new wife, Pam Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal). Pam is the daughter of Digger Barnes (David Wayne), an old business rival of Jock’s and one-time suitor of the Ewing matriarch, Eleanor (or “Miss Ellie,” played by Barbara Bel Geddes). Pam’s also the sister of a state senator, Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), whose vendetta against the Ewings is played out in the legislature, imposing costly regulations on their business and holding committee investigations into questionable practices of company president J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman). Pam’s status as the newest Ewing causes an uproar in the family (besides being a Barnes, she also dated the Ewings’ genial but lonely foreman, Ray Krebbs, played by Steve Kanaly) and prompts Dallas‘ charming villain, J.R., to make many Iago-like attempts, over the first two seasons, to drive her from Bobby’s arms. Pam has a different set of problems with the other, jealous Ewing women, including J.R.’s possibly barren and alcoholic wife, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), and teenage Lucy (Charlene Tilton), daughter of exiled Ewing son Gary (Ted Shackleford). [Amazon]

Look at all that plot!

Here’s how TNT describes the new series:

Executive producer Cynthia Cidre, writer of the acclaimed film The Mambo Kings and creator/executive producer of the TV series Cane, has crafted an update of the long-running series about the Ewings of Southfork, whose betrayals, jealousies and passions have made them famous.  The story focuses on the offspring of bitter rivals and brothers JR and Bobby Ewing, who clash over the future of the Ewing dynasty while the fate of Southfork itself weighs in the balance.

The original’s opening credits are a must-see — partly for the classic theme song, partly because they make Dallas look like a positively hideous city: