Next Month, Dallas Returns to Dallas As TNT Decides to Shoot Pilot Here After All

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Looks like those old bumper stickers the city made finally did the trick.
We've been waiting since at least September to see whether TNT and Warner Horizon Television would be shooting that Dallas pilot here -- ya know, in Dallas? Larry Hagman, who will be among The Holy Trinity of original cast members reprising their roles from the original CBS series, demanded as much one month ago: "It's called Dallas, for goodness sake. Where the hell [else] should we shoot it?"

Well, finally, Janis Burklund, head of the Dallas Film Commission, sends the good word: The pilot, written by Cynthia Cidre, will indeed be filmed here, beginning in just a few weeks. Says the press release that follows, "Pre-production will start immediately." Which means that with Good Christian Bitches set to roll next Monday on its pilot for ABC, Dallas will provide the backdrop for two would-be prime-time series, following last year's busy schedule that included Lone Star and Chase, both of which turned out to be short-lived.

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The release that follows also contains a cast list -- which includes Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray and Chase's Jesse Metcalfe as Christopher Ewing, the adopted son of Bobby and Pam -- and the name of the pilot's exec producer and director, Michael M. Robin, whose filmography spans all the way from L.A. Law to NYPD Blue to Cop Rock (!) to The Closer. In the release, Robin and Cidre have this to say in a joint statement:
"We are so excited that we get to shoot the pilot episode of Dallas in Dallas. The city has changed so much since the original series and we can't wait to show our audience the fun, the culture, the architecture, the restaurants, the landscapes and the people that make Dallas such a vibrant and cinematic city."
To which Burklund adds this, per a follow-up conversation with Unfair Park: "Dallas had to be in Dallas. It was sort of like, 'Over my dead body ...,' and it almost became that." She laughs. It seems like only forever ago she and then-Mayor Laura Miller were demanding the producers of the never-happened big-screen Dallas shoot J.R. in Dallas.

"But we have to thank the creative team," she says. "We just walked out of dinner at The Cedars Social one night last month, and the director puts his hands up and frames the downtown skyline -- and it was particularly pretty that night, gleaming, glowing, twinkling -- and he says, 'This is one of our characters.' He sees there's a lot of value to being here. The city is part of the show. To me, it had to be here. It couldn't be somewhere else. It wouldn't have been the same show, and we would have regretted it later.

"And this shows that what happened last year wasn't a fluke. We can get multiple shows. We just have to be in a competitive position, and we can do some good work. And having both shows set in Dallas is good. We're not just standing in for somewhere else. Dallas in particular wants to show off the city."
TNT's new Dallas TV pilot will be shot in Dallas

DALLAS - Warner Horizon Television has selected Dallas as the location for the pilot of TNT's new incarnation of the popular television drama Dallas. Executive producer Cynthia Cidre, who wrote The Mambo Kings and executive produced the television series Cane, wrote the pilot based on characters created by David Jacobs. Michael M. Robin (The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Nip/Tuck) who also executive produces will direct.

The original Dallas ran from 1978 to 1991 and followed the Ewing family of Southfork. The new version will focus on the Ewing offspring -- J.R. Ewing's son John Ross (Josh Henderson of Desperate Housewives), and Christopher, the adopted son of Bobby and Pam Ewing (Jesse Metcalfe of Desperate Housewives) -- as they clash over the family dynasty's future. Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious) stars as Elena, who is involved in a love triangle with Christopher and John Ross. Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars) stars as Christopher's fiancée Rebecca. The updated Dallas will feature original series stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray. Hagman gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of oil baron J.R. Ewing. Gray played J.R.'s wife Sue Ellen Ewing, while Duffy portrayed J.R.'s younger brother Bobby.

"We are so excited that we get to shoot the pilot episode of Dallas in Dallas," said Cidre and Robin. "The city has changed so much since the original series and we can't wait to show our audience the fun, the culture, the architecture, the restaurants, the landscapes and the people that make Dallas such a vibrant and cinematic city." The pilot alone is expected to have a significant financial impact on the city and create many jobs for crew, actors, extras and vendors. Pre-production will start immediately, with shooting set to begin in late April.

The Dallas Film Commission is the official film commission for the Greater Dallas area. It mission includes marketing and promoting the area to content creators; serving as the primary liaison between the industry, government and the community as well as educating, promoting and advocating for growth of the local industry. In November 2009 the film commission transitioned to the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development to provide a more synergistic approach to growing the City's targeted media industries, which has resulted in an unprecedented increase in production, particularly in television.

Warner Horizon Television (WHTV) is one of the industry's fastest-growing television companies, specializing in the creation of scripted series for cable and primetime reality series for both network and cable. Founded in 2006, this second production entity allows the Warner Bros. Television Group to expand its programming offerings and explore creative options made possible under a new business model. WHTV is currently producing more than a dozen projects. Its unscripted shows include The Bachelor; The Bachelorette; Bachelor Pad and the upcoming Take the Money and Run for ABC; The Voice for NBC and Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew for MTV, among others. Scripted programs from WHTV include Rizzoli & Isles and Memphis Beat for TNT, Pretty Little Liars and the upcoming The Lying Game for ABC Family.


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21 comments
Gwendolyn Freeman
Gwendolyn Freeman

Can't wait to see the new Dallas.  We need more of the old nighttime soaps. GMW

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

It's "just" the pilot, so far. They haven't yet promised to shoot the actual series, here.

Robert, when you talked to Burklund, did she mention what, if any, incentives she had to promise to get the production here?

fairoaks8555
fairoaks8555

Great news, loved the original, watched it from start to finish.

The city of Dallas will provide a great backdrop also, there are so many new things to show off since the original series ended.

Mie
Mie

Does anyone know who will be casting the Extras???

janisawasteoftaxpayermoney
janisawasteoftaxpayermoney

OMG, Janis has finally landed the Pilot filming of Dallas in Dallas. If this is her claim to fame, the Dallas Film Commission and City of Dallas are getting the raw end of the financial "stick" on this one. Janis needs to go. She gets so fixated on the trivial stuff, like shooting the pilot of Dallas in Dallas that the whales swim on down the river to Austin. Incredible............that the Dallas Observer would waste ink or web time for this story.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Couldn't we just get another season of The Good Guys versus this steaming pile of crap?

Pretty please?

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Brad Pitt wasn't exactly Sir Laurence Olivier when he popped into Southfork all those years ago either.

Of course, not comparing the Pitt to Metcallf...but...a guy's gotta work!

cd2011
cd2011

Does anyone else think that Jesse Metcalfe is possibly the worst actor ever?

warden62
warden62

Does anyone else realize just how ridiculous the first sentence of the press release is?....

"Warner Horizon Television has selected Dallas as the location for the pilot of TNT's new incarnation of the popular television drama Dallas."

Sheesh.

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

I heard that they are gonna get OJ to play Mayor Cara-sheen

Montemalone
Montemalone

They should set it in the tunnels.

Oops, wrong thread:)

MattL1
MattL1

Glad to hear they're shooting "Dallas" in Dallas. Now I just hope that the show is actually worth watching. Not terribly familiar with those actors...

Jmk0936
Jmk0936

Gwen I sooo agree with you.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Yeah, you know that one didn't work out so well for him did it?

I forgot that blond-haired, blue eyed visitor to Southfork.

Guess I need to re-watch DVDs.

cp
cp

Yeah but, all the girls luv him!

cd2011
cd2011

Oh wait... I forgot about his epic Emmy worthy performance on Passions.

80s
80s

And yet you decided to read the article and commenet on it. No one forced you to click on that link.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

No, in the new series Southfork has been swallowed by Frisco, forcing the Ewings to move to a lovely lakehouse on Lake Lavon. This let's them play off the town name of Wylie...

This time around the Ewing family is heavily invested in Barnett shale gas drilling in southwest Oak Cliff, and the plot revolves around the drilling rights and their manipulation of the Dallas City Council. The delay in shooting was caused by a re-write after the producers failed to forsee both Don Hill's conviction and Leppert's Palinesque departure. Learning from this mistake they've also written Neumann out of the script in anticipation of Griggs winning District 3. The part of Angela Hunt will be played by Julianna Margulies. Caraway's character will be patterned after Jekyll/Hyde, with Jekyll and Hyde played by unknown newcomers Arthur and Archie respectively.

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