Actor Larry Hagman passed away in November having completed five episodes of the oil and scandal drama’s second season. The news of Hagman’s death prompted tributes from co-stars such as Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy as well as former co-stars such as Victoria Principal. It was later confirmed that his character of J.R Ewing would be killed off and a funeral held in tribute to him.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly showrunner Cynthia Cidre has discussed writing the funeral episode. J.R will appear in the first five episodes of the second season and the sixth via a deleted scene which had been cut from another episode. The 7th episode of the new run will deal with JR’s absence while the 8th will feature the funeral itself. Cidre told Entertainment Weekly how wrote episode 7 and “never cried when I was writing” but when it came to episode eight “day I started to type, and I started crying so hard I couldn’t even see the computer screen.”
As for the 8th episode itself Cidre says “It will be funny and appropriate to J.R., but it will also be sad because his family loved him. As do the fans.” Producers have previously promised fans that familiar faces from the original series would return for the episode including characters which have yet to appear in TNT’s revival. There is much speculation about Victoria Principal, who played Pamela Barnes Ewing in the original series, returning for the episode. Although Principal has not returned to Dallas since she quit in the 1980s press reports continue to speculate over a possible appearance to pay tribute to her former co-star.
Dallas returns to TNT at the end of January and will air on Channel Five in the UK later this year.