Back in the 80s the nation was obsessed by Dallas and the fluctuating fortunes of oil magnate family the Ewings. But did you know these amazing facts about Dallas?
1. Baddie JR Ewing was originally intended to be only a supporting character. It was only when his scheming proved popular with viewers that JR – played by Larry Hagman – became the lead role.
2. Talking of JR, he is the only character to have appeared in all 357 episodes.
3. When it first aired in 1978, it was as a five-part mini-series.
4. Dallas has been broadcast in 90 countries, and dubbed into no less than 67 languages.
5. Dallas has been credited with hastening the end of the Soviet Bloc. In Romania, the belief that the show would be seen as anti-Capitalist backfired when viewers desired the luxury lifestyle depicted on screen.
6. Spin-off series Knot’s Landing actually came first. Series creator David Jacobs had the idea for a drama about four different couples, but the TV network wanted more of a saga – and Dallas was born. When Dallas proved a hit, Knot’s Landing was dusted down and produced as a spin-off.
7. The famous Who Done It episode that revealed the identity of who shot JR, received the highest domestic TV audience to that point of 90 million. That meant 76 per cent of people watching telly at that time were watching Dallas. That same episode had 360 million viewers worldwide.
8. Although the first series was all shot on location in Dallas, future series saw interior shoots take place in Hollywood. Southfork is now a conference and events location.
9. Then-unknown Brad Pitt appeared in four episodes as a frisky teenager, aptly named Randy.
10. In one of the show’s most infamous scenes, Bobby Ewing, played by Patrick Duffy, seemingly returned from the dead. The writers had us believe the entire season eight, including Bobby’s death, had been one long dream. The first us viewers knew of it was when we saw Bobby having his morning shower. His return was a closely guarded secret and the shower scene was filmed in a separate studio. The film crew were told a shampoo advert was being filmed.
11. Originally, the writer had set the show in Houston, but the name was changed to Dallas by a TV executive who thought it sounded better.
12. Larry Hagman, who died in 2012, once said he drank up to five bottles of Champagne a day while filming. ‘Nine o’clock in the morning to nine o’clock at night is 12 long hours,’ he explained.
13. Barbara Bel Geddes played Miss Ellie. In real life she was just nine years older than Larry Hagman, who played her son JR!
14. The late Terry Wogan was credited with making Dallas popular in the UK, as he talked about it virtually every day on his radio show.
Were you a fan of Dallas?