Never bet against J.R. Ewing. Though that’s just what many industry insiders and Dallas nostalgists did when word got out that a revival of the iconic ’80s series was in the works. And yet the new Dallas, which premiered on June 13, has since emerged as cable’s No. 1 new drama and has also been picked up for a second season. The show has proven to be every bit as delicious as the original. Take it from Larry Hagman, who is clearly relishing the opportunity to unleash his incorrigible J.R. on a new generation. “This makes the old one look like milk toast in the morning with no cinnamon sugar,” he says with a laugh.
On this week’s cover, EW explores TV’s most improbable success story of the summer. “It’s almost dream-like,” laughs Duffy, who along with Hagman and Linda Gray, and newcomers Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, and Julie Gonzalo, anchor the new incarnation. “And God if I wake up and find out I’m playing some gnarly grandpa in a sitcom somewhere, I’m going to be so pissed off,” Duffy adds. (And for those pissed off Bobby and Pam fans, executive producer Cynthia Cidre explains why she didn’t want to bring back Victoria Principal. “No, no, no, no,” she says. “What angle could I possibly play in the relationship?”)