So Long Southfork
Those who follow Elaine Liner's excellent and hilarious recaps of TNT's Dallas may be unsurprised to learn that the cable network has not renewed the TV show for a fourth season. Liner suggested as much in her retelling of the disappointing season three finale.
Following the announcement, the show posted a statement on its Facebook page:
TNT has decided not to renew Dallas. We are extremely proud of the series, which defied expectations by standing as a worthy continuation of the Ewing saga. We want to thank everyone involved with the show, from the extraordinary cast to the impeccable production team, led by the show's creative forces, Cynthia Cidre and Mike Robin. We especially want to thank the people of Dallas for their warm and generous hospitality during the production of the series.
The TNT version of Dallas featured a mix of cast members from the original series, including Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, as well as an assortment of young and sexy types like Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe and Julie Gonzalo. The reboot focused largely on the antics of the younger generation.
This last season was marred by a number of flaws, including a near five-month hiatus that made it nearly impossible for audiences to remember all the plotlines. And the more interesting characters and performances were sacrificed for outlandish storytelling.
Writes Liner in her season three finale recap, "Producer Cynthia Cidre and her cadre of scribes went nuts with the Joaquin/Nicola/Elena plot, which then blended over into the Ewing Global-goes-public stock shares plot (snoresville), which was folded into the Emma-and-Annie-getkidnapped debacle. Even those Arctic oil leases reared their icy heads again this week.
"Nobody cares about oil leases! We wanted sex in the hayloft and drunk Sue Ellen! Not more shots of Bobby in his paneled den, looking at his laptop — scenes so bad, even the horsehead lamp base behind him couldn't bear to watch them."
One thing Dallas did do right was employ Judith Light as the snarling Judith Ryland, "a mother so mean, Medea would call Child Protective Services to report her," writes Liner, who thinks this character deserves a spin-off.
Hollywood Reporter surmises that the series, which got off to a promising start in 2012 (opening to nearly 7 million viewers), suffered when TNT decided to shift the series from summer to the more competitive winter landscape. It also received an early blow when actor Larry Hagman died.
His death was written into the show, but even the funeral episode didn't garner as many viewers as the beginning, and the September 22 season finale only raked in 1.7 million viewers.