This was definitely not a case of whether TNT would do it. It was a question of when.
And when is now: the Atlanta-based network Tuesday said it's bringing "Dallas" back for a third season in 2014 for 15 more episodes.
J.R. Ewing may be gone - but not forgotten.
And much to the relief of TNT's executives, ratings stabilized after J.R.'s death partway through season two.
While the show drew a bigger audience over the summer season one than during the late winter/early spring for season two, TNT will keep airing "Dallas" during the more competitive January-April time period. TNT wants to be known as an all-year-around network for originals, not just the summer, when shows tend to pull in bigger viewership.
Here's the press release quote:
"Dallas has built a passionately loyal following with its expertly woven storylines, clever twists and turns, and numerous outstanding performances by a cast that spans generations," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "Although we said goodbye to Larry Hagman and his iconic character J.R. Ewing this year, Dallas has many more stories left to tell, and the Ewing clan will continue to honor J.R.'s memory by keeping its audience surprised and delighted."
The show averaged 3.8 millon viewers a week, counting DVR usage for up to a week. While that's a fraction of what "Dallas" used to draw while it was on CBS, the TV landscape back then was so different, it isn't remotely a fair comparison.