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Warner Herds Stars to ‘Dallas'

26 Aug, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Warner Home Video herded press and stars to the Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, to unveil the DVD debut of one of the longest-running TV series: Dallas: The Complete First and Second Seasons.

The $49.98 five-disc set features 29 episodes (22 hours), including the show's initial five-part miniseries, starring Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing, Linda Gray as embittered wife Sue Ellen Ewing, Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Victoria Principal (Pamela Ewing) and Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes).

Bonus materials include the feature Soaptalk Dallas Reunion and audio commentary from Hagman, Tilton and show creator David Jacobs.

During its 14-season run, which began April 2, 1978, “Dallas” won four Emmy awards and one Golden Globe and ranked among the top two series for five consecutive seasons.

At the junket, Jacobs and cast members Hagman, Duffy, Tilton, Gray and Kercheval appeared appreciative of the newfound attention and the burgeoning DVD format.

Jacobs said a “Dallas” feature film is in the development stages, but added that the TV series remains relevant in the current post-Enron social environment. “It's a hipper story now than it was at the time,” he said.

Duffy, who said he is returning to acting following a near five-year retirement to his farm in Oregon, said his homecoming to Southfork felt like no time had passed since the end of the TV series “until you look at your driver's license.”

Tilton admitted she hadn't seen the show in years, but was excited to be co-producing (with Henry Winkler) a two-hour “Dallas” reunion special for CBS that will be filmed in early October (airing in November) and will feature cast members reminiscing about the show and showing private home movies from the set.

Tilton said she had been campaigning for the “Dallas” DVD release for a while and doesn't rule out releasing the CBS special on video in the future. “I think that it would be a great thing to have in your library,” Tilton said.

Gray, who despite having reservations about exposing the behind-the-scenes aspects of the show, said she would participate in the CBS reunion.

Hagman, 73, said he watches reruns of the show occasionally and joked he couldn't think of one of J.R.'s infamous conniving character traits that he despised.

“J.R. for president,” he said, flashing a stack of mock $10,000 bills with his mug on the front. “Whoops, I think he already is.”

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