J.R. Ewing will have a sendoff big enough to match the outsized personality of the television villain, Dallas producers have promised.
The character played by Larry Hagman is often cited as the greatest television villain of all time, and when Hagman died in November 2011 producers decided to give J.R. Ewing an appropriate sendoff.
On Monday’s show, fans will get to say goodbye to the J.R. Ewing as he is laid to rest on Dallas.
“So much of Larry himself was J.R. — removing the bad part,” show executive producer Cynthia Cidre told AccessHollywood. “That kind of fun loving guy, which he brought to the part of J.R., was the real Larry Hagman, and so it was a little bit surreal that we were writing and shooting an episode about a fictional character’s death at the same time as the actor [who had played him had] died.”
“A lot of what was said [in the episode], I think fits both people. It fits the fictional character and Larry, and so the actors who also knew Larry are kind of doing a like a parallel funeral for both actor and character,” she said.
The funeral will include myriad characters connected to J.R., Cidre promised. That includes old enemies, former wives and girlfriends, and even mistresses. She said Dallas writers enjoyed coming up with the tribute.
“We have more fun in the writer’s room then I can possibly communicate,” she said. “It’s a group of people who are respectful to the show and who treat it seriously and at the same time humorously. And… we want to say about J.R., no matter what he did, he was a family man and that appealed to me [even] in the pilot that when the Ewings were not eating each other up, that they would always come together when there was a greater enemy. And so that’s the case, I think, in this episode is they come together as a family, as he did, to protect each other.”
Dallas fans can see the J.R. Ewing sendoff Monday night on TNT.