Not to miss a ratings opportunity, a TNT executive sounded off on the death of Dallas’ Larry Hagman, and how it will actually help Dallas’ ratings. As you might be aware, Hagman passed away on November 23, due to complications with throat cancer. On Dallas’ he was the most beloved character, Texas oilman J.R. Ewing who was an original cast member on the show, and returned for the revival on TNT.
Now, a mere four days after the prolific actor’s death, a TNT executive is weighing in on how his death will have an effect on the ratings game that is network and cable television. The unnamed executive told the Daily News, “Sure, it sounds a bit morbid, but (Hagman) spent most of his life working in show business and would probably have understood.”
Last year the show pulled in modest numbers for a cable series, with 6.1 million viewers, which is considered to be a success by cable standards. Ratings poured in for Dallas in the original 1980 season with the mystery of who shot J.R., leaving his killer unknown as well as his fate on the series. In addition to playing J.R. Ewing on Dallas, Hagman was also remembered as Major Anthony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie.
At the time of Larry Hagman’s passing a rep for TNT said the network was mourning the loss of Hagman, and was “horrified that the executive had spoken out of turn”:
“All of us at TNT are deeply saddened at the news of Larry Hagman’s passing. He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Will you still watch the Dallas reboot without Larry Hagman?