Two months ago TNT announced that it was indeed planning on a return to Southfork with the Ewing clan in tow. For now, though, the new Dallas is but a hypothetical -- a pilot that will more than likely shoot in the spring. Efforts are under way to recruit members of the original cast, chief among them Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray.
In the new issue of TV Guide, which commemorates the "Who Shot J.R.?" episode, the original trio talk about their various levels of interest in returning to the ranch. Duffy in particular likes what he sees, but he's "ambivalent." Besides, he says, no firm offers have been extended. He then offers this item of interest: The show will more than likely shoot in one of three states: New Mexico, Louisiana or Texas.
So, then. I just called Janis Burklund, head of the Dallas Film Commission, to see if there have been any further talks with TNT about shooting here. So happens that she "just got off the phone" with producers, she tells Unfair Park.
And while she says she feels "fairly good about it," TNT, she says, is not yet close to making a decision about where to shoot the pilot.
"There are still things to be worked out, but we don't plan to let it slip through our fingers," she says. "There are a lot of unknowns on their side, so it's hard for us to get solid on our side. But I don't want to make it into the whole 'Shoot J.R. in Dallas' thing we did back then." Burklund's referring to her and then-Mayor Laura Miller's efforts in March and April 2006 to keep 20th Century Fox from taking the big-screen Dallas to Louisiana. Or Toronto.
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"It's a whole different situation," Burklund says. "We have some tools to use now, so it's all about seeing where the sides meet, and if things fall apart, then I'll go to the media. They have some pilots they're launching, and this won't be till spring. So we're not on top of the radar right now. And Dallas is not the only thing we're tlaking to. We're juggling to see who will fall where or when -- or if -- and trying to come up with contingencies." But, just in case, she's still got a stack of those stickers in her office. If you want one.