With New ‘Dallas,’ Texas Gets Ready for Its Closeup

He's back and so is Texas: Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing in "Dallas" (Photo: CBS)

TV has rediscovered Texas.

Suddenly, the Lone Star state is the site of a handful of new TV shows representing a renaissance for a state that once loomed large on TV, thanks mainly to one single show: the original “Dallas.”

Though the city of Dallas was incorporated in 1856, you could say it was the TV show called “Dallas” that really made this city famous. Prior to 1978, the year “Dallas” premiered on CBS, the city was more infamous than famous – remembered chiefly as the site of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Ever since “Dallas” left the airwaves in 1991, the state has been a sleeping giant where TV is concerned. But all that’s about to change as TNT prepares a new “Dallas” series and other networks – ABC, Style and A&E – prepare to launch their own Dallas-based shows. The Texas TV renaissance is on!

Here’s a rundown:

“Dallas” (the new one): TNT officially announced the new “Dallas” this past Friday, though it had been the worst-kept secret in the TV industry. Set to premiere next summer, the new “Dallas” has a new cast (including Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster and Brenda Strong) who will be joined by former cast members Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman (the incomparable J.R.). Look for a sneak peek to air this Monday night during the season premieres of “The Closer” (9/8c) and “Rizzoli & Isles” (10/9c) on TNT.

“Big Rich Texas”: The Style Network premieres this new docu-series later this month, on Monday, July 17, at 9/8c. Think of “Big Rich Texas” as a “Real Housewives” show (but not on Bravo) based in Dallas. The stars are five over-the-top mother-daughter duos with “big hair [and] big attitudes,” according to Style, which promises “big drama.”

“G.C.B.” (formerly “Good Christian Belles”): You can think of this ABC series – announced in May as a midseason show for next winter – as a Bible-belt version of “Desperate Housewives.” Kristin Chenoweth is the principal star of the show, playing a Bible-thumping hypocrite. She’s the leader of a small group of privileged Dallas housewives who, along with their husbands, are all God-fearing church-goers who nevertheless have irreligious skeletons in their closets.

“Storage Wars: Dallas”: It’s now in development, but there’s no start date yet for this spinoff of A&E’s hugely popular, L.A.-based “Storage Wars” series in which a group of storage-unit scavengers square off each week in the competitive world of abandoned storage-unit auctions.

Expect big talk, big deals and, yes, big drama. After all, this is Texas, right?

Watch a sneak peek of ABC’s Texas-based “G.C.B.” (formerly “Good Christian Belles”) right here:

[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/G.C.B./143151/1936827523/Good-Christian-Belles-Trailer/embed 580 476]

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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