There’s a whole new generation of Ewings who will be bringing fresh secrets, betrayals and steamy sex to TV screens when the iconic TV series “Dallas” returns in its faster-paced 2012 incarnation this Wednesday at 9/8c on TNT.
Fans of the series will recall that J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) and his now ex-wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) had a son John Ross, who is now all grown up and will be played by Josh Henderson. John Ross will demonstrate the old axiom that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — as he tries to outwit both his Uncle Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and his dad to get Southfork’s oil rights so he can drill on the ranch — something Bobby has forbidden.
“For me, I studied what he did as J.R.,” Henderson says of playing the son of one of TV’s favorite villains. “I was just in awe of what he did to enamor people worldwide every week. I wanted to get a feeling for it so I could try and portray who I thought his son would be now — coming into manhood and trying to potentially take over Southfork and the Ewing legacy. The one thing I remember him saying was, ‘Get ready for the ride because this show takes your life into a new place. It means a lot to people around the world.'”
Watch a Sneak Peek of the All-New “Dallas”:
Then there is Bobby’s adopted son Christopher [with his first wife Pam (Victoria Principal), who will not be appearing in Season 1. Rather, Bobby is married to his third wife Ann (former “Desperate Housewives” narrator Brenda Strong)], who will be played by “Desperate Housewives“‘ former hot gardener Jesse Metcalfe. Again, it is a case of like father like son when Christopher shows himself to be the more honest of the two cousins.
“Patrick isn’t one to give a lot of advice which is probably one of the great things about him,” Metcalfe says. “I felt from the very beginning that he had a lot of respect for me and the other new actors coming in. Patrick leads by example. He really has a grace and a dignity about him on set. He keeps it light and he is the source of comfort to me and a great support.”
Also finding her way back to Southfork is Elena Ramos (“The Fast and the Furious” star Jordana Brewster), the cook’s daughter who grew up with both John Ross and Christopher. When Christopher and Elena were in graduate school — and John Ross was in Europe, they fell in love and got engaged. But when a miscommunication led to calling off their wedding, Elena was heartbroken and fled to Mexico, where John Ross found her and confessed his love. The two are now partners in the dream of making it big in the oil industry, so she is back on Southfork when Christopher returns.
“I think everybody was familiar with the characters, the theme song and the who shot J.R. story — and Linda, Patrick and Larry are known worldwide. It was a phenomenon,” says Brewster, who went out and rented the DVDs. “But for the details, I started watching so I would know why John Ross is so screwed up and why Christopher is the way he is. It filled in the blanks.”
In Wednesday night’s episode, Christopher brings his fiancée — Rebecca Sutter (Julie Gonzolo) — when he returns to Southfork with dreams of successfully developing an alternative fuel without the financial aid of his father. Christopher and Rebecca met on a train in Asia just days after Christopher’s engagement to Elena was broken off, but what Christopher doesn’t know is this was a planned meeting, so this rebound relationship could blow up because Rebecca’s loyalties are split.
“I think she is torn,” Gonzolo says. “She is, obviously, very faithful to her brother Tommy. He is the only family that she has. Her parents died when she was very young. She is in a really weird place in her life. She is really in love with Christopher. She fell in love with him. You do stupid things for love.”
So, while this love quadrangle plays out, there is going to be a lot of steamy sex and beefcake on “Dallas.” Especially because this time around, it is on cable.
“In real life, there are these type of scenes,” Metcalfe points out. “Maybe that is why a lot of people tune in — because they are not having as much sex as the people on ‘Dallas.’ But, it is not gratuitous. It is not nudity or sex for sex’s sake. It is all rooted in the story.”
“Dallas” premieres on Wednesday, June 13 at 9/8c on TNT.