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TNT Is Remaking Dallas. Why Are You Remaking Dallas, TNT?

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TNT has ordered ten episodes of a remake of Dallas, to start airing next year. Why?

I should issue the standard disclaimers. It’s all in the execution; I loved the Battlestar Galactica reboot; I hope to eat my words, &c. But Dallas seems to be less in need of remaking than even the usual unnecessary remake. (Cough! upcoming ABC version of Charlie’s Angels! cough!) Not because Dallas was bad, but because it was so successful and so much of its time.

I’ll be curious, certainly—especially since the remake brings back originals like Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy—but if you’re making a Dallas for the 2010s, why not pic a city that is to today as Dallas was to the ’80s? (Suggestions from an informal Twitter poll ranged from Silicon Valley to Portland—put a bird on it!—to, for those willing to venture abroad, Dubai.) Of course, I get it—brand recognition can give a series a tailwind. But when that brand is a TV legend, it can also be a headwind.

In any case we’ll see—and if you can sit through Rizzoli and Isles, TNT will be airing a sneak peek tonight. The release after the jump:

TNT has given the greenlight to DALLAS, an all-new series based upon one of the most popular television dramas of all time, about the bitter rivalries and family power struggles within a Texas oil and cattle-ranching dynasty. Famous for its ratings-grabbing cliffhangers, the original series was known for its wealth, seduction, scandal and intrigues. Set in the big state of Texas, TNT’s new DALLAS — from Warner Horizon Television — also lives life large and in the fast lane and brings a new generation of stars together with cast members from the original drama series. The new DALLAS stars Josh Henderson (90210), Jesse Metcalfe (John Tucker Must Die), Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious), Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars) and Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives), and they will be joined by iconic stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of DALLAS, which is slated to premiere in summer 2012.

TNT will give viewers their first look at DALLAS on Monday with a special sneak peek during the season premieres of the network’s blockbuster hits THE CLOSER, which starts at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), and RIZZOLI & ISLES, which airs at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). TNT is unveiling today a website dedicated to the new DALLAS series, where fans can view an online photo gallery that features a first look into the show’s new and returning cast. Fans can visit the new site, http://www.dallastnt.com, to watch sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes videos. The website will be periodically updated with new materials.

“TNT has explored the possibility of an updated version of DALLAS for several years, but it wasn’t until we read Cynthia Cidre’s outstanding pilot script that we knew we had the foundation for a great new series,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “It is incredibly exciting to see both new and familiar characters in the hands of a dream cast under the guidance of the enormously talented Cidre and Mike Robin. We couldn’t be more pleased with how DALLAS has come together.”

The original DALLAS aired from 1978 to 1991 and centered on the Ewing family, a cattle and oil dynasty occupying the expansive Southfork Ranch in Texas. A long and bitter rivalry between brothers J.R. Ewing (Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Duffy) eventually led to J.R. losing control of most of the Ewing industries. In the new DALLAS, this explosive rivalry now lives on through another generation, with the future of the family fortune in the hands of the Ewing offspring: cousins John Ross Ewing (Henderson), the son of J.R. and ex-wife Sue Ellen (Gray), and Christopher Ewing (Metcalfe), the adopted son of Bobby. Brewster stars as Elena, who is involved in a love triangle with Christopher and John Ross. Gonzalo stars as Christopher’s fiancée, Rebecca. And Strong stars as Ann, Bobby’s wife.

Executive producer Cynthia Cidre, who wrote the acclaimed film The Mambo Kings and produced the TV series Cane, wrote the pilot for the new DALLAS. TNT’s series is based on the original series created by David Jacobs. The new Dallas comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television. Michael M. Robin (The Closer) is the director and executive-producer of the pilot.