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The Ewings descend on an el cheapo hotel south of the border in the opening moments of tonight's tribute to Larry Hagman on TNT's Dallas at9 p.m. Oil man patriarch J.R. Ewing was supposed to be in Abu Dhabi cutting a business deal. So why is his bullet-riddled body in a Mexican morgue?
Just a handful of episodes into shooting the second season of TNT's successful reboot of "Dallas" on location in Texas last fall, the primetime soap's iconic star Larry Hagman unexpectedly died after a long battle with cancer. Since J.R. Ewing is hardwired into the drama's DNA, Hagman's passing left a hole the size of The Lone Star State itself in the show's storyline. The actor's longtime cast mates Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, meanwhile, were left to eulogize their friend both in real life and grieve on screen.
Even as an oily octogenarian, J.R. Ewing can lasso TV ratings. Only three weeks into the reboot of former 1970s, 1980s and 1990s CBS primetime sudser’s run on Atlanta-based TNT, the basic cable network has green lit a 15-episode second season of the show slated to air in the summer of 2013.
TNT pulls off the seemingly impossible with its stylish relaunch of the “Dallas” franchise debuting Wednesday night at 9 p.m.on the Atlanta-based basic cable drama network — it immediately sucks you back into the original show’s nonsensical whirlpool of greed, illicit affairs, oil and real estate. But it’s a guilty pleasure with a legacy and soul.