Forget Who Shot JR! Here Are 12 Huge Secrets About Dallas

After suffering two seasons of low ratings and mediocre reviews, Dallas became an instant television classic after J.R. Ewing was shot on the show in 1980. From there, over 100-million viewers tuned in to witness the escapades of the wealthy Ewing family. Like any good show, the drama off-screen tends to outmatch the stories written into the script.


There were plenty of scandals and backstage antics that occurred throughout the show’s duration. We are going to count down the top 12 facts and secrets about Dallas that’ll leave you wanting to watch a marathon of reruns.



12. Houston

The original title of the show was Houston since the oil industry was more prominent in the city and Dallas was known for banking. When the script was read by an executive producer, he decided to change the name to Dallas because of how much easier it rolls off of the tongue.

11. Cliffhangers Affected Real Life

When cliffhangers became a popular television tool used to increase viewership, Dallas producers took it to the next level. For example, the “Who Shot J.R.?” episode was used as leverage when renewing Larry Hagman’s contract. If his demands were too outrageous, the character may not survive the shooting.

10. J.R. Is A Good Guy?

Many people look at oil men as rigged, heartless, and tough businessmen, and the character of J.R. on Dallas is no different. Larry Hagman had grown partial to his character stating, “J.R wasn’t that bad…I wouldn’t call him bad; he was just an oil man.”

9. Based On His Real Boss

Perhaps Hagman was just used to the attitude and demeanor of oil industry tycoons because J.R. was based on a real employer he once worked for. The actor grew up in Texas and worked for oil families so he really understood the minute details when it came to portraying one on television.

8. The Dallas Quest

Believe it or not, there was a computer game based on the show called The Dallas Quest. The 8-bit game was published by Datasoft and programmed for the Tandy Color Computer, Commodore 64. In the game, you are a famous detective hired by Sue Ellen who must locate a map to rich oil fields.