On March 21, 1980, 'Dallas' viewers gasped as an unknown assailant shot J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), the ultra-manipulative, double-dealing womanizer we loved to hate. The Texas oil baron had so many enemies, anybody could have pulled the trigger. Was it his bitter alcoholic wife Sue Ellen? His upright but resentful brother Bobby? His arch-enemy Cliff Barnes, who blamed him for stealing his daddy's oil business? Or any number of other relatives, business associates, mistresses (or their angry husbands), who had ample motive for revenge?
It was an unprecedented pop culture moment with "Who Shot J.R.?" T-shirts and Vegas laying odds about who the culprit would be. Ninety million people tuned in the next fall to find out that the shooter was Kristin, J.R.s sister-in-law whom he'd also been sleeping with.
The show never again reached such ratings heights, but the cliffhanger craze was born. Over the next 12 seasons, we were treated to crashes, fires and all kinds of bite-your-nails finales that left nearly every character's life on the line at some point. In honor of the 30th anniversary of that fateful shot, we count down 'Dallas's top 10 most memorable moments.
Well, the constant changes in cast and directors so far has been comedic, that's for sure. The project is now on its third director after Bend it Like Beckham helmer Gurinder Chadha walked away, possibly leaving the project in the hands of Betty Thomas, who previously directed the bigscreen adaptation of The Brady Bunch.
Many big names were attached to the project, including John Travolta, Jennifer Garner, Meg Ryan, Luke Wilson, Jennifer Lopez and Shirley MacLaine. Travolta, set to play oil tycoon J.R. Ewing, is the only one who still remains.
TV Squad Hot Topics
Most Popular Articles
From Our Partners
- 'Penny Dreadful' Season 2 Finale Recap: Vanessa Faces Evelyn for the Final Time
- 'True Detective' Recap: Is Velcoro Alive or Dead?
- 'Big Brother 17' Recap: 2 Female HoHs and 2 Female Targets
- The 3 Biggest Differences Between 'True Detective' Season 1 and Season 2
- 'Big Brother 17' Spoilers: Where Does Everyone Stand in Week 2?
- More From BuddyTV
- Penny Dreadful Season Finale Recap: Blood, Threat and Tears
- Food Network Star Recap: A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
- True Detective Recap: Faking It
- Fall TV: Good Wife vs. Don Johnson, and Sunday's Other DVR Dilemmas
- Quotes of the Week From Teen Wolf, Complications, Rookie Blue and More!
- More From TVLine
- Margot Robbie Rocks 'Suicide Squad' Costume, Celebrates B-Day with Harley Quinn Cake
- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Inside Vanessa Williams' Stunningly Classy Wedding
- Demi Lovato Falls Hard During Pool Party Performance
- U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Wins Record-Setting Third World Cup, America Rejoices!
- Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis Wed in Secret Ceremony!
- More From ET