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
- 'The Following': 15 Shocking Moments from 'The Messenger'
- 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 18 Official Photos: Celebrities with Their Partners
- 'The Bachelor: After the Final Rose' Recap: Is the Couple Still Together?
- 'Intelligence' Recap: A Paralyzing Agent Hits Too Close to Home
- 'Bates Motel' Recap: A Drug War Begins
- More From BuddyTV
- Terry Crews: 'I'm game' for Marvel's 'Luke Cage' Netflix series
- 'The Following' Season 2, episode 8: Why was the big twist revealed before 'The Messenger' aired?
- 'Doctor Who': Is a major villain returning in Season 8?
- 'WWE Raw' March 10 recap: Daniel Bryan's #OccupyRAW gets him a 'Wrestlemania' match
- 'Star-Crossed' Season 1, episode 4 recap: 'And Left No Friendly Drop'
- More From Zap2it
- The Bachelor Finale: Who 'Won'? Why Was Juan Pablo Glum? And Who's the New Bachelorette?
- Teen Wolf Recap: 'Chaos Has Come Again'
- Do You Believe In NBC's Supernatural Drama?
- The Voice Recap: Maybe Just One More Try?
- Pilot News: Alana De La Garza, Gabourey Sidibe, American Dreams Dad Among Latest Castings
- More From TVLine