Cult US TV series Dallas to be revived

Cult 1980s television series "Dallas" is to return to the small screen, with 79-year-old US actor Larry Hagman joining fellow veterans in bringing notoriously shot J.R. back to life.

Seventy-year-old Linda Gray, who played Sue Ellen in the original series, will also reprise her role, while Patrick Duffy, 62, will play Bobby Ewing, said TV channel TNT.

"It is incredibly exciting to see both new and familiar characters in the hands of a dream cast," said Michael Wright, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

"Dallas" was one of the most successful and longest-running shows in US prime-time television history, and was also hugely successful across the world. The blockbuster nighttime soap opera aired from 1978 to 1991.

The show was famous for cliffhanger endings, most famously to a season-ending episode in 1980 when J.R. Ewing was shot, leading to an explosion of "Who shot J.R?" debates, T shirts, jokes and so forth.

TNT described the updated show as "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."

The new show, made by 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," said TNT.

The channel said it had been mulling a revival for some time, but made the decision after a proposal by screenwriter Cynthia Cidre, who mostly works in televison but also wrote the 2005 movie "Tara Road" starring Andie MacDowell.

"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 Wright.

"We couldn't be more pleased with how 'Dallas' has come together," he added.

The channel has ordered 10 episodes, which are due to air in mid-2012, it said.

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