It's very difficult for a show to remain as successful as Dallas did for as long as they did. There's an idea now that if you manage to keep a series on the air for one hundred episodes, that's a huge accomplishment. Dallas lasted for 357 episodes. It's a level of success for a drama series that hasn't been seen since. It's been discussed here numerous times that the decrease in the quality of the scripts were a major contributing factor in the demise of the show. No matter how talented the actors are, a drama series needs to give their actors quality material to work with. It's also been discussed that the decision to have one producer call all the shots was probably something that hurt the show. Dallas had previously operated with both Leonard Katzman and Philip Capice at the helm. Then Katzman took over all the duties of running the show. If you try to do everything yourself, you're going to burn out eventually. It's good to have other people helping because one guy trying to run everything can become so closely involved in what he's doing that he can't see the forest for the trees. The idea of what would have happened if they'd taken Dallas in a more positive direction rarely if ever comes up. It's a show about a family of characters who are flawed to varying shades of gray, but even the less flawed characters have serious issues. All those characters also had some very redeeming qualities! Dallas was a blend of light and darkness. That worked great in seasons four through eight when Dallas was consistently either the most watched show or the second most watched show on TV. They probably gave people about as much of what they'd been giving them, that the public was bound to grow tired of it after well over 200 episodes, and move on to whatever they considered the next big thing. Faced with that situation, the only way to even have a chance of staying on top would be to give the audience a change in the direction of the show, one that would hopefully be viewed as a new exciting change, significant enough to keep Dallas exciting enough to where people would feel like they couldn't miss an episode of it. They did provide change but it was always negative change and I'm not referring to the quality of the scripts. Their idea of change was to have increasingly unfortunate things happen to the most watched family on TV. Besides the Ewing family itself, the two centerpieces of the show where Ewing Oil and Southfork. In season 10 a show already suffering from the loss of one of its most popular characters then lost Ewing Oil. How can you have Dallas without Ewing Oil? It's like Dallas without Southfork. There are certain intrinsic elements that made Dallas what it was and without them, you no longer have Dallas. From there it became a show depicting loss after loss. There wasn't much for the fans to be happy about anymore. JR Ewing, an iconic TV character, was no longer allowed to do what he did best. Pam and Bobby reuniting in season 10 was something for the fans to be happy about and that was taken away. Since Victoria Principal stopped working for the show, that had to happen, so why also take away Ewing Oil, and take away from JR what he did best - the thing that had made the character the most talked about character on TV and made Larry Hagman the most highly paid actor on TV? Why then proceed to disassemble the Ewing family piece by piece? They had made the worst mistake - they had stopped giving the fans anything to be happy about! The Ewings were a problematic family, with some characters having much bigger problems than others. The show had two choices at the end of season ten - to show their problems get worse and worse, have the most watched family on TV crumble, which is the easy approach, or they could have had the family struggle to fix its problems. That's the hard approach; that's the approach that requires creativity. They had built the most successful show of the decade. It's much easier to destroy something than it is to fix it. It doesn't take any talent or creativity to take something that had once been great and destroy it. To take the most successful TV show of the decade and instead of destroying it, build it up into something better is one hell of a challenge. Apparently it was seen as such a challenge that they didn't even want to try to take it on. They went the easy, predictable route of taking what they'd built and then broke it apart, piece by piece. Wow! Won't that be dramatic for the fans to see the ruination of an empire? Maybe, but is it gonna be any fun? Do you expect the fans to enjoy tuning in every week to see something they loved be destroyed? Why would they? People watch TV to have a good time. Some might even watch it as a form of escape. After all the problems they deal with all week long, it's nice to have something positive and exciting as a temporary escape from all the problems they're dealing with. If you just want to see problems you can watch the news. That's their specialty. Nobody is gonna outdo the news at that. Why not offer people something that after watching it,they'll feel better instead of worse? Don't you think they'd be more likely to watch again next week if they liked the way the show made them feel the last time they watched it? In TV you have the unique ability to make whatever you want to happen, take place. You have the ability to make characters triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds and do tremendous things! How many TV shows today take advantage of that? How many of them are using that unique ability to their best advantage? It ought to be some indication to them that when show after gets cancelled after 10 or 20 or 30 episodes that the easy approach - to destroy - is not the best approach. These shows learned from Dallas that a serialized format can be fascinating. That's why they all do it now! What these shows should have learned from the mistakes Dallas made in their last four seasons is that people don't want to see that. People weren't watching the Ewings every week because they wanted to see their favorite family destroyed. When Dallas was doing well, there was always hope within the story that things could improve for this family, that they could find a way to start improving their marriages instead of losing all their marriages, that they could start improving their relationships with their relatives and that each of them could choose to put forth the effort towards self-improvement. What if instead of ultimately destroying everything they'd built for the sake of the sheer spectacle of it, they'd taken the road less travelled. Suppose that instead of turning to the left, they'd turned to the right. That could have created fascinating internal conflict within each character - do you keep doing the tempting things that are easy to do because they're what you've always done or do you act courageously enough to try to grow as a human being and risk making mistakes on the road to becoming a better person? There was a always a good mixture of both positive and negative elements in Dallas in its best years. There was good and there was evil. There was hope and there was fear. When you take the hope away, you take the fans away.