If fans left in droves because Bobby left, why didn't they return when he came back with the idiotic dream solution? There wasn't even a minimal bump in the ratings--instead, there was further decline, even small. Either nobody cared that Bobby returned, or some did, but many more left in disgust and the net result was further decline rather than increase. The 1985-86 season was the season where audiences were drawn to another genre, the sitcom, and the Bill Cosby show became #1 with Family Ties at #2. Just a year before, Dynasty was #1 and Dallas was #2. That year, Dallas was #6 and Dynasty was #7. Of course the plots of the soaps in that year did not help, and creative decisions hurt the shows. Dallas's 85-86 season could have been a rejuvenation for the show, with Pam and J.R. fighting for Ewing Oil per Davis Jacobs' mini-series plan. While the show did have some interesting new stories, it also had some duds (Angelica Nero, Jack Ewing). Also, both super soaps stretched out to 31 episodes for whatever reasons the networks had. Dallas continued to decline in ratings and rankings. It went to #11 the year Bobby returned, and to #21 the year after (with a 15.2 rating). Whatever "Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman Kool-Aid" the Dallas producers were drinking, the audience wasn't partaking. I do agree with you that for the short-term, legacy is not an issue that producers and networks care about. It is something fans care about, but not capitalists running companies. But I bet you the declining ratings bringing lower ad revenue in the following years did hurt them where they care.