What if Lorimar had done Nu Dallas

Discussion in 'Dallas TNT' started by Elizabeth Ewins, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    63 episodes is not genuinely 5 seasons. Maybe they called it 5 seasons, but in reality that's 3 seasons at best! Would you rather that Dallas had a Vince Gilligan style producer and they ended Dallas after 63 episodes? I sure wouldn't. Breaking Bad was a good show and they had a nice run. The even imitated Dallas in some ways by copying things that Dallas had innovated such as having the main character of the show be an antihero, rather than the traditional hero. Walter White broke the rules when it suited him and even broke the law when he thought it was justified, but he still loved his family and made sure they were well taken care of and provided for. That's all very reminiscent of a certain someone. Breaking Bad used a serialized style with the story continuing from episode to episode and used cliffhangers - none of which was done very much until Dallas utilized that style with amazing results. That's where the comparison ends.

    Dallas was so much more than just a story about a bad guy who the audience still liked anyway. It was a saga about a generations of a family. It had an ensemble cast the likes if which Vince Gilligan only wishes he could put together. Dallas had an audience that dwarfed Breaking Bad's audience. I think you'll find it hard to get anyone who likes Dallas to agree that stopping at some arbitrary, pre-decided number such as 63 episodes would have been ideal. Had Capice told CBS that he was shutting Dallas down after 100 episodes because it's a nice even number and a multiple of 10, CBS would have told him, "No you're not. You aren't bigger than Dallas. Maybe your ego is bigger than Dallas, but you aren't. What you are is replaceable."
     
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  2. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    In terms of television today, 5 seasons can very well consist of only 63 episodes. TNT Dallas followed a similar model. The show aired for three seasons, but only consisted of 40 episodes. It's done to cut down on filler episodes. Also, no modern show has the kind of audience the original Dallas did. There were only three channels then, and now there's an infinite amount.

    Putting that aside, you still missed my point. I wasn't saying that Dallas should have had the same number of episodes as Breaking Bad. What I was saying is that I'd rather have fewer episodes if it means having a higher quality product. Breaking Bad may not have had the audience Dallas did, but the consensus among its fan base is that it had five flawless seasons and ended with one of the best series finales in television history. Meanwhile, the consensus among Dallas fans is that the last four seasons were crap and "Conundrum" was a horrible finale.

    Also, I don't think a show should have an arbitrary ending. But unlike Katzman, Giligan knew when it felt right to end the show so that it didn't outstay its welcome. In the 20 years I've been discussing Dallas, I've heard many fans say that season 10 (per DVD) felt like the right time to end the show, and I personally agree with them. It had an air of finality, and everything that followed was subpar anyway. Actors were cut and replaced with no talent 20 year olds, and the writing became campy. It may have kept people employed, but the fans were cheated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Is having a consensus important to you?

    If I liked following trends and following the crowd, I guess I'd want to know what everybody else has decided so I'd I know what to do to fit in with them. Since I don't operate that way, the consensus isn't of any value to me. I just make up my own mind abut what I feel like doing.

    You kind of make it sound like somebody was forcing you to watch what, according to your consensus was "crap." I wasn't contacted for that vote by the way. I like seasons 11 and 12. I watched seasons 13 and 14, so they couldn't have been that bad or I'd have done something else with that time, but 13 and 14 went in a direction taken to try to attract a younger demographic and the result was something that was not up to the standard I expected of Dallas. They gave James and Michelle so damn much TV time that it didn't leave time to do much else. I don't know why they were so desperate for a younger audience. I was only 22 years old when Dallas ended in 1991. That's not exactly old enough to join AARP, is it? Besides, a lot of young people are broke, or worse, they're in debt because they took out massive loans to pay for college that they're just beginning to pay back.. If I were an advertiser I'd be more interested in reaching people who actually have money to spend.

    My belief on getting a a favorable demographic is this: If you create a good enough show, in most cases it will appeal to people whether they're young or old. If it's not good, it won't appeal to young or old people! So when you have a way of doing things that works, don't act as if it's broken and try to fix it. When you've got a time tested formula for success, don't change it. Remember "New Coke"? The same advice applies to that. When you've got the world's favorite soft drink, don't change the recipe. I think this stuff should be basic. I think I'd still be saying the same thing if I hadn't majored in Business. This isn't complicated. It's not anything anyone should have to go to a university to learn. It just takes a little common sense.

    My common sense tells me that if I stop enjoying watching a TV show, whether they continue or get cancelled is of no importance to me. I'm not watching it anyway, so why would I care of it, in one poster's words "decides to limp its way to a painful death"? So what? I don't have to watch it, so if the show continues past when I enjoy watching it anymore, I'm certainly not going to complain "It's still being shown"! I'm not going to try to tell people that since I don't watch it anymore , they shouldn't watch it anymore either. That's just not my style. If some people still have a good time watching it and it's enough people that the show is making money and the actors and the crew are making a living, why would I complain? The network will cancel it if it's losing too much money and they can't figure out how to fix whatever it is that is causing the show to lose its audience. That's the network's job to make that decision.
     
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  4. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I don't believe in following trends for the sake of it. However, having a consensus on something is important in determining its popularity. If a majority of people liked a show that I didn't, obviously the show should stay on the air. In contrast, if I liked a show that a majority of people despised, I wouldn't say it should stay on the air just to keep a few people happy.

    In the case of Dallas, I just happen to agree with the majority that it should have ended after season 10. In fact, I thought that before I even joined this forum.

    Yeah, I get that's it's "not your style." You couldn't have made that any clearer. Honestly, I don't give a damn if you think it should have stayed on the air despite the drop in quality. That's your right. I'm a die hard fan. When I invest in a show, I watch until the end no matter what. However, I still retain the right to have an opinion on what I'm watching. Likewise, I'm also allowed to believe a show should have ended sooner than it did for the sake of quality. You obviously favor longevity, where as I favor quality. That's why we're never going to agree on this.

    Also, the fact that you believe the last 4 seasons "couldn't be that bad" because you watched them doesn't prove anything. As I said before, I sat through them too. And the only reason I did is because I make it a point to finish shows I initially loved. Enjoyment of any form of entertainment is always going to be subjective. Even the least regarded show has a fan somewhere. I just think a show shouldn't be kept on the air to appease a minority or even to keep people employed. That's why I have more respect for someone like Vince Gilligan who valued quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    it's not he majority of the audience though. If you look at he highest rating Dallas ever got for a season, it's 27.6 for season 4. That was the season that followed the cliffhanger ending that led to talk all summer long of "Who shot JR?" There were no doubt some casual fans who just watched Dallas for a little while starting in season 4 because the talk about who shot JR was just everywhere. By the next season the ones who were just trying Dallas to see if they liked it and decided it wasn't their kind of show had probably left. So I think season 5 is a good representation of how many people were Dallas fans in its peak years. They got a 23.2 rating for season 5 - their second highest rated season ever. So a majority of Dallas fans is more than half of 23.2. A majority of Dallas fans is enough Dallas fans to create an 11.6 rating.

    You say season 10 should have been its last. They got an 18.6 Season 11 got a 15.2 rating and season 12 a 13.9 rating. That's well over half of a 23.2 rating. They don't say what the ratings were for season 13 and 14 on wikipedia so I don't know what they were. But clearly, a majority of Dallas fans were still watching in seasons 11 and 12.

    They say hindsight is 20/20. At the end of season 10 there was no way of knowing just how good season 11 would be, and how good they'd be by season 12 would have been even more of a mystery, and so on. It's not realistic to think the whole cast and crew would decide: "We can't possibly keep making say seasons as good as the one we just had. There is no way that our writers are going to come up with any stories that are of the quality we are known for. They're permanently out of good ideas and new writers that would help us maintain our standard of quality don't exist."

    No, they couldn't possibly be so pessimistic to have been thinking that way. Maybe part of the reason why I don't like the idea of ending a great show while it's still great is because I'm an optimist. I think: They have made great seasons of Dallas in the past so they can do it again. That's my attitude. Without having the benefit of hindsight that's what I think I would have said if somebody brought up the idea that Dallas should be cancelled at the end of season 10. Dallas has such a great cast and such a talented creative team, that certainly they can come up with more good stories to tell.


    It proves something to me. It proves I was still enjoying it enough to justify watching it. By season 11, which started in the fall of 1987 I had a VCR and most American families did. So we didn't even necessarily have to give up an our of our time on Friday night. I could go out, set the VCR timer to record Dallas and watch it when I got home or the next day.

    When I don't like a show anymore I stop watching it. I watched Beverly Hills 90210 for several years but at some point I got tired of it and stopped watching it regularly. I may still have caught the occasional episode, but that's it. There was a popular soap style drama in the 90s named Melrose Place which was sort of a more mature Beverly Hills 90210. I watched from the very first episode, back when they had Amy Locane in it. I always liked her. They didn't keep her long though. They settled on a core group of characters they featured and I'd watch them once a week for several years. Then they started losing characters I liked and the stories were getting silly. So I quit watching it. I haven't even seen the end of it in re-runs. I might one day stream the seasons of Melrose Place I didn't watch if I'm very bored.

    You praised Vince Gilligan for ending at 63 episodes and having Breaking Bad go out on top. That's fine; I liked Breaking Bad too. Breaking Bad was never going to go on too long after it's peak because the whole premise of the show is: Walter White is "breaking bad." He's taking crazy risks and doing thing he'd never otherwise do because his time is limited! So of course the show wasn't in danger of lasting too long. Vince Gilligan was in a very unique situation because of that.

    So Vince Gilligan couldn't have realistically made Breaking Bad for much longer even if he had wanted to. But he did the next closest thing. He continued the stories of several characters from Breaking Bad in Better Call Saul - a lesser product, a show of less quality and certainly much less success than Breaking Bad. Nobody is immune from sometimes continuing what was a great thing past the time when they still have any great ideas left for it.



    I know, but I found our discussion interesting. You're a good debater.
     
  6. Frank Underwood

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    By majority, I should have specified that I was referring to the majority of posts I've seen on this forum.

    Of course, it's an opinion formed in hindsight after seeing the show in its entirety. Based on everything that followed season 10, it seemed to me that they lost all direction.

    There are shows I've quit watching that I was only a casual viewer of. In the case of Dallas, I was far from a casual viewer by season 11. That's why I watched until the bitter end.

    Yes, the premise of Breaking Bad made it a limited series to begin with. But how many stories did Dallas have to tell once Ewing Oil was gone and Pam had gone up in flames? We got a mediocre season with a mummified Pam, boring conversations about West Star stock, and Nicholas Pierce's connections to the mob. After that, we got three seasons which were essentially a parody version of the show. JR ends up on a chain gang and in the nuthouse, 20 year olds buy Ewing Oil with their pocket change, and everything is played for laughs.

    As for Better Call Saul, it has a completely different tone from Breaking Bad. It's similar to what Knots Landing was to Dallas, and I personally wouldn't call either "lesser products."

    Same here.

    Thanks. You are too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  7. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Yes, that is what I have been repeating (a bit like a broken record, though hardly anyone gets the dated reference anymore :D). I had asked in another thread how people felt about the announcement of Dallas returning. Now, I did not know Cidre. But I knew TNT. I could not imagine a prime time soap fitting there. And while Cidre has her (big) share of blame, I can't imagine any production company--such as Lorimar--by itself making a difference once that venue was chosen.

    In this thread (about peach Dynasty), the following is mentioned by TV critic Matt Roush: "Dallas exists on its own plane, and couldn’t sustain its so-so reboot after the death of Larry Hagman." While I agree with @Rove that of course it was possible to continue without Hagman on a Ewing-based show, his death made it so much easier for Cidre and TNT to stir the show in the direction they desired. His presence (Hagman and J.R.) was such a plot magnet he was still keeping all elements drawn to the Ewings. With him gone, entropy took over.
     
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  8. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    I'm speaking after the departure of Pam. There is also the deep and meaningful conversation Miss Ellie and Cliff shared. I found this scene somehow, weirdly, summed up the Dallas story.


    This is when I believed the character of Cliff could have left. The fight and hatred between the Ewing and Barnes family was finished.

    And I've just realized how the the writers (TNT Dallas) lifted words from Lorimar Dallas to open TNT Dallas...

    ..."all that wasted time."
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  9. Kenny Coyote

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    Oh, OK! In that case I agree with you. I really loved the scene with Cliff bringing the shoebox full of pictures to the park to show Ellie. Cliff remarked that the one thing he wished the most was that Pam had been there to "Finally see her brother learn his lesson." That was so good. It was powerful!

    Now, unfortunately, Cliff didn't stay in that mindset. He eventually returned to the revenge mindset, which is what ruined his relationship with Liz, which seemed like it was possibly heading towards marriage. It's unfortunate for Cliff that he didn't stay in the frame of mind he was in that day in the park with Miss Ellie because Cliff had finally found some inner peace and I was happy for him. It was the healthiest, most well adjusted version of Cliff we ever saw, as far as I'm concerned. What do you think?
     
  10. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    I agree. When you watch the opening scene between Miss Ellie and Cliff there is the subtle nervousness stemming from Cliff when Miss Ellie calls out his name and he drops the shoebox. Nice touch by the way. If this was the final scene (ever) in Lorimar Dallas I would have been quite content. Both characters revisit the past conjuring up names like Jock, Digger, JR and importantly Pam. In fact when you watch the video just at the 4:22 mark as Cliff is about to mention Pam's name he slightly tilts his head, as if appearing towards the heavens. Not sure if this was coincidence, damn good direction or Ken just offering some dignity to a much loved character.
     
  11. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Member

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    I never knew this. So, are you saying that “Conundrum” wasn’t the intended series finale, but just intended to be a season finale, but then they were cancelled?
     
  12. Kenny Coyote

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    When did TV networks start trying to have all their shows be similar, at least to the degree that each show they air is supposed to "fit in with their line-up"?

    Apparently they do that now, but what made them come to the conclusion that that was a good idea? I don't understand why a TV network would want to do that. Why would they want to pigeonhole themselves as a network that only airs one type of show? What do they perceive is advantageous about doing that?

    If all their programming all fits one type of style of show such as crime drama then they're alienating themselves from anyone who doesn't like watching crime dramas. If they ran their business by just concentrating on the quality of their programming and were willing to air any genre of show as long as they think it's good, their potential audience would be so much bigger. Their crime dramas would still do just as well in a line-up that has variety. People are fans of shows, not networks. If they like CSI for example, they're going to watch it whether it's on channel 27 or channel 29. Those are just numbers to the audience.

    Most people like some variety anyway. Even if I like crime dramas, I'm going to need to change the channel if a network shows nothing but crime dramas because watching one right after the other is going to get tedious. Variety is good.

    CBS aired both The Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas. Those shows have nothing to do with each other. They're completely different genres but they not only aired on the same network, they aired back to back with The Dukes at 8PM and Dallas at 9PM. If CBS had tried to make their line-up fit together by sticking to one basic type of show they would have had to have stopped airing one of those shows, but why would they? Both shows got great ratings!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  13. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    That's the difference between broadcast networks and cable networks. Broadcast networks like CBS air all types of shows such as soap operas, game shows, sitcoms, and dramas. Cable networks, on the other hand, are niche networks. They cater to specific genres of television. In TNT's case, that happens to be criminal procedurals. It's a shame Soapnet isn't around anymore because Dallas would have fit in nicely there. Especially during the period when Soapnet was airing reruns of the original. Dallas was never going to work on TNT or with Cidre.
     
  14. tommie

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    I dunno
    I'd say that because we not only have so many channels today to choose from, but other media like SoapChat to waste our time on, it's become important even for broadcast to target and know their audience. CBS is now known for mostly older-skewing procedurals and broad laugh-track comedies, ABC is more female soapy-leaning and "family" comedies, Fox is now going in a more conservative and sports/live programming direction, The CW is aimed at the teens and 18-34 demographic etc etc

    Honestly, I don't think there's really any channel where I'd place Dallas. It's a soap, but it's also very male-westerny, which would make it a bad fit for ABC. The cast is clearly older, even when it was new most were in the 30-50-ish bracket. Maybe as a companion to Yellowstone on Paramount it might've worked today?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  15. Kenny Coyote

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    It doesn't make any sense. As soon as they decide on showing one thing, they've alienated everybody who doesn't like that one thing Second, even if you do like that ne thing, it's tedious to watch one right after the other of similar type shows. People like a variety.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  16. Frank Underwood

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    I just meant that the broadcast networks tend to air a wider variety of shows. But yes, each genre they air does seem aimed at a particular niche.

    On the flip side, some cable channels have ultimately abandoned their niche. For example, a common refrain is "Remember when MTV used to play music?"

    I think streaming services like Netflix are the way to go today.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  17. Kenny Coyote

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    Or how about: "Remember when MTV videos were the hippest thing around"? They abandoned their bread and butter. They didn't stay with what brought them to the dance and as a result, they went from being the hippest, and one of the hottest channels on cable TV to something 3rd rate that almost never even gets mentioned.

    Regarding Netflix, I have a subscription with them, and every time I search for a movie I'd like to stream, they say "We're missing this title." Why is that? I thought they were supposed to be a first rate streaming service. But they;re missing the last 3 movies I wanted to see and the are major movies that made a lot of money. Body heat, Casablanca, and Casino (Robert Deniro and Sharon Stone) - if they don't have these classics, especially Casablanca, how can they be considered first rate, or the leader in their industry. My little local video store back in the 80s had a better selection than Netflix!!!
     
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  18. pete lashmar

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    Netflix, (which I subscribe to)is a bit of an oddball - they have some great shows - drama, comedy, factual, political, criminal etc, but when you actually search for something you want to watch it's never there.

    Only yesterday I was flicking through and saw bewitched and thought "Ooo, not seen that in years", but it turned out to be that dreadful film version with Nicole Kidman.

    Shows like Dallas (any of the big soaps), would fit right in on Netflix, but I doubt we'll ever see them on there - and as for films...unless their made by Netflix they are always a good few years old unfortunately, and the classics never seem to be on there.
     

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