Exec producer Cynthia Cidre confirms that Shackelford will pop up as J.R. and Bobby's brother a couple episodes before Val and Lucy. "Gary comes because he is a third owner of the oil under Southfork," says Cidre. "Then Val comes for a big event. We have some really fun stuff with Gary and Val back together with J.R. and Sue Ellen."In an August interview at a Warner Bros. party, Cidre said she never really entertained the idea of bringing Pam back.
Shackelford, 66, says he hopes Gary has remained sober but isn't opposed to a return to his philandering ways (with fellow recovered alcoholic Sue Ellen, perhaps?)."You have to have conflict or you have no drama," says the actor, who reports to the ranch in late November. "I'm looking forward to seeing all of them."
Besides Lucy, Cidre has no plans to re-introduce Gary and Val's other grown-up children, twins Bobby and Betsy, or any other Knots actors. "I'm already feeling a little squeezed by serving all the characters on our plate," says Cidre, who will welcome one more return: Audrey Landers will be back as Cliff's ex and Rebecca's mother, Afton Cooper, in the same episode where Van Ark and Shackelford reunite.
"When I started this three years ago and I was told by Warner Bros., what do you want to do? I'd never even watched the show, so I said, let me watch the show and I needed to balance the new and the old [characters]. I picked three names out of a hat: Larry [Hagman as J.R.], obviously. I looked online [at current pictures of] Patrick [Duffy] and thought he looked fantastic and I looked at Linda, and she looked great," said Cidre, who envisioned a cast of eight that also includes Ewing scions John Ross and Christopher and their girlfriends. "So now I've got seven people and it seemed as if that [Bobby-Pam] love story had been exhausted. I didn't know what I could possibly bring to that love story. It seemed to me at the time it needed a breath of fresh air, so I said let's give Bobby a new wife, having no idea what a pot I was stirring."
Cidre said it wasn't until later that journalists and viewers began asking, what about Pam?
"I personally have not reached out to her and to my knowledge the studio hasn't either," Cidre said, "and I don't think she has any interest in it."
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