Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NEWS: New DALLAS Details, DAYS Product Placement, Dracula, Sunjata

DALLAS 2011: Miss Ellie Dead, Bobby Remarried
TNT is currently negotiating deals with veteran Dallas stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray to head down south in early February to join a cast of hot, younger Ewings for a continuation of the 1978-91 primetime soap. And a lot has changed since we last visited with the Ewings in CBS's 1996 and 1998 reunion movies. For starters, Miss Ellie and Clayton are dead and buried on the ranch, reflecting the real-life losses of Howard Keel and Barbara Bel Geddes, and Bobby Ewing (Duffy) is remarried. But J.R. is still scheming and Sue Ellen has remained a powerful confidant and sober mother to all grown-up John Ross.

Ever the money man, Larry tells me he's still waiting for the bucks to be put on the table before he signs on. "I read the script and liked it," says Larry. "A lot of it is exposition to explain what's happened since we went off in the '90s. Miss Ellie's passed on and such. But they haven't made a firm offer yet. We're kicking ideas around, but nothing's been struck in gold. We'll see how it goes; I'm still ambivalent about it."

Far more optimistic are Patrick and Linda. "I read the script and was extremely impressed with it," says Patrick, who has heard shooting will take place in Texas, Louisiana or New Mexico. "I'd managed to read the scripts for the feature films Fox was planning a few years ago and they were atrocious. Just awful, so I didn't know what to expect from TNT. But this read like one of the better episodes at the height of Dallas. It's a perfect sequel to continuing the Dallas tradition."

Linda's been assured by the new show's writer, Cynthia Cidre, that Sue Ellen will remain the strong woman she evolved into by the original's conclusion. "I don't want Sue Ellen to become a victim yet again," Linda says.

As for the plot, Patrick tells me, "It's carried by John Ross, Christopher [Bobby and Pam's son] and their group, but they put us in enough to carry our old fans with us. J.R. responds to business deals" just as he always did, J.R. and Bobby's acrimonious relationship continues, and "Bobby's married happily — and not to Pamela."

While Patrick says he'd love to see Bobby one day reunited with Victoria Principal's Pam, TNT shouldn't even think about getting Sue Ellen and J.R. back together. Cracks Linda: "If they try that, there might be another shooting!"

DAYS OF OUR LIVES Botches Product Placements
"When 30 ROCK does a product placement, it's kind of funny. When DAYS OF OUR LIVES does one, it's kind of sad." Take a look at some recent DAYS product placements.

"Dracula" to Play The Little Shubert in 2011
The show is set to begin previews December 14, prior to its official press opening January 5 at the Little Shubert Theatre (442 West 42nd Street). Paul Alexander will direct. Jake Silbermann, best known for his role as the popular character Noah Mayer on AS THE WORLD TURNS, is set to portray Jonathan Harker.

Daniel Sunjata joins GREY'S ANATOMY
“Sunjata will play a nurse and love interest to Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson)”. His first scheduled appearance is for the Dec. 2nd episode to be called “Adrift and At Peace.”

CORONATION STREET and EASTENDERS team up for Children In Need special
Kat, played by Jessie Wallace, 39, and Liz, played by Beverly Callard, 53, teamed up for the BBC's Children In Need to record a special episode of the soap for the fund raising night where the cast of EASTENDERS and CORONATION STREET visit each others' sets.


  1. More power to "Days of Our Lives" for using product placement to help pay salaries and keep the lights on!

  2. Congratulations to Jake Silberman on his role as Jonathan Harker in Dracula!

  3. BTW, all soaps would do well to try to use product placement ads smartly. Look at Gossip Girl or Desperate Housewives placement of cell phones from Verizon and Sprint.

    A smart writer could weave the product in subtly as part of the plot. Burn Notice and Eureka wrote car placements (Hyundai and Subaru) into their stories.