Sunday, September 30, 2012

Victoria Principal: Will she return to Dallas?

The new Dallas seems to be a success.  Ratings are good and the TNT series has been renewed for another season of 15 new episodes.  It's great to see Larry Hagman play the dastardly J.R. Ewing again.  He's older and more frail, but he still has that glint in his eyes.  Linda Gray is back as Sue Ellen, although that storyline about Sue Ellen running for governor of Texas defies credulity.  With all Sue Ellen's baggage, it's even difficult to imagine her running for mayor of Dallas.  I'm pleased that Patrick Duffy has also returned as Bobby Ewing, J.R.'s earnest but self-righteous younger brother (although I could probably do without that storyline about Bobby's cancer).  Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Ewing matriarch, Miss Ellie, died in 2005. Jim Davis, who portrayed patriarch Jock Ewing, passed away in 1981 and Jock's death was written into the original series.  By the way, whatever happened to that portrait of Jock Ewing that J.R. and Bobby always looked at for inspiration?

In the new Dallas, there's a good mix of older favourites with younger actors such as Josh Henderson as John Ross Ewing and Jesse Metcalfe as Christopher Ewing.  This integration of classic characters with a whole new generation has been quite well done.  It's also interesting that environmental concerns about oil have been included in the new version of the show.  This is a much-need update because if the series is to have relevance in 2012, it can't remain in a 1980s or early 1990s time warp.  It has to attract younger audiences, particularly those who who have no memory of the original Dallas.

In the early episodes of the new Dallas, John Ross Ewing was shown to be cartoonishly evil, a younger and perhaps more ruthless version of his father, J.R.  As the first season ended, his character seemed to be less one dimensional.  As for Bobby and his adopted son, Christopher, they also have similar personalities, although Christopher may be a bit rougher around the edges.

One person is conspicuous by her absence.and that person is Victoria Principal. Victoria played Bobby Ewing's former wife, Pamela Barnes Ewing from 1978 until 1987. When her character last appeared on Dallas, Pam had learned she had a terminal illness and had left Bobby and son Christopher in order to die in peace.  Meanwhile Bobby is now married to Ann, played by Brenda Strong.

Many fans have been clamouring for Victoria Principal's  return to the revamped version of the show.  In the world of prime time soaps, a terminal illness can be easily overcome.  There is nothing preventing Victoria's character from returning to Dallas.  So, will she reprise her role as Pam.?  If not, why not?

Well, Dallas fans, I'm afraid there is not much chance of that happening.  I wouldn't rule it out completely, but the odds are very slim that Victoria Principal will return to the show that made her a star.  Victoria owns a successful skincare line, Principal Secret, and hasn't appeared on the screen for several years. After over 20 years of marriage, she divorced her plastic surgeon husband, Dr. Harry Glassman, in 2006 and moved to Malibu, California.

Although it's no secret that the producers of the new Dallas want Victoria to return, it doesn't appear to be in the cards.  In an exclusive interview with Assignment X (posted August 12, 2012), executive producer Michael M. Robin stated that Principal "indicated that it's something she's not interested in."

In the interview, Robin suggested that other actors from the original series could return.  He said, "As far as we're concerned, everyone who was in the old show could be in this show.  And it's just about where the storytelling takes you.but we can revisit anyone who is in the mythology of the series."  Fan favourites such as Joan van Ark (Valene Ewing) and Ted Shackelford (Gary Ewing) have been mentioned as possibilities by showrunner and executive producer Cynthia Cydrie.  Just don't expect to see the return of Victoria Principal - unless she has a change of heart.

- Joanne

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