"For weeks," Fred Rothenberg recounted in 1986, "speculation that Patrick Duffy would return to 'Dallas' has been kicking around in the supermarket tabloids." At the time only a few insiders at Lorimar-Telepictures Production knew how Patrick Duffy would return. Patrick had told the Associated Press, "It's a deep secret. I think even the people on the show will be taken aback about how I return as a person." 

Patrick Duffy's character provided 'Dallas' the "good guy (Bobby)-bad guy (J.R.) dynamic." In his absence, "the show lost 3 million viewers last season (1985-86). The only thing they're happy about is it finished ahead of 'Dynasty.'" Two nights before the resurrection of Bobby Ewing on 'Dallas', Patrick Duffy could be seen guest starring on 'Hotel'. 

Patrick pointed out, "I didn't mention returning as Bobby Ewing. I won't mention it. I'm not saying I won't be Bobby Ewing, but I'm not saying I will. Leonard Katzman had this brilliant idea of how I would return." Leonard Katzman enthused, "I'm not quite sure if anything will ever be quite as big as 'Who Shot J.R.?' (November 21, 1980; 53% rating, 76% share) but I do believe the return of Patrick will cause a tremendous amount of discussion and interest. 

"As for the ratings, I don't think anybody's going to beat 'Cosby', but I think this will get us a huge tune-in. After that, it's up to us to give people the 'Dallas' they had come to know and love and keep them there. We expect this to have an impact similar to 'Who Shot J.R.?'. It's got everybody talking about the show again. It's put a tremendous amount of interest back into a 9-year-old show." 

The return of Bobby Ewing created enough interest to become the most watched 'Dallas' episode of the 1985-86 season, attracting a 42% share and 24.9% rating (of the 85.9 million households with TV sets at the time). "We've got at least another 3 or 4 or 5 more years and could even become another of those strange phenomena like 'Gunsmoke' that goes on and on," Patrick made the observation. 

"I'm looking forward to returning. I had a very productive year (during his off season). I wanted to set up my own production company. I had a home building in Arizona and some land holdings that needed attention. I have an invention company with some patents out of St. Louis. I made more money in the last 12 months than I ever did in 'Dallas'. Money was never the factor." 

In the 1986-87 season, NBC decided to move 'Miami Vice' up an hour from Fridays at 10:00pm to 9:00pm to compete directly against 'Dallas'. Of the head-to-head, Leonard Katzman told the press, "I do think that we appeal to different audiences. Secondly, I would think the move to 9 o'clock might not be totally beneficial to 'Miami Vice', not only because they're up against 'Dallas' but because they might suffer the same thing when we moved from 10:00 to 9:00 (to make way for 'Falcon Crest'). The people who go out to dinner or whatever and return expecting to see the show won't be able to do so. We found our ratings dropped a little when we moved to 9:00."

The 'Dallas' 2-hour season premiere episode attracted a 44% share and 26.5% rating. At the same time, 'Miami Vice' attracted 28% share and 17.4% rating. However after the first 5 weeks it was noted the 'Dallas' share of audience dropped between 32% and 36%. Dennis Cooper of 'Miami Vice' told 'New York Daily News', "We knew they would start strong. We never expected to have a blitzkrieg (over them). We never looked over our shoulder when we were down in the ratings, and now that we are successful we still don't pay attention to what the other guy is doing."

Linda Gray told Gary Deeb, "Yes we all laughed about Pam's dream but viewers really wanted Patrick Duffy back as Bobby. And no matter how they handled the return of Bobby, it would be panned by some people. But I think the bad-dream idea was great. I mean, when you consider the wacky alternatives, it was brilliant." Larry Hagman told Patrick Duffy, "My favorite (episode) is when you came back, when Pam opened that shower door and there you were. I thought it was the greatest thing since Hershey's chocolate bars."

Leonard Katzman reasoned, "Rip Van Winkle had a long dream, too, and nobody argued with him. It was a very complete dream. I'd say that, it was the only sensible way to go. Our alternatives would have been too bizarre and would have taken 4 episodes (about one month) to explain why Bobby was back. This was simpler and the best route. It's all over and done with, and now we can go on with the show."

Linda Gray made the point, "Everybody in this business is doing the same thing; we're entertaining people. And I think that's great. I'm here to entertain, and to play a strange character who a lot of people poke fun at and love and relate to. That's what gives me pleasure – not the ratings or who's gonna get killed off next. I mean, we ain't doin' Shakespeare – and we're well aware of that." 

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