"Television, unlike the movie business, is a lot like politics. Networks, in a sense, run for office - the public votes by watching and, if a show doesn't garner ratings, it is yanked in favor of another," Lynn Hirschberg of 'The New York Times' explained. Paul Junger Witt added, "...There's a greater realization about a very simple fact: that television is the most democratic of art forms. If there is something we don't like, we can turn the set off or turn on something else. If enough people turn a show off, it fails and goes away - and that's a reflection of the public sentiment. If enough people watch, it succeeds - and that's an expression of the public sentiment too." 

Every year thousands of ideas were being offered to each TV network. In October 1977, David Jacobs approached CBS with his project which would later become known as 'Knots Landing'. At the time, his proposal was rejected, "The development people said they wanted someone rich instead of middle class. They said, 'Give us something larger than life and put it in the Southwest somewhere.'" When David came back in November 1977 with 'Dallas' (inspired by the movie, 'Giant'), Bud Grant recounted, "We bought it right off the script. I read it and loved it. I thought it was rich, and very full of good characters." 

'Dallas' went on air in March 1978. By its second season, 1979-1980, some 33 million Americans were watching 'Dallas' each week. Joel Swerdlow of 'The Montreal Gazette' made the observation in 1980, "It is an extraordinary success because 'Dallas' is also the only top-rated program that's on Friday, often the lowest viewing night of the week. 

"A Nielsen official calls its time slot – 10:00pm Friday – 'the pits'. On an average Friday evening, 23.4% of the television homes in America, and 40% of those actually turned on at that time, are tuned to 'Dallas'. By way of comparison, the figures for '60 Minutes' (on Sunday evenings at 7:00pm), No. 1 favorite, are 27.9% and 45%. A measure of 'Dallas' success is the speed with which its spin-off appeared - less than two full seasons." 

Bud Grant believed, "In form, 'Dallas' is very much similar to 'Peyton Place' (1964-69). The audience has gotten involved with the characters. Watching 'Dallas' is like eating peanuts." Donna Reed remarked, "One of the main reasons 'Dallas' is so successful (is) the family. They're all stick together … They may squabble but they pull for one another and they live under one roof which is really tribal." 

Brandon Tartikoff theorized, "'Dallas' is enormously significant because of the societal changes it reflects. It's the first daytime show to succeed in prime time and I think that's the result of the increased number of women in the workforce. And it's also the first series in which the most popular character is the villain, which is probably the result of a post-Watergate, recessionary outlook. 

"J.R. is TV's Darth Vader - the evil genius we love to hate, a protagonist previous generations would never have embraced." Larry Hagman made known, "I come from the theatrical family. When I was a kid, my parents were always away on the road, and when they were home they were exhausted and I had to be careful not to wake them up." 

Ron Hendren made the comment, "It ('Dallas') is well written and well acted. The character who plays J.R. must have known a lot of rich people. He's come to epitomize what can happen to people who realize the American dream." In 1985, 'Dallas' went on location in Hong Kong and in 1989, 'Dallas' went on location in the Soviet Union, Austria and Germany.

"Russia exports more oil than any other country including Saudi Arabia and Iran. It's their only source of hard dollars. So I think J.R. may do a little dealing," Larry Hagman hinted. 'Daytime TV' magazine editor Jason Bonderoff insisted, "It's just another influence of daytime soaps. This has been coming a little bit at a time. There have been night time soaps for longer than people realize. We call them situation comedies, but it's just a difference in words."

Larry Hagman acknowledged, "I didn't know how rare success is in this business. I do now (in 1986). That's why I’m doing everything in my power to keep this one ('Dallas') running. I like television. I really like it. It's fast. If we didn’t have TV, with all these dissatisfied people out there, do you think they’d be sitting in their homes staring at a box? They’d be out kicking ass. And an actor has a lot of control. They really have to take what you’re giving them. They can’t just pick you apart."

Susan Lucci told 'King Features Syndicate' in 1990, "I was delighted when I was asked to play Sheila … I felt I could deal with having to go to Paris to do it … My scenes in Paris were with Patrick Duffy and Sheree Wilson. Everyone else in the 'Dallas' cast was in Los Angeles shooting their scenes for the series … Leonard Katzman directed the episodes I’m in.

"The acting is important but the writing comes first. Characters have to be written so that they're credible. The stories have to be there for the actors to work with. The play is definitely the thing, and when the stories are well told, the audience will accept them. Fantasy is part of dreaming and hoping and that's part of the reality of human nature."

Barbara Eden played LeeAnn De La Vega told the press, "My character does end up buying Ewing Oil and J.R. hates it. Of course, he wants to still be in there, so I hire him back … Leann's a very sharp businesswoman who took over running an oil company 8 years ago (in the 1983-84 season) after her husband's death. She knows J.R. because they went to college together.

"I can’t say too much (at the time) about the story. Let's just say that he wasn't very nice to her in college and their paths cross again in a business deal. She decides to extract every drop of blood she can get from him. J.R. doesn't remember her, which makes it fun. I had a great time doing this. We didn’t need any inside jokes, but so many of the lines are wonderful. He asks her, 'Haven't we met before?' The first day on the stage, everyone was watching us. Larry looked at me and said: 'Isn't this the strangest thing? It’s like we’ve never stopped working together.'"

By 1998, Larry noted, "You know, it's on cable TV three times a day. We've got whole new generations of people watching it for the first time. I get a lot of mail from Bulgaria, Romania, Nigeria." However Patrick Duffy maintained, "It would be a mistake to try and MTV this up a little bit to make it more appropriate for a younger crowd. Because it's not what this show is about."

When 'Knots Landing' went on air in 1979, Bud Grant outlined, "Initially it will be episodic and not serialized. We don't want to challenge the audience too much. We want to get them hooked and then (around 1982-83) we'll stretch out the storyline." Larry Gelbart of 'M*A*S*H' offered, "To equate continuous character development with soap operas puts everything in the soap category. Beyond recurring characterization, you have to talk about content. 'Dallas', is simply television's idea of what real people talk and act like. But I welcome soaps to the after-dark hours - if we can talk about what they've been talking about."

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