Who says you can't go home again? Evidently not TV executives, as the series premiere of the reboot/sequel series of the classic CBS primetime soap opera Dallas brought in great numbers for new franchise home TNT. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and the performance of the new Dallas is exhibit A of that fact. The Wednesday night debut saw an average viewership of nearly 7 million viewers, and saw 1.9 million 18-49 year-olds tune in, along with 2.4 million 25-54 year-olds. Those are terrific numbers for basic cable, and even outrank most scripted programming on NBC.
The original Dallas series ran all the way from 1978 to 1991, and for a time was the biggest thing in primetime network television. The "Who Shot J.R." storyline is such an infamous landmark of TV history that even I'm well versed in what happened during it, and I wouldn't even be born until a good four years after it was originally resolved. The series is also infamous for pioneering the "it was all a dream" ending on the small screen, after the death of Patrick Duffy's character went over so poorly with fans that producers pretended the whole season never happened.
Now, I haven't seen the new show, so I can't comment on its quality or lack thereof. That said, it's hard to argue that nostalgia didn't play a big part in it popping such a huge rating. TNT's masterstroke was bringing most of the major players from the original series back to reprise their roles. It's similar to the strategy employed by The CW when introducing their successful 90210 revival, bring in the original audience with the old favorities, and lure the younger people in with hot young actors.
Did you watch the series premiere of TNT's Dallas? Are you a returning fan or a first time viewer?