Somehow, someway, the show has to go on for “Dallas” even following the passing of the show’s longtime icon. Less than a week after Larry Hagman died following a battle with cancer, the TNT series started back up production on season season 2 on Tuesday, a day later than originally planned.
The extra day off, at least according to Deadline, was designed so that there could be one final demonstration of respect for an actor who many at this point consider to be an icon. Hagman filmed at least a handful of episodes for the upcoming season as J.R. Ewing, and these will still air when the show returns to the cable network in January.
What still remains a mystery to this point is how producers will plan to address J.R.’s exit from the show this time, and not in the famous “who shot J.R.?” way from so many years ago. Odds are we will see the writers do just about everything that they can to frame some sort of fitting tribute to the character, even though this is surely not going to be easy given the timing and sensitivity of the subject matter. While it is easy to be personal and sad about Hagman’s death, TV is still a business first and foremost to many people, and there is simply not much time for TNT to sit around and wait unless they decided to push back the premiere of the show for a little while. Since that does not seem to be in the cards, it is instead business as usual.
A private memorial service is set to happen for Hagman a little later this week, but it remains to be seen if any of the “Dallas” cast are invited or will turn up to the event, as there may be fears that it will turn a time of mourning into a media frenzy.