“We are extremely proud of the series, which defied expectations by standing as a worthy continuation of the Ewing saga,” a TNT spokesperson said. “We want to thank everyone involved with the show, from the extraordinary cast to the impeccable production team, led by the show’s creative forces, Cynthia Cidre and Mike Robin. We especially want to thank the people of Dallas for their warm and generous hospitality during the production of the series.”
Dallas, a sequel to CBS’ hugely successful 1980s primetime soap, centered on the next generations of the Ewing clan, with original cast members Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman reprising their roles. After a lengthy development and deal-making process, the series, developed and executive produced by Cidre, opened to big ratings in June 2012, with nearly 7 million viewers tuning in for the premiere. The numbers inevitably tapered off, but the series still earned a quick renewal. Later that year year, the show lost one of its biggest stars, Hagman, who died while filming the second season. The Season 2 episode featuring J.R.’s funeral delivered a ratings spike for the show, bringing in 3.6 million viewers.
Even after Hagman death, Dallas did OK in the ratings, keeping its loyal following. The most recent third season opened in February with 2.7 million viewers in Live+Same Day delivery, 1.1 million adults 25-54 and 946,000 adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day, matching the series’ Season 2 average. The second part of Season 3 dipped to 2.0 million viewers in its August launch. With a solid 40% lift from three days of DVR viewing, the August opener went up to 2.8 million viewers in l3. Dallas‘ ratings stayed stable heading into the explosive two-hour season finale that featured a major Ewing death.
Given its pedigree, it’s no surprise Dallas is older skewing than some of TNT’s other series such as Falling Skies and The Last Ship. It also doesn’t fit into the network’s new direction towards edgier fare. Still, the demise of Dallas and the recent cancellation of another popular cable series, A&E’s Longmire, is a hit to more mature viewers who feel betrayed by the networks whose focus is on the ad revenue-generating younger demographics. While A&E did not own Longmire, Dallas is produced by TNT sibling Warner Horizon, so the cancellation was surprising given the title’s worldwide popularity, making Dallas a strong international seller (and money-maker) for Warner Bros.