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TNT's 'Dallas': Southfork fire could change show's direction

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TNT is nearly three seasons into its reboot of the iconic 'Dallas' series. Hardcore fans have been pleased with the results thus far, but might a violent inferno change this show's cast direction?

Welcomed back to home screen after a twenty-one year absence (originally airing on CBS in series form from 1978-1991), this iconic nighttime soap opera has already overcome the greatest possible challenge. Losing the immortal 'J.R. Ewing' was never part of any long-term story arc. But, awhile after beloved actor Larry Hagman went to heaven, the best bad guy in TV history was shot dead and surely landed in hell.

Viewers learned last season that 'J.R.' engineered his own death, while also shrewdly framing 'Cliff Barnes' (Ken Kercheval). Hardly content to rot in a Mexican prison, 'Pamela's' (Julie Gonzalo) dad convinced 'Elena Ramos' (Jordana Brewster) that 'J.R.' had stolen her father's land decades ago. That possibly accurate piece of information convinced 'Elena' to become a vixen and work with 'Nicolas Trevino', whose false name actually didn't cover his childhood connection to the Ramos' family after all.

How sweet 'Ann Ewing' (Brenda Strong) was ever attracted to 'Harris Ryland' (Mitch Pileggi) and gave birth to the eternal brat 'Emma Brown' (Emma Bell) remains a double mystery. Throw 'Judith Ryland' (Judith Light) into that dysfunctional stew and quite a few more sleazy stories are sure to be ingested during future Monday meals.

As 'Bobby Ewing' (Patrick Duffy) and 'Christopher Ewing' (Jesse Metcalfe) continue to fend off 'John Ross' (Josh Henderson), poor 'Sue Ellen Ewing' (Linda Gray) is still lost without her main man. With his father's watch still on his wrist, it seems highly-likely that family matters will sizzle this summer.

The “nearly” term that was attached to the third season mark at the top of this feature was intentional. TNT decided to split this show's TV year in two parts, with the winter and early-spring episodes having just ended. Round 2 of Season 3 is set to start on August 18.

In famous 'Dallas' style, viewers were driven to a cliffhanger by the end of the Season 3's eighth episode on April 14. The final scenes left fans wondering if a vengeful fire that is raging inside the Southfork Ranch will claim the life of 'Sue Ellen', 'Bobby', Christopher' or some other key character?

It would be hard to imagine a principal actor perishing. But, one never knows. Thankfully, devoted supporters must only wait four months before the next chapter in a drama that has touched five different decades is revealed.

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