On April 2 1978, CBS premiered its primetime soap opera Dallas, which will run for 14 seasons on the network. The Hollywood Reporter’s original commentary, which appeared as part of the TeleVisions column, reads:
Passing Censorship: Melodrama in full swing in Dallas, a new CBS limited-edition series, debuted over the weekend, and TV also has a new Peyton Place. As the title suggests, the series takes place in Texas — yes, Dallas, Texas — and revolves around the more sordid adventures, intrigue, and romance of the Ewing family.
This is short for Texas Petroleum. The ad for the hourly show reads “A family in relentless pursuit of power and passion. Ready to destroy two men who dared to give their blood for the right to love.” These two people, it turned out to be Man From Atlantis Patrick Duffy and Victoria Principal of fame.
Duffy, the youngest son in the family, married the principal one weekend in New Orleans. The fact that Duffy’s dad and the Principal’s dad are the worst enemies sets the stage for what follows — engaging, juicy bullshit at the $1 level. Supermarket paperback.
Jim Davis as the older Ewing, and Larry Hagman as his eldest son — and successor people. David Wayne pulls out all the stops as the principal’s father, Digger Barnes, and the man he steps in to bring the Ewing oil empire back to earth. Barbara Bel Geddes is appropriately unsympathetic as the matriarch, while Charlene Tilton is a little too frivolous as Ewing’s daughter, bent on getting in trouble .
Robert Day directed the opening credits (the first of five episodes in the series) to wrap everything in plastic—not that you believe the move.
David Jacobs wrote and created this show, which has a profound effect on both his subject and its potential audience—a housewife looking to get rid of the dishwater. Easy to hold. Lee Rich and Philip Capice are executive producers on Lorimar Prods, with Leonard Katzman serving as producer.
Outlook: Hello – Goodbye. — Richard Hack, originally published April 4, 25.