March 11th, 2013
03:26 PM ET
For once, a TV series is being specific about its intentions with a plot twist.
At PaleyFest over the weekend, executive producers Michael Robin and Cynthia Cidre said the resolution to the renewed "who shot J.R.?" question will be answered this season.
"You will know by the end of the season, by the end of episode 15. Cynthia said, and I think rightly so, that that's just not fair to keep from everybody," Robin said.
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The series resurrected the old "who shot J.R." theme with last week's episode, in which viewers heard two gunshots fired as J.R. Ewing (the late Larry Hagman) was on the phone with his son, John Ross (Josh Henderson).
After Hagman passed away in November 2012, the production team needed to figure out the best way to honor Hagman's memory and say farewell to J.R.
So, as creator and executive producer Cidre told Entertainment Weekly, the idea to shoot J.R. again was an effort to give an homage to the original.
"How does J.R. die? Not an easy question to answer," Cidre said. "The A solution was of natural causes that are later revealed to be unnatural, and it seemed that until it were revealed to be unnatural that the audience would be bored and it was not appropriate to the character. So then you go to unnatural causes ... And then you circle around after thinking about it for a week to you can’t get away from J.R. You do an homage to it. You do it again, and then you try to do it one better. Hopefully by the time we reveal the mystery, you’ll go, 'Oh, cool.' I’m telling you, it was really complicated to get to that place and to make people not say, 'How can you shoot him again?'"
Not everyone is in the dark about the mystery shooter. Patrick Duffy, for one, knows who did it.
"It's probably the most brilliant piece of scriptwriting that I've read, whether it's in this show or any other piece of television that I've ever seen," Duffy said. "The way that it resolves the problem with such dignity and respect and drama. I think every fan who has ever watched this show will think it's the pinnacle of 'Dallas' writing and plot."
"Dallas" will pay respect to J.R. and, to that end, Larry Hagman, with tonight's memorial and funeral episode on TNT at 9 p.m.
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