‘Dallas,’ with J.R. Ewing, returns

Associated Press

NEW YORK

J.R. Ewing wouldn’t hesitate to cheat his fellow man. He also famously cheated death.

In the second-season finale of “Dallas” back in 1980, he was shot by an unknown assailant in his office and left for dead. But he recovered nicely, and the cliffhanger question that gripped the nation (Who shot J.R.?) was answered that November in an episode seen by 80 million viewers.

This time, J.R. won’t get off so easy. The second season of TNT’s rebooted “Dallas” poses an even more dramatic question: Who killed J.R.?

Meanwhile, viewers will have to reckon with the loss of arguably TV’s greatest villain, and bid farewell to the actor who portrayed him so indelibly and also cheated death for years. Larry Hagman died of cancer in November.

This double loss would be a burden for any show to bear. “Dallas,” returning at 9 p.m. Monday, comes fully loaded.

With its two-hour season premiere, “Dallas” carries on in familiar fashion, with the expected two-timing, squabbles, a kidnapping, a stolen identity and assorted other mischief. And never fear: J.R., though visibly frail, continues his reign as a scheming oilman.

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