Legendary soap opera ‘Dallas’ turns to alternative fuels

Source: By Dan Piller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When the legendary soap opera “Dallas” returns to the airwaves tomorrow night, one character will be pushing the series’ fictional oil family toward renewable energy.

In the original iteration of the series, which ran from 1978 to 1991, the central family in the show — patriarch Jock and sons J.R. and Bobby — focused their efforts on oil extraction. But the plot of the updated version will highlight Bobby’s son, Christopher, pushing to add alternative energy to the family business.

In terms of real-world events, much has changed since the original series ended more than 20 years ago. Energy company Enron Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Oil drillers are flocking to natural gas, and Texas has become the leading wind energy producer in the country.

The show could bring an uptick of attention to renewable energy if it enjoys the ratings it once did. The 1980 episode “Who Shot J.R.?” attracted nearly three-quarters of the prime-time television audience that night, a feat that has never been repeated.