This question will trigger 2 new questions.
The 1st one by younger generations who never experienced the anxiety that Dallas fans had, their question will be “Who is Jr?”
The second group who belong to my generation and older, when they realize that the question in the title was answered today 37 years ago, they will ask themselves”37 year!,am I really that old?
On this day in 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers.
Not that it really mattered whodunit. What mattered was, the issue was settled. The mystery solved. Dallas fans could finally move on.
The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit.
Who thought that Bing Crosby’s daughter could so such a thing.
As J.R. had many enemies, audiences were hard-pressed to guess who was responsible for his attempted murder. That summer, the question “Who Shot J.R.?” entered the national lexicon, becoming a popular t-shirt slogan, and heightening anticipation of the soap’s third season, which was to air in the fall. After a much-talked-about contract dispute with Hagman was finally settled, the season was delayed because of a Screen Actors Guild strike, much to the dismay of “Dallas” fans. When it finally aired, the episode revealing J.R.’s shooter became one of television’s most watched shows, with an audience of 83 million people in the U.S. alone—a full 76 percent of all U.S. televisions on that night were tuned in—and helped put “Dallas” into greater worldwide circulation. It also popularized the use of the cliffhanger by television writers.
J.R.’s poor wife Sue Ellen, unsurprisingly drunk at the time, got the blame first, and was jailed, with father-in-law Jock (the sorely missed Jim Davis) turning on her with a vengeance.
But in the end, it was Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen’s sister and J.R.’s mistress, who did the deed, stealing J.R.’s gun from Sue Ellen by tempting the onetime beauty queen with liquor and later sneaking the weapon back into Sue Ellen’s closet.
When she finally confessed to J.R. and Sue Ellen, the “Dallas” writers had another twist up their sleeves. You can’t jail me, Kristin taunted, “Not unless you want YOUR CHILD born in prison.”
Cue the DUH-DUH-DUH swelling music. Yes, pregnancy, the convenient wrench thrown into all soap-opera stories.
Kristin Shepard then went on to kill JR’s brother Bobby. Or did she?
Well yes and no, she did kill him by car but in a twist that didn’t actually happen, Because after Bobby was dead for a season he suddenly appeared in a shower again.
But that would warrant a complete separate blog.
Although Tom(Pat Shortt) a character in the sitcom “Father Ted” claims he shot JR we can safely assume it was in fact Sue Ellen’s sister who did it.
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