Lots of People Care About Oil, I Guess

TNT’s updated version of the fossil fuel drama “Dallas” debuted last night, and it turns out lots and lots of people care about Texas-based oil tycoons and/or do not have anything else to do at 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night in early June.

The first outing drew 6.86 million viewers, making it the most-watched cable series premiere of the year so far, following in the footsteps of the network’s recent summer debuts for Falling Skies in 2011 and “Rizzoli & Isles” in 2010.

Dallas made TNT the top-scoring basic cable network of the night, with the two-hour premiere even besting broadcast networks between 9 and 11 p.m. The two-hour premiere also drew 1.926 million adults 18-49 and 2.482 in TNT’s favorable adults 25-54 demo. [THR]

The THR story goes on to put those numbers in context, pointing out that the original series finale of the show pulled in over 33 million viewers. To give you an idea of how much the TV landscape has changed since then, the top-rated scripted series last week was “NCIS,” with about 8.5 million viewers. I’m no math expert, but that’s, like … [pulls out abacus, slides beads back and forth arbitrarily] … a royal buttload less.

I watched the first part of the two-part premiere last night, and I suppose my favorite part was at the very end when two co-conspirators had a very dramatic meeting at the 50-yard line of Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Why would two co-conspirators have a very dramatic meeting at the 50-yard line of Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, you ask? I’ve thought about it for a while, and I imagine the conversation about the scene went something like this:

PRODUCER 1: I think the show looks pretty good, but I’m just worried people won’t realize it’s set in Dallas.

PRODUCER 2: You’re still calling it ‘Dallas,’ right?”


PRODUCER 2: Are you splashing the title across the screen in giant, shimmering gold letters?

PRODUCER 1: Of course.

PRODUCER 2: Do you have a bunch of shots of the Dallas skyline?


PRODUCER 2: And lots of people in cowboy hats?

PRODUCER 1: More than you can shake a stick at.

PRODUCER 2: Hmmm. [pulls out script] How about this: you know the final scene, where the two co-conspirators meet up and reveal their plan to the audience?


PRODUCER 2: What if, and just hear me out here, they have the meeting at the 50-yard line of Texas Stadium?

PRODUCER 1: Where the Cowboys play?

PRODUCER 2: Yeah. Right on top of that giant damn blue star.

PRODUCER 1: Why would they hold their top-secret conspiratorial meeting in the middle of an empty football stadium? And how did they get access to the field?

PRODUCER 2: You got any better ideas?


PRODUCER 1: Welp, football stadium it is. Let’s grab some lunch.