I don't think DALLAS and the other fantastic prime time soaps DYNASTY, KNOTS LANDING and FALCON CREST were only popular because they didn't have much competition. The sprawling family sagas just happened to be very popular, both the novels and the movies. The British soap operas THE BROTHERS and UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS came before DALLAS. Epic mini-series was must-see TV. Maybe it was the combination of the soap opera and the popular Western genre that made DALLAS such a smash hit. And of course the characters and the casting - I think Pamela Ewing was the 70s equivalent of Betty Anderson (Peyton Place) in terms of popularity. If DALLAS debuted today it would probably look like TNT DALLAS and I would definitely watch that, but in this day and age it's simply not possible to capture a worldwide audience, for reasons already stated in this thread. But I think that the point of this topic is that DALLAS deserves even more praise then it already got. I don't understand why this is so important.