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Instead Of Pam Having The Accident And Leaving

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Dec 18, 2019.

?

Who Would Pam Have Been Better Off With - Bobby Or Mark?

Poll closed Dec 25, 2019.
  1. Bobby

    50.0%
  2. Mark

    50.0%
  1. Dallas Fanatic

    Dallas Fanatic Soap Chat Member EXP: 12 Days

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    I'm new to this forum (although I used to be on it about 15 years ago or so). Anyway, the way that they wrote off Victoria Principal is probably the single worst thing they ever did to this show. I also was not a fan of how they desperately attempted to resolve it in the reboot. And though I do understand why VP didn't want to come back, I was truly hoping she would reconsider the reboot, at least for some guest appearances.

    I have been watching the show again on IMDB (I have seen every episode at least a dozen times over the years), and clearly her character was key to the show. I just don't think the producers really believed she would wash her hands clean of the show, particularly after the regret that Patrick Duffy had for leaving.
     
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  2. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    Welcome back!

    It was certainly one of the bad things they did to the show, although in the last season she was in, season ten, they had already fallen a long way from when they were at their peak. That was reflected in how many of their fans they'd already lost in the previous six years. Their peak was season four - Jim Davis' last season in Dallas before he died. In season four they scored a 27.6 Nielsen rating. In contrast, season ten - Victoria Principal's last season - scored on an 18.6 Nielsen rating.

    In season 11, they dropped to a 15.2 rating. That drop a 3.2 is the second biggest drop in a year that Dallas ever had and was largely caused by the departures of Victoria Principal, Susan Howard, and Deborah Shelton.

    The biggest drop they ever had in one year was a drop of 4.4 points between season four and season five which was largely caused by the death of Jim Davis. When he died, they lost the man who played the role of Jock Ewing - the head of the family.

    The way they handled losing those two vital characters was as different as night and day. Their reaction to losing Jim Davis was to make the most of a terrible situation by making Jock Ewing's death as meaningful as possible. They created some their most memorable work in their grieving over the loss of Jock and they utilized Jock's will to create the contest of Ewing Oil between JR and Bobby, which is my favorite Dallas storyline. They decided to utilize losing Jim Davis in the way that would create the best drama, the best stories and the most emotional reaction.

    When they lost the character of Pam because Victoria Principal wanted to become a movie star, they did the opposite. They decided to handle the loss by reacting in the most indecisive way possible. They went in the most noncommittal direction possible, just so they would end up with a situation where they could bring back Victoria Principal just in case she changed her mind. They created a storyline to accommodate the possible return of the actress instead of using the situation to have Pam die in the crash and create the most powerful scenes they could have created. They refused to commit to the best artistic vision they could create, so instead they went half way with it and got poor results.

    She'd been telling them for a long time that she was leaving for good and wanted to be in movies. The way they handled it tells me they didn't trust themselves to be able to stick to their word if she asked to return and tell her "No, you can't return. We told you if you left, you were leaving for good." They weren't able to keep their word and stick to the artistic vision for the show they had chosen when Patrick Duffy asked to return and apparently they still didn't trust themselves to make a decision and stick to it.
     
  3. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan

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    The 1980-81 season average rating included the 52.1 rating for the episode that resolved the “Who Shot J.R.” cliffhanger. Without that episode, the average rating for that season would have been much closer to that of the following season. Attributing the 4.4 rating point drop to Jim Davis’ death isn’t accurate, since the Southfork swimming pool murder cliffhanger didn’t have nearly the same cultural impact.
     
  4. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    I didn't deny that.

    How much closer?

    I said it was "largely caused by the death of Jim Davis." I don't attribute the entire drop to his death, but his absence was the single biggest change from season 4 to season 5 by far. The show wasn't the same without him and the ratings reflected that. Jock Ewing was, after all, the head of the family and the man who founded Ewing Oil. He was the man his sons looked up to and set the standard they tried to live up to. JR's biggest hope was to one day make Jock proud of him. Jim Davis had a background in westerns and helped bring a western feel and a grit to the show that faded in his absence. His influence in making Dallas what it was is undeniable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020

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