Dallas is an American primetime television soap opera created by David Jacobs that revolves around the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and cattle-ranching industries and the main premise of which is the longtime rivalry between the Ewings and the Barneses which came to a head when the Barnes daughter, Pamela (Victoria Principal) eloped with a Ewing son, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) in the first episode.
Dallas reigned supreme during the 1980s. It is the saga of the wealthy Ewing family who started the family corporation Ewing Oil.
The Ewing family lived at Southfork Ranch in Braddock County, just outside Dallas, Texas. The head of the Ewing family was Jock Ewing and his wife Eleanor "Miss Ellie" Ewing and they had three sons.
The eldest son JR Ewing, CEO of Ewing Oil, was a ruthless and sneaky businessman. He married former Miss Texas Sue Ellen Shepard.
The second son Gary Ewing, rejected by his father and deemed an outcast, moved to California with his wife, Valene.
The youngest Ewing son, Bobby, a genuinely nice guy, got married to Pamela Barnes. She was the daughter of the Ewing's biggest business rival Willard "Digger" Barnes, the former partner and later enemy of Jock Ewing.
Bobby and JR never saw eye to eye and fought constantly - whereas Bobby was honest and had integrity, JR was a rotten scoundrel who constantly cheated in his marriage and drove his wife to drink.
Other characters included John Ross Ewing III, JR and Sue-Ellen's only son, Lucy Ewing, the promiscuous daughter of Gary and Christopher Ewing, the adopted son of Bobby and Pam.
JR's arch enemy was Cliff Barnes, the attorney brother of Pam, who would stop at nothing to destroy JR and his company and was always a target for JR's underhanded schemes.
Dallas has seen many characters come and go through the years and with the famous storyline "Who shot JR?", this soap achieved massive publicity around the world as bets were placed on the identity of the shooter.
Through seasons of romance, passion and intrigue there were also shady business dealings, accidents, catfights, mental asylums, alcohol problems, affairs, fistfights, gunfights, cowboy hats, shoulder pads and weird hairstyles.
No wonder it became an international hit in almost every country and one of the most popular television shows in TV history.
The series aired in the USA on CBS from 2 April, 1978 to 3 May, 1991. There are 357 hour-long episodes in 14 seasons.
Dallas originally aired in South Africa on the old SABC channel TV1 (which became SABC2 in 1996), in the 1980s and 1990s. Broadcast dates for the original run of the show are not available.
The series later aired on DStv's M-Net Series channel on Mondays at 18h00, ending its run in January 2006; on e.tv from Monday 8 May 2006, from Mondays to Thursdays at 10h30 (first 11 seasons only); and on DStv's CBS Drama channel, beginning when the channel debuted on 12 November, 2013.