No one was expecting “Who shot J.R.?”-level ratings for TNT’s new version of “Dallas,” but by the standards of cable ratings the show did very well Wednesday night (June 13).
The two-hour-and-change premiere averaged 6.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched show on TV Wednesday night — both cable and broadcast. It also became the top-rated premiere of 2012 for a scripted series on cable, following in the footsteps of two other TNT shows, “Falling Skies” in 2011 and “Rizzoli & Isles” in 2010.
Unsurprisingly for a show based on a series that debuted in 1978, the “Dallas” audience skewed slightly older: About 1.9 million of the premiere’s viewers fell in the adults 18-49 demographic, and 2.5 million of them were in TNT’s core 25-54 age group.
At its zenith in the early 1980s, “Dallas” was the No. 1 or No. 2 show on TV for five consecutive seasons. The “Who shot J.R.?” episode (officially titled “Who Done It?”) on Nov. 21, 1980, drew more than 80 million viewers and 76 percent of the entire viewing audience that night.