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How TNT's 'Dallas' May Benefit From Larry Hagman's Death NY Daily News

When TNT's "Dallas" returns in January for its second season, even with the knowledge that Larry Hagman's death must be addressed, the drama could benefit from the death of the actor, reports the New York Daily News.

Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing, died Friday at 81 after a battle with cancer, as previously reported. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the TNT series was working on a sendoff for J.R.

A high-ranking TNT executive told the Daily News that Hagman's death will fuel the show’s ratings. “Sure, it sounds a bit morbid, but (Hagman) spent most of his life working in show business and would probably have understood,” the executive said.

TNT took exception to the executive's conjecture. A rep for the network told the Daily News that the network was mourning Hagman and regrets that the exec spoke out of turn.

The rep added, “All of us at TNT are deeply saddened at the news of Larry Hagman’s passing. He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

In its first season on TNT, “Dallas” averaged 6.1 million viewers -- a major success by cable standards, the piece notes.