Following the death of Larry Hagman last year, 'Dallas' producers have been kept busy working out how to farewell one of its biggest stars while keeping the storyline of the revamped series ticking along.
What they came up with was a murder plot, worthy of some of 'Dallas's golden era in the 1980s, when the oil baron was gunned down in his office, leaving millions of fans on tenterhooks, waiting to discover 'Who Shot JR?'
They've gone and done it again, with one of the small screen's greatest villains murdered by an unknown assassin - off-stage - in this week's episode, the identity of whom will remain secret until AT LEAST the end of this second series.
Sombre scenes for Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, filming the farewell to one of their greatest friends and co-stars
Next week's episode on Channel 5 will see the funeral of JR Ewing, with the family, for once, united to say goodbye.
For actors Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, it will have been particularly galling to film these scenes, as their friendship with Larry Hagman was a close one, lasting the four decades since the first show was broadcast.
And Jesse Metcalfe and Josh Henderson joined in, with their characters Christopher and John Ross Ewing, for once united in grief, as Christopher (Metcalfe) does his best to comfort John Ross (Henderson) over the loss of his father.
Jesse Metcalfe and Josh Henderson as Christopher and John Ross Ewing, for once united in grief
Of course, some things never die. A Dallas funeral wouldn't be complete without a gatecrasher to step in and upset smooth proceedings, and who more suitable than JR's age-old adversary Cliff Barnes?
Ken Kercheval as Cliff Barnes, sent to ruin the party
Guest stars also set to appear in the funeral episode include Ted Shackelford (JR's estranged brother Gary), Charlene Tilton (Lucy), Cathy Podewell (Cally Harper Ewing), Deborah Shelton (Mandy Winger) and Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs).
According to Digital Spy, 'Dallas' production boss Cynthia Cidre has confirmed that JR's killer will be revealed in the show's second season finale.
"It seemed to me that having JR pass away of natural causes really cheapens the audience of some delicious reveal," she said.
"So once that was eliminated, then it became - how did he die?
"Our mission is to give Larry Hagman and JR a proper send-off. This is a character who will have the last laugh, no matter what."
'Dallas: JR's Masterpiece' - next Tuesday 19 March at 11pm on Channel 5.
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