If you want to know what's been on J.R. Ewing's mind since "Dallas" was canceled by CBS 21 years ago, check out the TV show brand's Facebook Timeline. The show, which ran for 13 years, is being re-launched by TNT.
Even though the new season doesn't premiere until June 13, the cable network has been having fun via social media in recent weeks. Especially as it concerns the iconic Ewing character, an antagonistic oil baron who is best known for his sibling rivalry with brother Bobby and occasional womanizing.
"J.R." narrates the brand's entire Timeline, from 1979 until the present. There are 165 photos and 44 videos on the Facebook page, each accompanied by captions written in the character's voice. Countless other humorously designed posts exist on the page while depicting the musings of the fictional primetime legend.
Over the years, "J.R." has evidently been busy obsessing about: his son, John Ross; his brother, Bobby; his brother's son, Christopher; his ex-wife, Sue Ellen; her sister, Kristin Shepard; rival tycoon, Cliff Barnes; and oil prices. And according to the Timeline, he was involved in the XFL, a failed summertime pro football venture during the early 2000s.
Here are several examples from the Timeline:
Twitter Characters For "Dallas"
TNT declined to be interviewed for this story, but the Timeline strategy appears to be catching on.
"Dallas" has 660,000 Facebook fans/likes, picking up nearly 40,000 in the last few days. And Facebook's David Fischer, VP of marketing and business partnerships, mentioned the "Dallas" Timeline while citing best-of Facebook page examples at the Ad Age Digital Conference last week.
Altogether, they've gained around 5,000 followers. Not surprisingly, "J.R." leads the crew with 2,800 followers.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014