Returning thesps with fresh faces in remake

LONDON — Acquisition hungry Channel 5 has nabbed exclusive U.K. rights to the remake of “Dallas,” the Texan oil drama that had millions of Brits asking themselves “Who shot J.R.?”

The original “Dallas” was one of the BBC’s breakout hits of the Eighties.

Now Channel 5, buoyed by the success of “Big Brother,” hopes the remake will add to its improved perf under Richard Desmond, the U.K. media tycoon who bought the station last summer.

The 10-part skein stars original cast members Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, alongside newbies Jesse Metcalfe, Brenda Strong and Josh Henderson.

Show’s producers said the idea is “not a remake as much as a continuation,” which “takes the next generation of Ewings and continues the battle.”

Channel 5, whose most popular import is the “CSI” franchise, acquired the show from Warner Bros Intl. It is expected to air in Blighty late next year, following the U.S. bow on TNT Stateside next summer.

Channel 5 director of programs Jeff Ford said, “We are thrilled to be bringing the new-look ‘Dallas’ to Channel 5.

“With its alluring mix of wealth, seduction, scandal and intrigue, there is something for everyone on the Southfork Ranch, and it’s a hugely exciting addition to our 2012 schedule.”

Warner Bros. Intl. Television prexy Jeffrey R. Schlesinger added, “The original version of ‘Dallas’ was iconic in the U.K., and had many millions of fans. We are sure that this new version will satisfy those who remember the original show and attract a whole generation of new viewers.”

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