So Robert Culp might have replaced Larry? Really?

Toni

Telly Talk Winner
Messages
3,619
Reaction score
3,991
Location
Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
Medals
5
Member Since
September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
I just found an interview with Robert Culp where he is asked about the infamous rumor that he was a candidate to replace Larry Hagman as J.R. when he asked for a big salary rise after the Who Shot J.R. cliffhanger. He clearly denies that and assures that nobody ever asked him to be on "Dallas", though he does talk about the show´s role in the cancellation of his own show "The Greatest American Hero". I thought to share this with you all so we can put another "Dallas" urban legend to rest (with the good company of Madonna, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross, among others...)!!


PS: The video begins with this subject, so you don´t have to search for it!:dance:
 
Last edited:

Seaviewer

Telly Talk Enthusiast
Messages
2,470
Reaction score
3,158
Location
Australia
Medals
3
Member Since
14 September 2001
This really surprises me. I remember reading it at the time and it seemed quite plausible.
 

Mel O'Drama

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,939
Reaction score
9,553
Medals
12
Member Since
28th September 2008
I've long had the impression the rumour was something the studio originated in order to strengthen their side of the negotiations. Whatever the case, there were a lot of fun and games that summer.

Robert seemed under the impression that Dallas was a Spelling vehicle, which I suppose proves beyond reasonable doubt that he wasn't approached.
 

Lastkidpicked

Telly Talk Addict
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
1,251
Location
United States
Medals
2
Member Since
2008
I've long had the impression the rumour was something the studio originated in order to strengthen their side of the negotiations. Whatever the case, there were a lot of fun and games that summer.
It would have been smart for the producers to have a backup plan in case negotiations failed with Larry. When you watch the interviews with Larry Hagman, you can see the glint in his eye and that trademark grin. He has said repeatedly that he saw the opportunity to grab more money and he did.

But his interviews give the impression that he was having way too much fun with the role to allow negotiations to fail and have him not come back.

He, more than any of the other actors, really lights up when he talks about how much fun they were all having.
 

Lastkidpicked

Telly Talk Addict
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
1,251
Location
United States
Medals
2
Member Since
2008
Shows the juggernaut that was Dallas, and this was before it really took off.
I loved Robert Culp's line about going up against Dallas on Friday nights:

"It was the kiss of death. Nobody at that point could assault that Citadel."

He paints with words. Perhaps they should have hired Bob Culp to do the writing for the later seasons. . .
 

Snarky's Ghost

Telly Talk Oracle
Messages
7,954
Reaction score
5,642
Location
Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
Medals
7
Member Since
September 2000
Robert Vaughn was also discussed, and may have been approached. He said liked the idea that they weren't going to use and contrivances like face lifts or plastic surgery, so it sounds like he was contacted, even if Culp was not.

An actor doesn't want to be used as a negotiating lever when the brass has no genuine intention of actually firing the original cast member.


I loved Robert Culp's line about going up against Dallas on Friday nights:

"It was the kiss of death. Nobody at that point could assault that Citadel."
I recall MANIMAL producer (I think Glen Larson) saying in 1983 when NBC scheduled his new show for Friday night that the networks always tell you the same thing: "DALLAS is dying, DALLAS is dying, it peaked two or three years ago with 'Who Shot JR?'..."

And then he added, "but DALLAS is not dying. It's one of the best produced shows on television."

Or maybe it was Stephen J Cannell (but this was after GREATEST AMERICAN HERO). I forget. But it was 1983 or 1984.
 
Last edited:

Lastkidpicked

Telly Talk Addict
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
1,251
Location
United States
Medals
2
Member Since
2008
A little history for you good folks who might be too young to remember: In the 1990's, the cast of Friends astonished the entertainment history by breaking a salary record. They negotiated for $ 100,000 per episode. People just couldn't believe it. A hundred thousand dollars per episode? That much money was unheard of, even in the heyday of the Nineties.

Broke every record? That was unheard of?

Hmmmm. . .

Larry Hagman renegotiated his contract during the summer of "Who Shot J.R.?" Life imitating art, he knew he held all the cards and went all in.

He negotiated a $ 100,000 per episode salary. And that was in 1980 dollars!

In a 2012 interview, he might be ailing but he still has that glint in his eye as he says,

"I think all the kids who are in Friends owe me ten percent of what they got, because I established it could be done."

J.R. would have been proud!
 

Seaviewer

Telly Talk Enthusiast
Messages
2,470
Reaction score
3,158
Location
Australia
Medals
3
Member Since
14 September 2001
Robert Vaughn was also discussed, and may have been approached. He said liked the idea that they weren't going to use and contrivances like face lifts or plastic surgery, so it sounds like he was contacted, even if Culp was not.
Robert Vaughn went on to replace Patrick O'Neal as the JR-like character in Emerald Point - which suggests that not only would he have been interested in the role but was not above replacing the existing actor.
 

Snarky's Ghost

Telly Talk Oracle
Messages
7,954
Reaction score
5,642
Location
Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
Medals
7
Member Since
September 2000
Dream on Culp.
Well, I'm not sure it has anything to do with Culp being delusional in any way. It's just that the producers were tossing around names, sometimes actors were approached and sometimes not, to keep Larry on his toes about their willingness to recast if they couldn't come to an agreement with Hagman.

Larry saw through the ruse, of course.

But Culp was one of those names at the time. As was Vaughn.
 
Top