Matt Roush & ‘CBS This Morning’ Remember Who Shot J.R. on ‘Dallas’ 40 Years Later (VIDEO)

Dallas J.R. Ewing kristen
Lorimar Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

It was 40 years ago on November 21 that fans finally learned the answer to one of TV’s biggest questions: Who shot J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) on Dallas?

Falling on what’s now known as World Television Day, the classic episode’s anniversary was commemorated by CBS This Morning . TV Guide Magazine‘s Senior Critic Matt Roush joined in on the fun by providing some context of his own about the episode’s impact.

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The installment titled “Who Done It?” answered the question to Dallas‘ Season 3 finale, “A House Divided,” revealing Kristin Shepard (Mary Crosby) as the culprit behind the smoking gun.

“For him to be shot just made him even more mythic,” Roush said on CBS This Morning. “That whole season he’d gotten worse and worse, meaner and meaner to so many people, anybody could have shot him.”

Overall, 83 million Americans — 76 percent of the TV audience in 1980 — tuned in to find out who shot J.R. on November 21. The buzz surrounding J.R.’s shooter led to the character being featured on magazines and beer cans, as well as the subject of organized bets in Las Vegas.

Dallas Larry Hagman J.R. Ewing

(Credit: Lorimar Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

Even Britain’s Queen Mother asked star Larry Hagman if he could reveal the identity of J.R.’s shooter. But no answers were given as CBS attempted to hide its tracks by having the entire cast film scenes of them shooting J.R..

“It’s hard to imagine a show drawing that kind of audience, 83 million people to the TV for one night, for one episode. We just don’t watch TV the same way. We just don’t come together that way. I wish we did,” Roush added. Don’t we all?

Take a walk down memory lane with the full segment below.

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