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"Dallas" will send J.R. out with a bang

Larry Hagman's tragic passing on Nov. 24 served a double blow to the cast and crew of TNT's "Dallas." Not only had they just lost a dear friend, but they also had to come up with a way to write J.R. Ewing off the show without derailing their planned storylines.

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Today, TV Guide magazine reports that the 2012 redux will take a page from the seminal series' most iconic moment and have J.R. Ewing murdered by an unknown assailant towards the middle of the show's upcoming second season.

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This, of course, pays a haunting homage to the "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger from the "Dallas" 1980 season finale. The ensuring storm of speculation that swirled throughout the subsequent summer led to the highest-rated TV episode in U.S. history (at the time) with an estimated 83 million people tuning in for the season premiere, "Who Done It?" -- which was higher than the number of voters in that year's presidential election.

"Dallas" premieres Jan. 28 on TNT.