History at Southfork Ranch began in 1978 when Lorimar Productions chose it as the site for the CBS TV series Dallas. The hit series, which counted millions of viewers across the United States and in 95 countries as fans, was originally broadcasted in the United States from 1978 to 1991. Because of the ranch's high profile on television, the beautiful white mansion, the pool, the barns, and surroundings quickly became a tourist mecca.
Today, Southfork continues to welcome visitors from around the world, who come to see where Dallas was filmed and to experience the lifestyle made famous by the Ewings. Here are some fun facts you may not know about the Dallas TV series.
1. Dallas was initially scripted as a non-continuing five-part drama.
2. By the fifth episode, it ranked in the top ten of the week's most-watched shows
3. The original owner of the ranch and his family were actually living at Southfork Ranch as the filming began
4. A rodeo arena at the ranch, which was originally constructed for the filming of Dallas rodeos, now hosts open competition rodeos as well as private shows
5. The original series aired for 13 seasons and became the most-watched series in the world
6. The show had a successful spin-off series called Knots Landing
7. More people watched the “Who done it?” episode than the number of voters in that year’s presidential election
8. The “Who Shot J.R.?” episode was spoofed many times by Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and The Jeffersons
9. In 1995 and 1997, Dallas original cast members including Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, and Patrick Duffy returned to Southfork Ranch to film two reunion movies
10. In the summer of 2012, Dallas again returned to Southfork Ranch for TNT's reincarnation of the series, bringing back both original cast members and new faces. The show aired for three successful seasons.
Take a Tour of Southfork Ranch!
Southfork Ranch is open daily, year-round for guided tours of the ranch. Tour the famed Ewing Mansion and re-live exciting moments from the series in the Dallas Legends exhibit, featuring an exciting array of memorabilia from the series.
See the gun that shot J.R., Lucy's Wedding Dress, the Dallas Family Tree, and Jock's Lincoln Continental. Tour tickets are sold inside the Southfork Ranch gift shop, as well as online. Check the tour schedule for details.