DALLAS (CBS11) – If people outside the Lone Star State imagine certain stereotypes when Texas comes to mind, it’s possible they can trace that impression back to April 2nd, 1978 when Dallas made its TV debut on CBS.
“It just has a lot of warm and fuzzy memories for people when they hear the theme song,” says Sally Peavy, the mansion manager at the famed Ewing Estate in Parker.
For 14 seasons production crews for the original series filmed the exterior scenes of the show at the Collin County location.
Sally Peavy is better known as Sally Southfork. She is an encyclopedia of Dallas knowledge: the glamorous characters and the drama that captivated the world.
“Who shot J.R.? Everybody around the world wanted to know Who. Shot. J.R.!” says Peavy.
It may be the most famous cliff hanger in television history. In 1980, 83-million people in the U.S. alone tuned in for the answer.
To this day, the ranch and museum plays host to thousands of tourists every year.
On a recent weekday, Chris and Nicole McVitty visited. They’re from London, England, on a tour of Texas. Southfork Ranch was a must-do, and they came dressed the part in jeans, boots, and cowboy hats.
Nicole admits, her take on Texas — and Texans — was shaped by her favorite childhood show.
“Absolutely. Yes. Stereotypical of what Dallas was about and Texas was about, yeah,” McVitty says.
“There may be a few J.R. Ewings from out there, not gonna name anyone. But hopefully we’re a kind, friendlier city,” laughs Peavy.
That’s the Dallas perception Sally Southfork is glad to see people take home.
“We love [Texas]. People are very friendly and always interested in you as a person and I think they’re very proud of their state and it shows really,” McVitty says.