TNT's Dallas will reunite Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton) with her mom, Valene (Joan Van Ark), and father, Gary (Ted Shackelford), this spring. "I haven't been in a scene with Joan since my character's wedding [in 1981]," says Tilton, 53, who caught up with Van Ark at the Carousel of Hope diabetes fundraiser in Los Angeles on October 20. "Fans were always asking why I didn't cross over to Knots Landing" — the spin-off that featured Gary and Val.
Van Ark and Tilton are scheduled to shoot their scenes at the Southfork Ranch in January. "I'm so excited to revisit Valene," says Van Ark, 69, who has a feeling Val's marriage is on the rocks. "All I hope is that Val is successful and has become empowered, as they've done with Sue Ellen."
Exec producer Cynthia Cidre confirms that Shackelford will pop up as J.R. and Bobby's brother a couple episodes before Val and Lucy. "Gary comes because he is a third owner of the oil under Southfork," says Cidre. "Then Val comes for a big event. We have some really fun stuff with Gary and Val back together with J.R. and Sue Ellen."
Shackelford, 66, says he hopes Gary has remained sober but isn't opposed to a return to his philandering ways (with fellow recovered alcoholic Sue Ellen, perhaps?)."You have to have conflict or you have no drama," says the actor, who reports to the ranch in late November. "I'm looking forward to seeing all of them."
Besides Lucy, Cidre has no plans to re-introduce Gary and Val's other grown-up children, twins Bobby and Betsey, or any other Knots actors. "I'm already feeling a little squeezed by serving all the characters on our plate," says Cidre, who will welcome one more return: Audrey Landers will be back as Cliff's ex and Rebecca's mother, Afton Cooper, in the same episode where Van Ark and Shackelford reunite.