Thursday, June 14, 2012
Does Dallas represent Dallas?
It's certainly not a reality show, say several Dallas movers-and-shakers.
Cowboy hats, sprawling ranches, and fracking: the stuff of Dallas? Wednesday night's two-hour premiere of Dallas on TNT gave viewers the world 'round a glimpse into big-haired Dallas. But is it anything like the real thing?
"I think it represents an era of Dallas well -- an era that is largely passing. Oil and gas exploration -- while we have some here, especially on the gas side with the Barnett Shale -- represents a rather small sliver of the gross regional product," said Jim Oberwetter, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber. "In that sense, it's a little dated. But certainly is a lot of fun."
The show brought in $12.5 million in the first season alone, and that accounts for money directly spent in Dallas to produce the show, said Janis Burklund, film commissioner. That number doesn't include potential revenue the city will see from tourists who decide to visit Dallas after seeing it on television. The city of Dallas will provide incentives for a second season if TNT decides to renew it.
"The number 1 rule of marketing is to know your name. People know [Dallas'] name, much from the show," Burklund said. "If they have a little bit of a twisted idea of what we are, it's better than no idea of what we are. ... I have really little doubt that it's going to get a new fanbase from the younger generation."
John Crawford, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc., looks at Dallas as a fictional show that's simply putting downtown Dallas in the spotlight. "Certainly, perception wise, Dallas offers a lot more," he said. "It's a take off on some things that have been fun in the past, but they do a great job of blending the old and the new together."
The credits of the 2012 reprise include sweeping shots of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, plus a stare-down on the 50 yard line of Cowboys Stadium. There's even a scene of someone walking through the downtown location of Neiman Marcus, one of Dallas' treasured businesses.
All seemed to agree: Whether Dallas actually represents Dallas, it's going to be a great thing for our city.