TNT Hopes Social Buzz Drives Viewers To ‘Dallas’ Funeral

By Alex Weprin 

On March 11, TNT’s drama series “Dallas” will air arguably its most important episode yet: the funeral of J.R. Ewing. “Dallas”is one of the biggest gambles in the TNT lineup, and while it had a strong first season, averaging well over four million viewers, season two is struggling, down nearly two million viewers from season one.

TNT’s solution? Get social, of course.

TNT, which rarely posts full episodes online (and even then does so in a limited fashion), will be making the first seven episodes of the season available for free on, in advance of episode eight, which is the big funeral episode.

There are two goals: one is to allow people to catch up who may have missed episodes from this season, and the other is to try and generate social chatter to drive new viewers to the series. With the ratings in need of a boost, the show wants to recapture some of the people that watched season one, and find new viewers as well.

The show’s site features simple social sharing options, which of course let viewers post what they are watching to Twitter  Facebook and other networks. Will it work? We will have to wait and see, just like we will have to wait and see what happened with J.R.