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I believe the writers wanted to move on from Jr and Pam's conflict in order to make room for Jr and Ben Stivers/Jock's conflict in the next season.Does anybody know about the long-term plans for Pam&Christopher. Christopher‘s shares where the connection between the Ewings and the Barnes‘. Why lose this kind of conflict. (We have not got any major conflicts between JR and Pam until that moment anyway.)
Which begs the question. If the behind the scenes politics had not played out as it did with Katzman and Duffy returning and Capice & Co shown the door; What was in store with Dallas? Was there a feeling Dallas had seen its best years and the producers/writers could see its inevitable end?
I recently read - cannot remember where - the meaner JR was the better Dallas was to watch. I tend to agree.
If one character - actually two - had run their course it was Jenna and Charlie. Once the Bobster had chosen his bride (Pam) it felt these characters had run out of puff.
I guess the draw was that Lucas would keep Bobby involved with Jenna and keep the Bobby-Pam-Jenna triangle alive. Another reason to keep Pam around even if it meant recasting. When that didn't happen they could have gone for a Bobby-Jenna-Ray triangle which would have been more interesting than the succession of love interests that came and went leaving little impression.He dropped Susan Howard & paired Ray off with Jenna, one of the worst couples on the show.
That kind of thing seems easier to say in hindsight. And also when you're not financially benefiting from the show in any way. As @Billy Wall said, most long-running TV shows weren't considered as good, quality-wise, by the time they ended. It's sort of the nature of storytelling. Characters, storylines, jokes, etc. all begin to get stale. The phrase "Jump The Shark" came about because it describes of many shows tend to start resorting to "stunts" to try to re-invigorate interest.Why didn't they stop Dallas at its peak ?