"Dallas" will ride into the sunset tonight with the well wishes of local fans.
"There are still some real fanatics out there," said Ross Mason, managing editor of WBAL-TV (Channel 11), the local CBS affiliate. "They seem to be a little melancholy now."
The station received hundreds of entries in a contest for two Patrick Duffy-autographed scripts from previous episodes. The drawing will take place during the 11 p.m. newscast tonight.
While some fans no doubt are gathering together at private homes for one last viewing, others are headed to bars that will have their televisions tuned to "Dallas."
At the Baltimore Original Sports Bar, at 34 Market Place, "Dallasfans can compete in a trivia contest, participate in video gunfights and down "J. R. shooters," said promotions director Brian Taylor.
"We got a lot of phone calls from people asking if we were going to be showing the last episode," Mr. Taylor said, "which surprised us, being in the middle of the NBA and NHL playoffs. But with 50 TVs, we can do a lot of things on one night."
The Sports Bar's corporate offices are actually in Dallas, so Mr. Taylor said there's a chance of a giveaway trip to Southfork for some lucky fan.
Celebrating "Dallas" in Baltimore seems appropriate when you remem
ber that the creator of the show -- David Jacobs -- grew up here, graduating from City College and the Maryland Institute, College of Art.
Mr. Jacobs had never even been to Dallas the city when he invented "Dallas" the show. Nor did he stay long with J. R. and the rest of his creation; after a short time, he spun himself off to create "Knots Landing."
Not all the "Dallas" parties around town tonight are being done in serious adulation of the show, however. The Allview Inn in Columbia, for example, is having a sort of "thank God it's over" party.
The idea came from bartender Collette Anderson, who says she doesn't think she's seen even one of the show's previous 355 "Dallas" episodes.
Tonight, however, "Dallas" will be on both the TV sets and the bar will be serving "Southfork barbecue" (beef sandwiches) and "J. R. shooters" (black raspberry liqueur, dark creme de cacao, ,, vodka and cranberry juice).
"We'll do anything for a party here," said Ms. Anderson, who will be regaling tonight's crowd with trivia questions that she's made up for the occasion, such as, "What is the name of Miss Ellie's first husband's love child?"
(Don't wrack your brain too hard; the answer to this, and all of Ms. Anderson's other questions, is "who cares?")