Patrick Duffy, 63, is excited that he gets to "play" with his old co-stars, Larry Hagman and Linda Gray, on TNT's "Dallas" reboot and is happy to pass on the role of show heartthrob to his on-screen son, played by "Desperate Housewives" alum Jesse Metcalfe.
Duffy played Bobby Ewing, brother of Larry Hagman's character, oil tycoon J.R. Ewing, in the original "Dallas," which aired between 1978 and 1991. The new series premieres on TNT on Wednesday, June 13. Hagman, 80, reprises his role, while Gray, 71, returns to play J.R.'s ex-wife, Sue Ellen.
"The heartbreak of my professional career was knowing that Larry and Linda and I would never work together again," Duffy told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "When we knew we were actually going to do the show, when we read the script and we were behind it and we said, 'yes,' I was so excited. I get to play with my best friends every day. Every day."
"I'm at work early," he added. "My wife wonders why I'm leaving early. It's because I get to play with Larry and Linda and now a whole new group of people that are just as important to our lives as the three of us were to each other."
Metcalfe, 33, portrays Bobby's adopted son, Christopher.
"Our show is incredibly grounded," he told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "We're not going anything for the sake of ratings or being salacious. It's a very passionate show. All of the cast members are engaging in those sorts of scenes and I'm sure the viewers will be excited about what they're going to see."
"You take your shirt off," Duffy joked. "Just say it."
Duffy often stripped down on the original "Dallas" and his shirtless photos still sell on eBay. Metcalfe showcased his toned stomach on ABC's "Desperate Housewives." He played John Rowland between 2004 and 2009. The ABC show ended in May.
Fellow "Dallas" newbie Josh Henderson, 30, played Austin McCann on "Desperate Housewives. Hagman also had a small role on the series.
Hagman said the "Dallas" reboot showcases "a lot more flesh," especially from the actresses. The female cast includes the likes of Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and "Desperate Housewives" alum Brenda Strong. Henderson, who plays J.R's son, John Ross, also stripped down for the show.
"He happens to have a washboard stomach, I think you probably noticed, in some of the ads, so they want to show that off as much as possible," Hagman said. "Thank God it ain't me."
The first installment of "Dallas" was famous for cliffhangers, namely the "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline. Metcalfe said there is a cliffhanger after every episode of the new series. He described his character as the "anti-Ewing."
"I'm adopted, I'm coming back to Southfork after a few years absence where I was studying abroad in China and developing my alternative energy patent that I want to bring back to the family," he said. "I'm very much driven by my need to prove myself and really assert my place in the human hierarchy."
After the original "Dallas" went off the air, Duffy played dad Frank Lambert on the sitcom "Step By Step," which ran until 1998, and also portrayed Stephen Logan on the soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" between 2006 and 2011.
"When people ask me what I've learned from Patrick, Larry and Linda, I mean, that's really at the heart of it, it's that every day that Patrick's on set, he just has a zest for life," Metcalfe said. "He loves working."
"The three of them - they love being on set and they love working and they love each other and it really just creates an environment that's just very supportive and very nurturing," he added. "I think that's why we've had such good chemistry."
Reporting by Chi-Lan Lieu, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).