Today in TV History: 'Dallas' reveals J.R.'s shooter on November 21, 1980
"Who shot J.R.?" was a question that haunted viewers for eight months, after the third season's shocking finale in March 1980 -- in which J.R. Ewing ( Larry Hagman) was shot twice by an unknown assailant. The mystery became a U.S. phenomenon, generating betting pools, pop culture references, and even mentions in the 1980 presidential election.
Season 4's "Who Done It?" became the highest-rated television episode in U.S. history at the time. Its massive success helped to popularize the technique of ending a TV episodes and seasons with dramatic cliffhangers.