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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Interview with Jesse Ventura; Interview with the Cast of Dallas

Aired June 16, 2012 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, a return of one of my favorite guests. The first time Jesse Ventura what was here, sparks flew.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Don't be a coward.

JESSE VENTURA, FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: I'm not -- you're calling me a coward? Young man, I've done things that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: If you thought that was heated, know what he says about this election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VENTURA: I won't vote for Democrat or Republican and I urge people. That is the solution. The solution is to stop voting for these two political parties.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Plus, scandal, backstabbing and what may be the most stunning revelation ever about the cast of "Dallas."

PATRICK DUFFY, "DALLAS": And we're the best of friends and have been for 30 years.

MORGAN: Three of my all-time TV heroes, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy, from the immortal "Dallas."

And the moment you thought you'd never see.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I will get on knees. I wanted to do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Good evening. We'll get to my interview with the cast of Dallas in a few moments, but first, a big man with big ideas about politics, government and just about everything else, Jesse Ventura. He's the always outspoken former governor of Minnesota, a superstar of professional wrestling known as the Body, a Hollywood action hero, and a man who famously never holds back.

Every time he's been on my show, he's said something outrageous and unexpected, but thought-provoking. And now he's back for more.

Jesse Ventura's latest book is a provocatively titled, "DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans: No More Gangs in Government."

Jesse, how are you?

VENTURA: I'm doing well, Piers. How re you?

MORGAN: You are looking very well.

Now, two things I want to clarify. One is why you're not with me in the studio. Secondly, where have you been? Because you've disappeared.

VENTURA: Well, first reason why I'm not with you in the studio is I've quit flying because I have metal in my body so every time I go to an airport the metal detector goes off and they treat former governors like criminals out there, you know? I've been treated like a criminal and I've had enough. I won't be treated like a criminal anymore.

So, the only alternative is not to fly. I tried to bring a federal lawsuit against the TSA and Homeland Security. And imagine this, the judge threw it out, claiming she did not have jurisdiction.

Now, it was a constitutional question. So if she doesn't have jurisdiction, no one does. And people in this country need to understand, when you go to any airport in the United States, you are not protected by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. They can do anything they want to you. There's nowhere you can go to seek redress.

MORGAN: So, you've been grounded. You're also -- you've been what I would call hibernation. Where you didn't watch television you were telling me before we started for 45 days.

VENTURA: Right. Well, I live in Mexico in the wintertime and I live off the grid down there. Now, I do have television but I decided it was time to see if I could withstand no television in my life.

So I did it for 45 days. It was wonderful. I didn't even watch the NFL playoffs for the first time. I did not watch the Super Bowl. I got to tell you, life was grand without it.

And I urge more people. No offense, Piers, but I urge more people to try it now and then and see what else goes on in the world besides the old tele.

MORGAN: Well, it maybe healthy for you. But you look very good. I can't really encourage you in your campaign to stop people watching television for reasons you'll understand. Now, this book is fascinating.

VENTURA: Sure. MORGAN: The book, because it's called DemoCRIPs and ReBLOODlicans." Is this fascinating, the timing is perfect -- because I've got you on this show the day after Jeb Bush comes out and hammers all the politicians basically for their lack of bipartisan politics.

He said some very strong things. He said that both Ronald Reagan and his father, George H.W. Bush would have had a hard time getting nominated by the more conservative voters in today's Republican Party. Extraordinary thing for him to say, the leading member of the Republican Party.

And lends itself exactly to the premise of your book, which is things have become so fractured and so fractious in Washington that the whole process of political parties is now almost obsolete in your view. Explain why.

VENTURA: Well, I just think, to save our country, need to abolish the political parties. Make them political action committees.

There's one thing we could do to start off with. Why do we put -- and I refer to them as the DemoCRIPS and the ReBLOODlicans because they call the blue states Democrats. That's also the colors of the Crips. Blue. And naturally the blood's color is red. And the Republican states are called red states --

MORGAN: For those who don't know what you're talking about, these are two of the most infamous gangs. It started in Los Angeles. The bloods and Cripps. They want to kill each other. And they wear these colors -- the blues and the reds.

So, you're basically likening the politicians in Washington these days to gang leaders and gang members. Is that right?

VENTURA: Yes, that's true. Let me explain why they're worse. The Crips and the Bloods, the street gangs, while they can be devastating to a certain small part of the population, the DemoCRIPs and RebBLOODlicans, the Democrats and the Republicans, they affect everybody in this country and they've been in charge for over 100 years.

So, how can they say they're not responsible for the horrible state that our country's in today? Our debt is beyond control. We've got politics now.

As Jeb Bush said, there's no compromise anymore. Nothing gets done.

If Obama wants to do this, the Republicans are opposed to it. If the Republicans want to do something, the Democrats are opposed to it.

The best thing we could do is on every ballot, remove all gang names and gang symbols. Allow them to only run on their names. That way, it becomes important that the voter educate themselves. What does John Smith stand for?

And -- because right now, when you go in to vote, if you're conservative, you don't need to know any names. All you need to do is look for Republican. If you're liberal, all you need to do is look for Democrat. You don't even need to know the name of the candidate.

MORGAN: This all sounds great in theory. Of course, the reality of the kind of American government you're looking for here is you would end up with a whole thing of disparate souls, all different kinds of policies, all different kinds of policies. How does it actually work in reality, Jesse? Be sensible. Be realistic. How does that work?

VENTURA: I will. What's wrong with that? Read chapter two. Chapter two tells who backs me up on this. OK? Who backs me up in chapter two, George Washington, the father of our country, Thomas Jefferson, looked up to by many today, and John Adams, who actually stated that when political parties take control of the government, that's what will destroy it. It won't be a force from outside. It will come from within.

I think those are three pretty good allies to have with me. They're the Founding Fathers --

MORGAN: Jesse, Jesse, again, I come back to reality check. So you get all these brilliant independents. And they're al standing on their neck. And the American public -- I like him, I like Jesse Ventura. I like all these people. But the truth is, how do you actually govern when you have a whole load of disparate souls? Because human nature says --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Human nature, Jesse, dictates that it becomes like a factious state, where you end up with the strongest taking charge. You end up with people who are the most independents of the independents. You're basically endorsing a form of fascism, aren't you?

VENTURA: We're already fascists, Piers. A corporation is the same as the person. That ruling by the Supreme Court makers us fascist, because the basic definition of fascism is when corporations take over the government.

They already have. They can give unlimited amount of money. They said money's free speech. And I love how it works.

You know, the Democrats and Republicans have built a system based completely on bribery. You bribe the politician. You get what you want. You don't bribe them, you don't get anything. Now, in the private sector, if we do that, we go to jail.

And then also they lied to us. Yet, if we lie to them, we go to jail. Well, how come the road doesn't go both ways? Why is it just one way?

MORGAN: Well, I guess that -- here's what I thought when I read your book. I thought you made a lot of very valid points. You hit a lot of those big bell moments that go off in people's heads -- where they go, Jesse Ventura has a good point, about the lack of bipartisan politics, about the corruptive element now which exists and corrodes around a lot of public life in America, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I come back to my point. It's all about identifying it all as a complete basket case. How do you actually have a government that works if everyone is an independent?

VENTURA: Well, you can still -- you can turn the Democrats and Republicans into special interests, which is what they are anyway. They can still endorse. You get endorsements from the teachers union, you get endorsement from the police union, from the fire union, all these different things. Make them equal to that, to where the candidate can still be endorsed by the Republican Party, you just don't put it on the ballot. You put just the name down.

Why is it so weird to think that there should only be a name there instead of Democrip or Rebloodlican?

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: But the problem -- but the problem surely with that is, it's all very well this guy is an independent, everyone quietly knows that he's what used to be called a Republican, you end up like that ridiculous scenario of the pop star prince who then renames himself the artist formerly known as Prince. These would be independents formerly known as Democrats and Republicans, wouldn't they?

VENTURA: No, not necessarily. Just don't put the party on the ballot. Like I said, turn them into political action committees.

I mean, right now, you got -- you got a scenario in this country where they can receive any amount of money from corporations, from anything. And they don't even have to declare who they got the money from.

I'll give you another one that you'll laugh at, Piers, I think every presidential candidate should be required to wear a NASCAR racing suit. You know why?

MORGAN: Go on.

VENTURA: You know why?

MORGAN: No.

VENTURA: Well, that way, it will show who owns them. On NASCAR, they always got all the patches for who their sponsors are. Well, that way, us, as the voters, can then look at their suit and realize who owns them.

MORGAN: That's actually a very --

VENTURA: Who they're going to favor and that would make us more informed voters then.

MORGAN: It's actually --

VENTURA: If they'd wear NASCAR suits.

MORGAN: Jesse, it's a brilliant idea. The only problem is absolutely nobody would ever do it.

Let's have a short break. I want to come back and ask you if it's the new land of promised opportunity for the independents, why you as one of America's great independent politicians isn't going to throw his hat back in the ring. So think about a good answer for me on that one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy had to do with state and local government.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.

Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Top Democrip, Barack Obama, there, struggling with top Rebloodlican Mitt Romney. I rather like this, Jesse Ventura, these new names. They have a certain ring to them.

When you hear the president and Republican nominee going at it like this, given the state of economy, what's your reaction?

VENTURA: Well, my reaction, it doesn't matter. I mean, when we went from George Bush to Obama, the only difference was their skin color. Everything else has been pretty much the same. It doesn't matter if you elect a Democrat or Republican because they both sold out to bribery, to the same corporate sponsors. I mean, Barack Obama's large contributor was Goldman Sachs -- same thing on the Republican side.

If you go to both their conventions, you see the same lobbyists paying off both sides so they win either way. It does not matter who you elect. I laugh when I hear "change you can believe in." the only way that's going to happen is if you elect someone like me. I'll give you change you can believe in. You can rest assured there would be change.

Not what these guys talked about. Nothing's changed. Nothing ever will, as long as Democrats and Republicans are in there.

MORGAN: I'm getting an explosion on my phone here of Twitter, which I know you don't partake in. A lot of people tweeting to my surprise but to your joy a lot of -- he's got a point, Jesse Ventura. If you're watching, watching, @PiersMorgan, keep the tweets coming, because it's getting lively with Jessie.

The obvious question I guess, if you're so fed up with the system, you want independents to take charge, why do you throw your hat back into the ring? Twitter suggests to me you have a following.

VENTURA: Well, I'm certain I would because there's a lot of disgruntled unhappy people out there just like me. They're wising up finally I hope. I mean, I've been pounding this for my last four books I've written. It doesn't seem like anyone wants to listen.

But I'll tell you this, I'm 60 years old now. I'm not too sure I want to tie myself up in this nonsense. I have a great life in both Minnesota and Mexico in the private sector.

I love to go in the water down in Mexico. I love my life down there. I would have to give that up.

And in order to do that, I have to see something out of the American people. I want to se the American people give me a sign that it's worth it to me to come out and put my ass on the line again.

MORGAN: How much do you think the media have to take responsibility for some of the way the political system has gone? You now have very partisan cable networks. FOX on the right, MSNBC on the left, CNN sort of squeezed somewhere in the middle.

When you see them getting more vociferous and partisan, does that matter? Is that good for political debate? Is it corrupting political debate? What do you think?

VENTURA: I think it's awful. It's terrible. You know, the news used to be to report facts and allow you to make the decision. All these shows are nothing but opinion moderators. They're hired guns to push an agenda. I think it's horrible.

When our forefathers created this country, the media was supposed to be the fourth branch of government, the unwritten branch. Their job was to keep track of what the other three were doing and report it to the American people so the American people could judge it accordingly.

What you have now is nothing but a media with opinion and a media that I remember the death of Anna Nicole Smith. It was the headline for a month -- a month. And yet the meat and potatoes of running our country gets cast aside because why? The media today is not in to reporting the news, they're in to creating it, and that is very, very dangerous.

Because the light went on with "60 Minutes". They found out the news could make money. So the bean counters came in. Now the news is nothing but entertainment. It's done to get ratings.

Where in the old days of Walter Cronkite, the news took a loss and they accepted that and they made up for it in their entertainment division. Not today. Today, the news is expected to get ratings and expected to generate money and that is horrible.

MORGAN: So presumably you'll be boycotting FOX and MSNBC on your book tour, will you, Jesse?

VENTURA: I won't be boycotting them. They boycott me. I'd go on happily.

No, that's the truth, Piers. Neither of them will have me on. Neither of them.

MORGAN: Really?

VENTUR: -- will have me on. Nope, it's been that way for my last three books. None of the FOX nighttime people will have me on. None of the MSNBC nighttime people will have me on.

Now, FOX Business will put me on. I think they're another division. I'm not sure about that. But some of the business shows at FOX will have me on.

But no, FOX and MSNBC have banned me. I'm too controversial I guess.

You know who else wouldn't let me on? Don Imus. His producers and all them wanted me on but they wanted to know what five songs I wanted to have played. So I told them I wanted -- no, I told them I want Rage Against the Machine. Those are the songs I want.

From Tom Morello. He's a new Bob Dylan. He's a man who can play guitar like heck and Rage Against the Machine. Well, you know they banned them prior to the Iraq War and the buildup to it. None of Clear Channel stations would play anything. They censored Rage Against the Machine. So I guess so did Don Imus.

MORGAN: Well, Jesse, you are outrageous and controversial. You're difficult. You can be menacing. That's exactly why I like you as a guest.

So, we'll take another break and we'll come back and talk to you about your conspiracy theories, about which you have many, varied, and they're fascinating to debate with you, even if in some cases extremely (INAUDIBLE).

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back with my special guest Jesse Ventura.

I do mean special because there's no one quite like you, Jesse Ventura.

Let's turn to your conspiracy theories in the book, as some would say. You would argue they're factual assessments of issues. One of which is you call Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars there, the first contract wars, saying the government hired corporations to do the jobs of our troops, paying them a lot more than they would pay the troops.

Explain what you mean by that.

VENTURA: Sure. Well, you've got all these contractors, former U.S. military special forces people, they realize they can get paid a whole lot more money to be a private contractor than what the military pays them. So, they leave our military in droves and go to, like, Blackwater, I don't know what they call themselves now. They changed their names around.

And they go over there and they're nothing but cowboys. They don't fall under any of the rules of war. They're mercenaries. And that's what we're turning into today.

Our military has turned into contract killers now, contract for hire. You know, and we're using them more and more. They're very much more expensive when you go to war to hire them than to use the regular military.

What troubles me is this, Piers, I'm 60 years old now, and I'm born post-World War II. I was important in 1951. My country has been at war for over half of my life. Over half of my life, we have been at war. No other country in the world, save Israel, can say that.

MORGAN: But when you look at Barack Obama, who you have little time for, it seems. But in terms of his foreign policy --

VENTURA: Wait, I have less time --

MORGAN: Right, but is he doing exactly --

VENTURA: I have less time for Mitt Romney.

MORGAN: Right, but isn't Barack Obama doing exactly what you would do? He's pulled the troops out of Iraq. He's pulled them out of Afghanistan.

VENTURA: He has?

MORGAN: Well, he is pulling them out.

VENTURA: He has?

MORGAN: He's pulling them out, isn't he?

VENTRUA: Well, I guess he is. But he's leaving private contractors over there. A lot of them.

He hasn't closed Gitmo yet, you know? He didn't prosecute anyone for torture. You know, we're now a country known throughout the world, we torture people, you know? I'm ashamed of that. Shouldn't we take the high road? No.

Now, is Barack Obama better than George Bush? Yes, I will say that. But he's still -- you know, he told us he would end the wars. He told us now we're ramping up to go to war with Iran. You know, the war's not going to end.

MORGAN: What would you do with Iran?

VENTURA: Well, I'll give you a scenario. Here's a scenario I would have asked at the Republican debates. I would have said, hypothetically, if you're the president, let's say Hugo Chavez of Venezuela because of his fear of our military and the fear of the United States, if he went and bought an unmanned drone and flew it over United States airspace and if that drone crashed in the United States, you, as president, I would have asked the Republicans, what would you do? I bet you they would have declared war.

And yet, we fly unmanned drones over Iran space. No one gave us permission to do that. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

In our country, we believe we can do anything throughout the world. And if any of them people did that back to us, we would declare war on them immediately. Am I not right?

What if Chavez did that? Or say Hugo Chavez bought 1,000 acres of land by Palm Springs and moved the Venezuelan military in there.

I mean, we've got our military in, what, 270 countries throughout the world. Well, that's an empire. You know? I don't care to live like that.

MORGAN: Jesse, isn't it --

VENTURA: It's wrong.

MORGAN: Isn't there a slight naivete though to this? Because it's very easy to say that America, which is the world's number one military power and economic power --

VENTURA: Yes.

MORGAN: -- should simply sit back and not do anything in any of these dangerous countries like Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, wherever it may be. Doesn't America have to get involved?

VENTURA: So the U.S. -- the U.S. is definitely threatened by these countries in what way?

MORGAN: You don't think --

VENTURA: They can't shoot a rocket at us.

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Let me give you --

VENTURA: We have the technology we have today --

MORGAN: Let me give you a for instance. If Iran began to develop nuclear weapons and built up a nuclear arsenal, same rate, say, North Korea, Pakistan, would you not, as an American, feel threatened by that development, given they are such unstable countries?

VENTURA: Do you know why they have to do that? You notice the United States doesn't mess with anybody that's got the nuke. So, we're forcing countries like Iran to get the nuke so that we won't mess with them. We don't mess with nobody that's got the nuke. We only go after -- you're talking about this build-up. I've heard that before.

I heard the same thing about Iraq. I heard that a few years ago. It was all a lie, wasn't it? They had no weapons of mass destruction. They had no ties to al Qaeda. The American people were boldly lied to about that entire war.

And then we go into that war and we discover it's all a lie. And yet nobody holds anybody accountable for it. Well, now they're using the same scenario on Iran, the same identical scenario. They're telling us -- they're putting fear into us because I believe the United States has changed today where we must be in a perennial war. And those perennial wars will bring us down, just like the Roman Empire fell.

MORGAN: Well, Jesse, you are at perennial war with almost everybody verbally and long may you continue. It's a fascinating book, "Democrips and Rebloodicans, No More Gangs in Government." It's been great fun catching up with you again. You look in great shape. Come back soon.

VENTURA: Thank you, Piers. Thanks. I will. And thanks for having me on. Because a lot of people don't have your courage.

MORGAN: I have ultimate courage. I have no fear when it comes to the Ventura. See you soon.

VENTURA: OK, thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Sex, greed and back stabbing intrigue. And that's just CNN. That got your attention, didn't it? These were the main ingredients of one of America's most popular TV soap operas ever. Never mind America. It was the most popular television show in my home country, Britain, from 1978 to 1991. It was of course "Dallas." airing on CBS.

Now it's coming back on our sister network, TNT, with a new generation of viewings, dreaming and scheming, joined by many of the original stars. I'm -- I am more than delighted. I'm ecstatic to welcome three of my personal television heroes to my humble set, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, and Patrick Duffy.

I was 13 years old when you came on British TV. I was sort of a pubescent young, near man, creeping into teenage years. And this show exploded like a volcano in Britain. You remember how big it was.

LARRY HAGMAN, ACTOR: Oh, it was --

MORGAN: It became the biggest show. I think only the royal wedding, Diana and Charles, ever beat it in the ratings. It was compelling, gruesome, fascinating.

HAGMAN: You mean "Dallas," not the royal wedding?

MORGAN: Actually both were. They were both soap operas in their own way. Everybody in Britain watched it. Everybody wanted to go to Dallas and to lead this incredible life. So welcome to all three of you.

LINDA GRAY, ACTRESS: Thank you. MORGAN: J.R., Sue Ellen, Bobby.

PATRICK DUFFY, ACTOR: Wow.

MORGAN: As you'll always be to me.

DUFFY: This will be the best intro we have ever gotten.

MORGAN: It will be. It's heartfelt.

GRAY: Since 1978.

MORGAN: How do you all feel? Obviously, you're pleased or you wouldn't be doing it. Now you've actually done some filming. And you've gone back in time, if you like. Was it all you hoped it would be when you signed up for this?

DUFFY: More.

MORGAN: Really, why?

DUFFY: We had this realization we would never work together again. We're the best of friends and have been for 30 years.

GRAY: Thirty five years.

DUFFY: Thirty five years, the closest of friends. I have no closer friends in my live than these people.

MORGAN: That's amazing.

DUFFY: We knew we would never work together again, because whenever we would step on screen in any forum, people would say just what you said, look, there's J.R., Sue Ellen and Bobby. And so we never would work together again. And then this gift was presented to us.

MORGAN: How amazing that you've stayed so close. Unusual.

GRAY: It is, for any business, any industry, to have friends that you have worked with and to still be friends 35 years later.

DUFFY: It's inexplicable because we were this close day one of the show, like hello, how are you --

MORGAN: Of course you're both very nice people on the show. But Mr. Evil here, the dark dealer of evil scheming.

HAGMAN: What?

MORGAN: I mean, you look so nice and normal today.

GRAY: Sweet person --

MORGAN: You were the great role model for all older brothers like me. I tormented my two younger brothers for years after you showed me the way. I want to thank you. They don't want to thank you. My immediate younger brother was in the Bobby position. He wants to kill me. But he joined the Army and got it out of this system.

You're obviously nothing like J.R. in real life. Everyone's always told me that. For you, you couldn't really bring back "Dallas" without J.R., right? We all agreed on this. Were you remotely concerned, given that you were the top dog, if you like, that it might damage the brand?

HAGMAN: Yes.

MORGAN: How long did you think about it?

HAGMAN: About until they told me how much I was going to make.

MORGAN: How much was it?

HAGMAN: I don't remember. Doesn't matter now. I spent it already.

MORGAN: It's a serious question, because a lot of sequels of anything can often be crashing disappointments. All the buzz around this is it's terrific. I think the blending of the great characters that we know with the hot young blood that comes through is so clever and gives it a real chance of success second time around.

But "Dallas" was such a wonderful phenomenon of its time. I would understand serious concern, particularly for you, as a kind of leader, if you like, of the pack. How much did the friendship come into it?

HAGMAN: Well, I wouldn't be doing it without them. We wouldn't be doing it. No. I mean, we -- somebody approached me. Would you like to do the show? And I said, are my friend's going to be on the show? They said, sure. I said, let's see a script. Then we all talked about the script. We liked it very much.

DUFFY: Yes.

HAGMAN: We said yeah. It was like that. Only took about 10 years to get going.

GRAY: I think people forget that we're dear friends and we do talk. And so it isn't about, you know, one getting something and the other one not getting it or whatever. We talk all the time about all the details.

MORGAN: Larry, you look great. You've not been very well recently. Is everything OK, back to normal?

HAGMAN: So far, yeah.

MORGAN: I love the fact you brought this in. Is this a genuine J.R. --

(CROSS TALK)

MORGAN: You see, immediately, that laugh. The Stetson, the laugh, the evil chuckle. Was that your chuckle or was it one you perfected? HAGMAN: In Germany, it's not my chuckle. They are always saying give us that laugh, Larry, in Germany. I always say that's not me. That's my interpreter.

GRAY: You should hear him in Japanese.

HAGMAN: Japanese is great.

MORGAN: We did a little montage of the great old days, which I want to play. For anyone watching who doesn't understand why I'm so excited today --

GRAY: we want to see it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAY: I have finally figured everything out, that's all. You've been trying to frame me.

HAGMAN: Good morning.

GRAY: Tell me, J.R., which slut are you going to stay with tonight?

HAGMAN: What difference does it make? Whoever it is has got to be more interesting than the slut I'm looking at right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Did you really say that?

GRAY: He said that.

MORGAN: I didn't know you could say that on TV anymore. Wow, you pushed the envelope. You said you weren't evil.

HAGMAN: You think that's evil?

GRAY: No wonder I drank. No wonder I would drink.

MORGAN: Did you like being, for what you were for a long time, the most evil man on television?

HAGMAN: Well, you know, I don't think I was an evil man. I was just like a Texas business man, that's all.

MORGAN: Yeah, evil.

HAGMAN: They keep bringing that --

I'm just doing what people do for business.

MORGAN: You can't start distancing yourself from being evil. J.R. was wonderfully evil, magnificently evil, constantly scheming and plotting, even against his own family. That is evil, isn't it?

HAGMAN: Especially against his own family. MORGAN: Exactly. Did you like the reputation?

HAGMAN: Of course I do, yes. It's wonderful.

MORGAN: How do people react even now?

HAGMAN: They -- the question they say is who shot J.R.

MORGAN: You ever tell them?

HAGMAN: Yes, yeah.

MORGAN: What did you say?

HAGMAN: Bing Crosby's daughter.

DUFFY: Shot Peter Pan's son.

MORGAN: Who shot J.R.? Because of course there were only about 3,000 suspects.

HAGMAN: Oh, yeah.

MORGAN: The beauty of the plot line, wasn't it? It could have been literally anybody. When you guys are filming in Dallas, presuming you live there for the duration, when you walk around, it must be like the royal family, isn't it?

HAGMAN: Everywhere.

MORGAN: Seriously, they must go crazy.

HAGMAN: London, Berlin.

MORGAN: Where are you most popular outside America?

GRAY: I think it was in the U.K.

(CROSS TALK)

HAGMAN: Also Germany. My gosh, we're still playing in Germany.

MORGAN: Really?

HAGMAN: Every night, yeah.

MORGAN: So it's you and David Hasselhoff really.

HAGMAN: Yeah, he's doing very well.

DUFFY: Mr. Germany.

MORGAN: Let's take another break. I want to bring out the new generation of Ewings. I want to find --

DUFFY: Really? Oh, all right.

MORGAN: Young, fresher meat.

GRAY: Fresher? Hello.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No more than Jock did, drilling for oil on South Fork.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Ellie threw Jock's rig of the ranch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eighty years ago, Christopher.

HAGMAN: You have no right to drill on this land. I'm a Ewing. I have every right.

GRAY: We only confirmed the find this morning. Bobby John was going to tell you tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a part of this?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Back now with Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy. Joining us from the new "Dallas," Josh Henderson, Jordana Brewster and Jesse Metcalfe. Welcome to the new brigade.

JESSE METCALFE, ACTOR: Thank you very much.

MORGAN: You have the inauspicious task of playing J.R. Junior.

JOSH HENDERSON, ACTOR: Yes it was very intimidating at first trying to figure out what would John Ross be today after having this amazing loving father.

MORGAN: My guess is evil.

HENDERSON: You know what? He's one of the nicest guys around.

MORGAN: I don't want to hear that. I want to hear about brutality.

HENDERSON: He learned how to do business one way, and that was the J.R. way. And he thinks hopefully he can put his spin on it.

MORGAN: Massive pressure on you in particular, because every one is going to look at you as being effectively the new J.R., with the old J.R. towering over you on set like this omnipotent figure. How do you feel about it?

HENDERSON: Well, I actually was completely excited about what I considered to be a fun challenge. I knew that there was probably a lot of expectation on this series in general coming back, but who is also J.R.'s spawn, John Ross? Who has he turned into? Is he everything like his father or nothing like his father?

MORGAN: John Ross was a little baby.

HENDERSON: Wide-eyed kid that always looked up to his dad.

MORGAN: We all worried about John Ross. What the hell is going to happen to this poor little kid. He seems to have turned out OK.

HENDERSON: Here I am.

MORGAN: Jordana, you play the Ewing's cook's daughter. Am I right?

JORDANA BREWSTER, ACTRESS: Yes.

MORGAN: So you're not fully fledged Ewing.

BREWSTER: I am not a Ewing.

DUFFY: Not this year.

MORGAN: Knowing the way the interbreeding goes, it's only a matter of time.

BREWSTER: I'm involved with both Ewings, so I'm a lucky girl.

MORGAN: So you're having a simultaneous fling with these two.

BREWSTER: No simultaneous. I just sort of ping pong between both. I'm in love with both of them.

MORGAN: How have you found it coming into this iconic show?

BREWSTER: It's been wonderful. I was a fan of "Dallas."

MORGAN: Were you or are you just saying that? You must have been about five.

BREWSTER: I was very young.

MORGAN: How old were you when "Dallas" -- how old are you, if you don't mind me asking?

BREWSTER: I was born in 1980.

MORGAN: So you were born two years after the start. But you would have been 11 or 12 when it finished. I can just about buy you being a fan. But the reality is you're the fresh blood here, aren't you, replacing, and yet with legends.

BREWSTER: We're not replacing which is why it's not terrifying. If we were replacing, that would be terrifying. We're joining, which is what's so wonderful. They've been so awesome and welcoming.

MORGAN: Generous to work with or impossible divas.

DUFFY: Easy, easy, easy.

BREWSTER: So generous to work with.

MORGAN: Jesse, for you, from "Desperate House Wives" to "Dallas," does it get any better?

METCALFE: You know, I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to be another television phenomenon. I think the show has the potential to be huge.

MORGAN: It's been brilliantly done, I have to say. The production values are great, but the fusion between the two, which could have been fraught with danger, actually looks completely seamless. Mainly because you three just haven't aged. It is ridiculous. I've got to be honest Sue Ellen -- I'm going to call you Sue Ellen, because to me you will always. You don't look a day older.

GRAY: I am.

MORGAN: I know you are.

GRAY: And wiser.

MORGAN: You're many days older, but this is one of the reasons it must work. It looks like we're just carrying on where we left off.

METCALFE: Yes, I think it was all really set up with that pilot episode. That pilot script was so amazing. It was really a seamless transition from where the show left off and to the new series. As far as chemistry is concerned, I mean, these three set the tone. We like to call them the big three, their friendship and enthusiasm. It's contagious.

HENDERSON: They made us comfortable coming in, which I think really helped the story lines, you know, feel real and very believable. It was just they really welcomed us with open arms and made it a lot easier for us.

MORGAN: Let's get a realty check here. I don't like all this sycophancy. Larry, how have they been getting on? Can we have a little critique?

DUFFY: They're going to drag us into another 13 years.

GRAY: Kicking and screaming, yes.

MORGAN: Could you imagine being -- even at 94, I wouldn't trust you. You know what I mean? Just a leopard would never change his spots.

Look, to me, as you can probably tell, this is all terribly overexciting. It's been a great privilege to have you guys and a great excitement for you, I know, to join them. I really appreciate you all coming on. It's "Dallas," obviously. It airs Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on TNT. The new series premiers on June 13th. I want it to be the biggest hit of the summer, because then I can watch "Dallas" endlessly again. And you can come back. Come back any time. Any time you like, seriously. It's been a pleasure. Good luck.

"Dallas." I need to go and lie down -- take a cold shower. With Sue Ellen.

(LAUGHTER)