Familiar faces came out of the woodwork on Wednesday night's premiere of the revamped "Dallas." Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy made their returns. Ditto for Linda Gray and Ken Kercheval. But the real excitement (in the Search box, anyway) came when Charlene Tilton ambled onto the screen.
For those who remember nothing of the iconic "Dallas" series, Tilton played Lucy Ewing, the rambunctious niece of slick oilman J.R. Ewing. Tilton became incredibly popular through her portrayal of the '80s primetime hit’s wild child; she even appeared on the cover of People magazine several times.
Tilton appeared in many more TV shows, including favorites like "The Love Boat," "Murder, She Wrote," and "Fantasy Island." And she resurfaced last night on the new-look "Dallas," as Lucy and Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly) returned to Southfork to attend the wedding of Bobby's adopted son Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe).
[Related: 'Dallas' Opens as Year's No.1 Cable Debut]
Several decades later, Tilton still has star power. Following the TNT show's debut, Yahoo! searches on "charlene tilton" gushed 342%. Related lookups on "charlene tilton new dallas" spiked over 2,000%, and queries for "how old is charlene tilton" jumped 225% (she's 53, by the way). Even her character moved the search needle – queries for “lucy ewing” more than tripled overnight.
We're not sure whether Tilton's appearance on the new "Dallas" was a one-off cameo or the start of a longer arc. But based on the fan reaction, producers should think about keeping this cowgirl on the set.
"Dallas" airs Wednesdays at 9 PM on TNT.