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Wayback Wednesday: The greatest TV cliffhanger of all time

Jon Snow and Glenn Rhee might be two examples of high profile television characters caught up in cover your eyes, highly emotionally manipulative cliffhangers in Game of Thrones and Walking Dead.

But nothing rang America's bell quite like an unknown figure blasting away at  J.R. Ewing in the Season 3 finale of Dallas.

That episode "A House Divided" aired on March 21, 1980 on CBS and J.R. ate lead in the final moment of the episode. Then America had to wait eight long months until the season 4 premiere on November 7, 1980 to find out the identity of the culprit.

Here's the infamous scene:

With a guy like J.R. the suspects were endless. His own wife, Sue Ellen, rival Cliff Barnes and ranch hand Ray Krebs were just three of many. About the only character not implicated was Miss Ellie.

In the end the shooter turned out to be Sue Ellen's equally nutty sister, Kristin. But America had to wait a long time to find the answer. The season 4 premiere aired eight months later and an estimated 90 million Americans found their way to the living room to catch it on TV. But it wasn't until the fourth episode of the season when Kristin was revealed to be the shooter. And oh yeah, she was carrying J.R.'s baby.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›