Times Staff Writer

Patrick Duffy, who played good-boy Bobby Ewing for eight seasons on CBS’ “Dallas” series, will be returning to the series. Spokesmen for CBS and Lorimar-Telepictures, which produces the show, announced Thursday that Duffy will be seen May 16 (9 to 10 p.m. on Channels 2 and 8) in the final original episode of the season.

Duffy, whose character was killed by a car at the end of last season, also will return in the fall for “Dallas’ ” 10th season. However spokesmen will not say what character he will play or whether he will be a permanent cast member.

“There are only three people in the whole company who know,” a Lorimar-Telepictures spokesman said, referring to top company executives as well as Leonard Katzman, the series’ creative consultant. Katzman dreamed up the scheme by which Duffy, as a Bobby look-alike, will appear on the show, the spokesman said.

Duffy had cited his desire to broaden his creative horizons--suggesting attempts at a movie career--when he departed along with his character last year. Since that time, however, he has been a relative rarity on screen.

His roles include the two-part TV adaptation of Arthur Hailey’s “Strong Medicine,” airing May 14 (to be carried locally on KCOP-TV Channel 13). A feature film, “Vamping,” released before he left “Dallas,” attracted little notice.


TV soap operas are notorious for changing or resurrecting characters and “Dallas” is no exception. Barbara Bel Gedde’s character of Ewing matriarch Miss Ellie was played briefly by the late Donna Reed; and Mark Graison, played by John Beck, was believed dead before turning up again earlier this season.

Though producers declined to comment further on Duffy’s reappearance, it might be seen as an antidote to sagging ratings. The series is a consistent Top entry in the weekly Nielsen’s race, but this year dropped to sixth place for the season to date.