Although earlier reports had indicated that J.R. Ewing, the Dallas character played by the late Larry Hagman, would be murdered towards the end of this season (Hagman appeared in seven episodes before his illness forced him off the series), a report in today's (Monday) Los Angeles Times says only that he will die tragically. Executive producer Cynthia Cidre teased, however, This is a character who will have the last laugh, no matter what. ... What you'll see unfold will be J.R.'s masterpiece. Co-star Patrick Duffy, who appeared with Hagman in the original series, indicated that having the show carried on cable by (by TNT) figured in the writers' vision. We'll be dealing with the situation in a really artistically sensitive, correct way, Duffy told the Times. In lesser hands -- more commercial hands, if you will -- my fear is that it might not have been done nearly so well. J.R.'s memorial service, filmed at the exclusive Petroleum Club atop the Chase building in downtown Dallas, is scheduled to air on March 11.