'Dallas' finished the 1986-87 TV season scoring an average 21% households rating and 34% audience share. In January 1987, Victoria Principal announced she would not be renewing her contract when it expired. Priscilla Presley reported she "was shocked" when she heard the news that Victoria Principal was planning to leave 'Dallas'. For the first 10 weeks of the 1986-87 TV season, the resurrection of the character Bobby Ewing scored 'Dallas' a higher average rating than the previous 1985-86 season, also known as the Pam's Dream season (22.3% households ratings and 36% audience share).
'Dallas' decided to wrap up the 1986-87 TV season with the character Pamela Ewing learning she could now carry a baby to term. Many viewers also knew of the cliffhanger from the publicity generated from the supermarket tabloids hence it did not come as a surprise when Victoria Principal's last episode which went on air during the May ratings sweeps period attracted a 21.5% households rating and a 37% audience share.
In the 1986-87 TV season, A.C. Nielsen Co. rolled out the new people-meter system of audience measurement replacing the old diary-and-meter system. At stake, $2.5 billion worth of commercial time. 'The Washington Post' reported, "NBC's 'The Cosby Show' became the highest-rated series in 22 seasons, since NBC's 'Bonanza'. In addition, both 'Cosby' and 'Family Ties' became the 2 most-watched series in TV history, with 63 million and 58.7 million viewers respectively.
"With the 1986-87 prime time race officially over on Sunday, CBS' '60 Minutes' has now finished in the Top 10 for the 10th year in a row. That puts the 19-year-old news magazine in a tie with 'Bonanza' among the all-time finishers. Lucille Ball is the top all-timer with 15 straight Top 10 wins, followed by 'Gunsmoke', with 13. Don Hewitt, of course, is the motor that has kept '60 Minutes' running at its incredible pace for 19 years. How does he do it after all that time? 'I don't know. I guess I'm intoxicated on television. I feel the same about this week's show the way I felt about it 19 years ago,' he said."
In September 1987, 'The Los Angeles Times' reported, "In March, Victoria Principal left 'Dallas' after 9 seasons as Pamela Barnes Ewing. She left with 3 best-selling fitness books (for Simon & Schuster), a 6-figure endorsement deal (for Jhirmack hair-care products) and residuals that will last her the rest of her life. In March, she read the rewrite of a script for the CBS-TV movie 'Mistress' and she wanted it. Badly.
"Co-executive producer Richard Fischoff explained: 'Before meeting with Lindsay Wagner or Mia Farrow or Cheryl Ladd, I would have had to put a firm offer on the table, matching their price or bettering it. Before an actress would read it, there would be an offer. For Victoria to come in without any prenegotiation was uncommon. And impressive.'"
In October 1982, 'People Weekly' reported, "Victoria Principal renewed her contract to sell Jhirmack shampoos with a new $1 million-plus salary ('the second largest endorsement contract ever,' she claims — reportedly second only to Lauren Bacall's High-Point Coffee deal)." Victoria told 'People Weekly', "I love the deal-making." 'People Weekly' continued, "In 1978 Victoria Principal hard-bargained her way onto CBS' 'Dallas' for a reported $25,000 a show (now (in 1983) at least doubled, by most estimates). Victoria has approached her career the same way she is now approaching the altar: carefully.
"After acting and modeling in New York and Europe, she moved to L.A. in 1971 and made 'The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean' with Paul Newman. In 1975, she left acting to become an agent." Victoria told 'Orange Coast' in 1980, "I achieved my greatest personal satisfaction when I left acting. I gathered up the courage to walk away from a career that was relatively lucrative and sound to enter a profession I knew nothing about and one requiring that I grow up, accept responsibility, and the whole maturation process."
'People Weekly' continued, "Concentrating on her brains, not beauty, she headed for law school. On the way, she stopped off on 'Fantasy Island' to earn her tuition and 'I never did make it to law school.' Then, at age 28, came 'Dallas'. Today (in 1983), it seems, Victoria is about as rich in real life as she is on the show. She’s careful with her money, too. She rents out her walled, guarded retreat in Palm Springs, 'so it actually pays for itself.'
"She owns some office real estate and has built a home in Atlanta for her parents, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Victor Principal and his wife, Ree Veal. Victoria is about to become national chairman of the Arthritis Foundation. She has fame, money, love and a sense of humor. There’s one thing more: beauty. Victoria works hard to keep it. Even better, she makes money from it - on 'Dallas', in her book, selling shampoo, and as the visible spokesman for Jack LaLanne, Vic Tanny and other health clubs until Jaclyn Smith started replacing her a few months ago (in 1983). Even if her psyche’s a little soft, Victoria makes sure the same won’t apply to her body or bank account."
In an interview with Janet Eastman in 1980, Victoria Principal made known, "I portray Pamela and since we (the 'Dallas' cast) all were given a great deal of freedom in the beginning of the series to create the personality, Pamela is very much a personality of my own creation as is everyone else in the show; we have created, for the most part, the foundations of the characters.
"It's all interwoven. There's a chemistry in me that creates Pamela and then there’s actual aspects of my own personality. I would personally be very upset if they discussed writing in something that was a total corruption of all Pamela stands for as an individual. So much so that whenever I feel something is in fact out of line with the respect I have for Pamela, I go directly to the producer and the director and say 'I really don't think Pamela would do this. This offends me and I think it will offend the viewers.'
"Pamela Ewing's best qualities are her honesty, her intergrity, her strength, and her ability to compromise for the people she loves but never compromise herself to the point where she degrades herself. Those are some of her best qualities. She doesn't seem to have many bad qualities. She occasionally displays her temper, but then if she didn't that would be a bad quality in itself. She seems to be very revealing and to be more in control and for the most part, a lot nicer than most of us.
"Sometimes I think, 'Wouldn't it be nice to be that thoughtful all the time?' Pamela seldom speaks before she thinks. 'Dallas' was the first of its kind. It was the first prime-time, emotionally involving show. It requires awfully good writing, taking it above the ordinary soap opera. I'd call it sophisticated soap. I enjoy the television medium immensely. It's a medium that has been very good to me and I find it personally and artistically rewarding.
"If a movie offer came along and I was madly in love with the role, certainly I would pursue it, but it's not something that I'm in hot and heavy pursuit of. I don't want to be a movie star. All of the people in successful television shows are stars until the show is canceled. I have no allusions about that. In terms of being a star, I am as good right now (in 1980) as the show is. What I accomplish as an actress after 'Dallas' will be a better measuring stick of how I am as a performer."
In 1991, Victoria Principal launched her skin care line, 'Principal Secret'. Victoria told the 'Huffington Post' in 2012, "Once I discovered I was allergic to more than half the ingredients of all skin care and make up, I arranged with a chemist to help make a cleanser, a moisturizer and an eye product that did not contain any of those irritants. The results were so successful that my girlfriends began to request that I make extra for them.
"After a decade of doing so it occurred to me that there was a business in my kitchen, and I decided to take my knowledge and apply it to a skin care line for the public. I created my skin care company in 1989 and debuted it simultaneously in 1991 both in an informercial and on QVC. I'm happy to say, that the company has exceeded even my wildest expectations and is now available in over 40 countries." 'People Weekly' estimated 'Principal Secret' annual sales to be $100 million (as at 2012).
Of her greatest accomplishment, Victoria Principal stated, "Lobbying for 11 years as the ambassador to the government for the Arthritis Foundation. In the 11th year, with the help and support of many other people, I was able to participate in establishing a federal fund in the National Institutes of Health for all autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and many more."