Reba McEntire plans to return to TV with new comedy "Malibu Country"
Multifaceted Oklahoma superstar Reba McEntire is planning to return to television with a new comedy called “Malibu Country,” she confirmed on Reba.com this afternoon.
Variety.com and other trade publications reported earlier today that ABC has purchased a script with a put-pilot commitment from ABC Studios with McEntire attached to star.
“That means we will shoot the pilot next April and if everything goes like we hope it will, we’ll be shooting a sitcom called ‘Malibu Country’ next August!” McEntire said on her website, confirming that she had met Thursday with “the folks at ABC” and made the pilot deal.
“Malibu Country” will be written by Kevin Abbott, who was executive producer on McEntire’s previous TV project, “Reba,” according to Variety.com.
The Country Music Hall of Famer’s eponymous sitcom aired for six seasons from 2001-07 on the WB Network (later renamed the CW Network). “Reba” has continued to build a strong audience through syndicated re-runs on the Lifetime Network and CMT.
McEntire told me in a 2007 interview, conducted by phone just a few months after the last episodes of her previous sitcom debuted, that the cancellation of “Reba” was a disappointment for her.
“I miss everything about the TV show. I love to watch it; I love to watch the reruns. I miss my family – my TV family — my cast, my crew, the writers, the show runners, everybody. I miss it so bad I can’t hardly stand it,” she said in the 2007 interview.
While the singer/actress spent the past few years focusing on the music side of her busy career, she apparently never stopped pining for her TV days.
“I’m so excited about doing another TV sitcom!” she said today on Reba.com. “I miss the ‘Reba’ show so much so it will be great to get back into the TV world again!!”
In a Twitter chat (@reba) with her fans this afternoon, McEntire reiterated that she is “tickled” about the new show and noted that Sept. 5 marked the 10th anniversary of the first day of shooting on “Reba.”
Judging from the synopsis for “Malibu Country,” there will be some marked similarities between her new and old shows. McEntire will again play a newly divorced single mom trying to wrangle three kids. Here is the series description, from Variety.com:
“Malibu (Country)” is a multi-camera comedy in which McEntire’s character divorces her “good ol boy” rock-star husband after he cheats on her and burns through most of their money. She moves her family from Nashville to the only asset she has left– a little house in Malibu. There she’ll try to reignite her own singing career and keep herself and her three kids from being corrupted by the materialistic and rarified Malibu world she now calls home.
According to Variety.com, Abbott will executive produce with McEntire; her manager/husband Narvel Blackstock; Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel of Acme Productions; Pam Williams of Laura Ziskin Productions, and veteran musician Dave Stewart.
Casting for “Malibu Country” has not yet started, McEntire posted on Twitter today.
The Oklahoma native, who hails from Chockie, won’t be idle until production of her new TV project starts. She embarked Sept. 1 on a fall headlining tour with special guests The Band Perry, Steel Magnolia and Edens Edge that will run through Nov. 19. Her “All the Women I Am Tour” will include a Nov. 4 date at Tulsa’s BOK Center.
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