Fans will get to see Reba McEntire make her long-awaited return to series television Friday night with the premiere of her sitcom “Malibu Country.”
The superstar singer/actress sees more than mere coincidence or serendipity when she considers the circumstances that brought the new project to her.
You see, it was a chance meeting on an airplane between her stepson, Brandon Blackstock, and musician/filmmaker/producer Dave Stewart — yes, the British rocker who was once half of the Eurythmics — that helped set the Oklahoma native on course for “Malibu Country.”
“They got to visiting, and he was telling Brandon about this sitcom idea he had. And he was going to pitch it to some country singers ... and Brandon said, ‘Well, how 'bout Reba McEntire?' He said, ‘Oh my gosh, that's a great idea. Oh, I wonder how I could get it to her?' And Brandon said, ‘Well, I work with Starstruck Management, I comanage Blake Shelton with my father, Narvel Blackstock.' And Dave Stewart put two and two together, and he said, ‘So I guess you could get this to Reba,'” she recalled with a laugh during an interview last fall, just after the pilot deal was announced.
McEntire, who hails from Chockie, had met with ABC executives just a month before about returning to television, and Stewart's idea for a sitcom about a newly single mother moving her children and sassy mother to California to start a new life seemed to fit her too perfectly.
“I had been looking for a sitcom ever since the ‘Reba' show ended in December of '06, and I just never found anything that really tripped my trigger until this. And I just went ‘yes!' And ABC was ready, I was ready, and here comes this script,'” she said.
“The Lord always is the one who puts everything in place for me, and He knows when I'm ready. And I couldn't ask for a better agent, tour manager, manager in the world than my heavenly father.”
“Malibu Country” premieres at 7:30 p.m. Friday on ABC and features McEntire in another eponymous role as Reba Gallagher, a once-promising country singer who put her career on hold to raise a family.
When she discovers her husband, fellow musician Bobby (Jeffrey Nordling), has been cheating on her, she opts to not stand by her man.