By Rosy Cordero
Senior TV Reporter
Reba McEntire is staying booked and busy in 2022, with the upcoming release of her Lifetime film The Hammer, shooting underway on ABC’s Big Sky, and a concert tour kicking off this fall. What this means is that a revival of her popular series Reba will have to wait, although, she says, it’s a project she would love to explore.
“So many obstacles,” McEntire told Deadline about what’s keeping the revival from happening. “The TV business changes so much that sometimes reboots are hot and then they’re not. Plus getting everyone scheduled together is also hard. Steve Howie is very busy, and so is Joanna Garcia. Mellisa [Peterman] is doing wonderful and here we are making a movie together. I guess timing and schedule will dictate that in the future.”
With no scripts written as of yet, McEntire could create a role for her boyfriend Rex Linn, her The Hammer and Big Sky co-star. Linn, who joined McEntire for this interview, is all in.
“We can write something in for him. The gardener?” McEntire shared when asked if there could be a role for Linn in the revival.
Linn replied, “I’m a good gardener. I can play the gardener who is always outside and out of focus while Reba’s talking—every episode.”
As McEntire noted, soon fans will be able to see her reunite with Reba co-star Peterman who plays her sister in the Lifetime film based on the life of traveling circuit judge Kim Wanker via the fictional Kim Wheeler (McEntire).
Kim Wheeler is an attorney who was recently appointed as a traveling judge in Nevada following the mysterious demise of the judge who previously held the position. As the investigation into his death heats up, Kim’s sister Kris (Peterman), who runs the local brothel, suddenly becomes the prime suspect, and Kim must work even harder to make certain the appropriate justice is served.
“I absolutely loved [playing Peterman’s sister],” she said. “We’ve been together so long that when she starts something, I fall into that sidekick role. I know that to get her into it, I just have to give her a look and she gets into high gear. We have the best time together. And playing this serious role instead of a comedy was refreshing for us and we hope to do more of it.”
Linn portrays a mysterious cowboy named Bart Crawford who keeps viewers guessing about who he is and what he’s after.
“He’s not a real character, so I worked with what was on the page for the most part. Our director Jeff Beesley allowed me a lot of freedom to add some flavor to it. It was on the page for sure but we had fun with it and we took some liberties here and there to add some spice to it,” said Linn.
Added McEntire, “[He brought to the character] attitude too throughout the progress of filming. We didn’t know whether he was going to be a love interest, a father looking out for his son’s best interest, or a suspect in the murder. He was filling three bills there.”
What McEntire is most proud of is being able to shine a light on bold and outspoken women like Judge Wanker. No premiere date has been set as of yet for the project.
“That’s why I loved this script so much. Judge Wanker is a very strong woman in a very tough state who travels 25k miles and covers three or four courthouses—that’s a tough lady. Sometimes she’s by herself and sometimes she has her bailiff go with her. I love strong women, whether it’s a song, a play, a movie, or a TV show. I like to portray strong women. I think it’s a great thing for young girls to watch and to have ladies they can look up to like I look up to like Judge Wanker,” McEntire said.
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