Reba (TV series)

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Reba
Reba season 6 title.png
reba intertitle
Format Sitcom
Created by Allison M. Gibson
Starring Reba McEntire
Christopher Rich
Joanna García
Steve Howey
Scarlett Pomers
Mitch Holleman
Melissa Peterman
Theme music composer Shelby Kennedy
Phillip White
Opening theme "I'm a Survivor", performed by Reba McEntire
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 126 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Mindy Schultheis
Michael Hanel (entire run)
Allison M. Gibson (2001–2002)
Kevin Abbott (2002–2007)
Matt Berry (2003–2007)
Donald Beck
Christopher Case
Pat Bullard
Reba McEntire (all from 2005–2007)
Camera setup Videotape (filmized);
Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Acme Productions
Bee Caves Road
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Broadcast
Original channel The WB (2001–2006)
The CW (2006–2007)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original run October 5, 2001 (2001-10-05) – February 18, 2007 (2007-02-18)

Reba is an American sitcom starring Reba McEntire, which ran from 2001 to 2007. For the show's first five seasons, it aired on The WB, and crossed over to The CW for its final season. It is one of only a few series on The WB that was not produced by Warner Bros. Television.

Synopsis[edit]

The show is set in Houston, Texas, and stars Reba McEntire as a wisecracking single mother Reba Nell Hart, whose dentist ex-husband Brock (Christopher Rich) has left her to marry young, ditzy Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman) after an affair with her, when it is revealed in the pilot episode that Barbra Jean is pregnant. Ironically, though Reba sees "B.J." as her nemesis, Barbra Jean considers Reba her best (and perhaps only) friend. As the show progresses Reba slowly and painfully comes to the conclusion that despite all her efforts to hate her, she likes Barbra Jean and considers her a friend. In the pilot episode it was revealed that Reba's older daughter, then high school senior Cheyenne (Joanna García) is pregnant.

Cheyenne married her baby's father, fellow high-schooler Van Montgomery (Steve Howey), a dim-witted but well-meaning football player. Van moves in with them, as his own parents kicked him out for standing by Cheyenne and Van comes to view Reba as a surrogate parent (something Reba is very comfortable with). Reba's other two children are Kyra (Scarlett Pomers), an intelligent and rebellious teenager who shares Reba's sarcastic streak, and Jake (Mitch Holleman), a young boy just trying to sort through the mess of his family. Since the fifth season, Van and Reba have been real estate partners.

The show was canceled when The WB Television Network and UPN merged into The CW Television Network. However, in an 11th hour move on May 17, 2006, The CW renewed Reba with a 13-episode order,[1] reportedly to fulfill a syndication contract worth $20 million.[2] In November 2006, The CW announced that the show would be paired with 7th Heaven, Sundays at 7 p.m., beginning later that month.[3] Reba encores were scheduled for Sundays at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT, with a new episode at 7:30 p.m. Reba became the top-rated sitcom on the CW, also surpassing the dramas Supernatural, One Tree Hill, and Veronica Mars.[4] The final episode aired on February 18, 2007.

Series' end[edit]

Midway through Season 6, word began circulating that the CW had ordered "the back nine," or the remaining episodes that would have given Reba a full-season order. But on January 19, 2007 during the network's TCA Press Tour, it was revealed that the series had been canceled, with no "back nine" on order.[5]

The series finale garnered 4.44 million viewers in its final half-hour. Rumors continued to float on the CW's message boards and Reba fan sites that the series might still have a chance at renewal, citing the possible removal of programming chief Dawn Ostroff, or that Lifetime may option to a Van/Cheyenne spinoff series.[6] It was soon announced that Garcia and Howey had each been signed to new shows for CBS and FOX respectively.[7]

An interview Reba McEntire gave as part of the press coverage of her then upcoming duets album revealed that the show was not being shopped around and that the series was indeed finished. In an interview with Variety on May 29, 2007, 20th Century Fox TV president Gary Newman said that he regretted The WB's handling of the show in later years, saying that he was sure the series would have been a hit for CBS or ABC.[8]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Actor Description Relatives
Reba Nell Hart (née McKinney) Reba McEntire Her roots are planted in the past, though her life is changing fast. Who she is, is who she wants to be. A single mom, who works too hard, who loves her kids and never stops. With gentle hands and the heart of a fighter. She's a survivor. She becomes a real estate agent. J.V. McKinney (father)
Helen McKinney (mother)
Brock Enroll Hart Christopher Rich Reba's ex-husband, a dentist and golfer, who leaves her for his much younger, pregnant, dental hygienist, Barbra Jean. He is vain, addicted to tanning, and tries to convince everyone that he is still young. Brock sometimes shows regret for his divorce from Reba because of all the chaos it caused for his children. His marriage with Barbra Jean is rocky, due to his selfishness and impetuousness, but he is in love with her. His name is a play on "rock and roll." Father- John D. Hart (died in season 1), Mother- Liz Hart (Jenny O'Hara)
Cheyenne Montgomery (née Hart) Joanna García Brock and Reba's oldest daughter, who initially is looking forward to her senior year of high school before learning that she is pregnant. She marries her boyfriend, Van Montgomery, who moves into Reba's house after his parents disown him. Cheyenne gives birth to their daughter, Elizabeth, after going into labor on graduation day. She can be somewhat air-headed and self-centered, but she can also be thoughtful and kind-hearted. She is very sensitive, especially when she is insulted (mainly by Kyra, her younger sister). Her work ethic and sense of responsibility improves as she raises her daughter and studies dentistry in college. Cheyenne also begins volunteering at a homeless shelter, improving her shallowness greatly. When she comes to the realization that she is an alcoholic, she's inspired to discontinue doing dentistry for her major, and, instead of that, decides to study counseling for those affected by alcohol and drugs. She is truly her mother's daughter and cares greatly for her entire family.
Van Montgomery Steve Howey The star cornerback of his high school's football team, Van was kicked out of the house when his parents found out that he planned to marry his pregnant girlfriend, Cheyenne. He consequently moves in with Cheyenne at Reba's house, and his future in professional sports looks bright until an injury to his tailbone reveals that he has narrowing of the spine. He works to recover his life after the loss of his football dream, and eventually becomes a successful realtor in a partnership with Reba. Van is portrayed as a big goof and is not good with words, especially when it comes to Cheyenne. Kyra especially loves making fun of him. He is a great father to his daughter, Elizabeth. He cares deeply for his in-laws, especially Reba, for taking him in and caring for him in his darkest hours. His relationship with his parents remains strained throughout the series, and they never truly make up. Father- Dan, Mother- Sue (Robin Riker)
Kyra Eleanor Hart Scarlett Pomers The middle child, Kyra has the fewest emotional issues of the family. Many of her traits and looks come from Reba, including her sharp wit and knack for sarcasm, although she's known to be more manipulative and difficult. In the final season, she decided not to go to college and focus on her music. Kyra also likes teasing Van. For Season 5, she was only on two episodes towards the start of the season, due to Anorexia issues in reality. Then she returned at the beginning of Season 6.
Jacob "Jake" Mitchell Hart Mitch Holleman The youngest of the Hart children, Jake is often teased by his sister Kyra. In the earlier seasons, Jake sometimes is only seen for one scene where he would crack a joke or just mention something that involves the current topic. Jake is pretty oblivious of what goes on around him and has a habit of saying the first thing that comes to his mind without thinking. He acts like a normal boy for his age, although in earlier seasons he displays feminine characteristics that worry his father, Brock.
Barbra Jean Hart (née Booker) Melissa Peterman "BJ" was Brock's dental hygienist and had an affair with him as his marriage to Reba was deteriorating. She gets pregnant even though Brock and Reba were not divorced yet. Her comically religious behavior was phased out over the course of the first season. Barbra Jean is more intelligent than Van, but is more oblivious than Jake and is often an easy target for Reba's sarcasm. While noisy and annoying, She is a kind-hearted person with good intentions. Her tendency to tell "over-the-top" tales results in her sharing many random and often bizarre facts about her childhood and past.

The most that can be understood is that she was born in Friendly, Texas and was known as "the biggest baby in Juno County." She had a sister, currently married, a brother named "Buzzard" (played by Bryan Callen of MADtv fame) and a father ("Big Daddy") who enjoys drinking and hunting. Brock is afraid of both Buzzard and Big Daddy because he knows they don't like him. She also claims to have an aunt who spits professionally. In the last season, she lost a considerable amount of weight and became a weather girl (with the stage name "Stormy Clearweather") with a Public-access television cable station. Her meteorological expertise came from the fact her "butt-rometer" could accurately predict rain ever since she was struck by lightning in her Be-dazzler-studded backside in 1982. In the last episode, traded up to her stations' roving news reporter, calling her segment "Babs Janson: Street Walker."

Elizabeth Montgomery Alena & Gabrielle Leberger Elizabeth is the daughter of Van and Cheyenne. Elizabeth rarely speaks (although in the ninth episode in season 5 she said her first line), but will sometimes be shown in a family member's arm or running around. She's a happy child who is often shown giggling.
Henry Charles Jesus Hart Alexander & Jackson McClellan Brock and Barbra Jean's son and is also Cheyenne's, Kyra's and Jake's younger half-brother. He sometimes displays bad behavior which leads Reba to believe that Barbra Jean is a bad parent.

Reba McEntire, Christopher Rich, Joanna García, and Steve Howey are the only cast members to appear in every episode.

Episodes[edit]

Main article: List of Reba episodes

Opening sequences[edit]

The show's theme song, "I'm a Survivor," was written by Shelby Kennedy and Phillip White and performed by Reba McEntire. The song comes from Reba's album Greatest Hits Vol. 3: I'm a Survivor. Though the first part of the TV version's lyrics appear elsewhere in the song, the album version has a different chorus: "The baby girl without a chance / a victim of circumstance / the one who ought to give up / but she's just too hard-headed / a single mom who works two jobs/ who loves her kids and never stops / with gentle hands and the heart of a fighter / I'm a survivor. The show's lyrics are as follows:

My roots are planted in the past,
Though my life is changing fast,
Who I am is who I wanna be.
A single mom, who works too hard,
Who loves her kids and never stops.
With gentle hands and the heart of a fighter.
I'm a survivor.

In Season 1, the opening credits were black-and-white photos of cast members interspersed with clips of each cast member from the show (mostly if not all from the pilot episode), along with color video shots of Reba on a soundstage. The theme song, "I'm a Survivor", was slower and softer, very similar to the original album version. The first ten episodes of season two featured a truncated opening sequence: Cast and crew names were shown during the first and second segments of the show. The song was re-recorded at a faster, more energetic pace, but only two lines of the chorus ("Who I am is who I want to be / I'm a survivor") were sung. New video inserts of McEntire were shot and played with a color photo of the entire cast at the end.

From the 11th episode of Season 2 onwards, a full opening sequence was returned to the show. The fast-paced song played among the new shots of McEntire plus clips of cast members from previous episodes as their names scroll past the screen horizontally. In Seasons 5 and 6, the song was re-mixed again, with more accompanying instruments.

The series finale of Reba ended with a family photo, similar to the first episode and the season five finale "Reba's Heart". This marks the only time that Reba ended back to back seasons using the family photo of season one.

The final season of Reba was originally scheduled to debut in the spring of 2007, but returned in November 2006 following the cancellation of the CW drama Runaway.

Other songs[edit]

Other songs in the Reba series include Reba's hit single, "Walk On" which is in the pilot episode, and three unreleased songs performed for the specific episode, the songs are, "Angel's Lullaby" which Reba performs at the end of the season one finale episode, "It Ain't Over Till the Redhead Sings", the second song is Carole King's "So Far Away" which Reba performs at the end of the episode entitled, "Terry Holliway", the third and final song that is unreleased is Reba's and Melissa's performance of the hit Dolly Parton song, "9 to 5" in the episode entitled "Driving Miss Kyra."

American ratings[edit]

Reba set a new all-time viewership record for any program on the WB's Friday night (best-ever Friday in women 18–49). During its five seasons on the Friday night lineup, it often ranked 4th in its timeslot, with a few episodes bringing in over 5 million viewers.

Reba's premiere on The CW Sunday averaged 4.02 million viewers, including 1.64 million viewers and 40 percent among adults 18–49 more than when Everybody Hates Chris and All of Us premiered in the same time slot, thus making Reba the highest rated sitcom on the network. With Reba as a lead in, 7th Heaven saw a season high of 4.51 million viewers.

Reba was averaging 3,630,000 viewers since the beginning of its sixth season, making it the seventh most-watched show and the most-watched sitcom on The CW throughout the 2006–07 television season. The new Reba episodes vary as being either sixth or seventh most-watched program on the network, sometimes ranking as high as #3 for the week.

Throughout The CW's inaugural season (2006–07), no other program had higher viewer turnout for repeat airings than Reba. As a result of the lackluster ratings for encores of the summer drama Hidden Palms, repeats of Reba returned to the CW's schedule in June 2007 after being absent for three months, and they immediately became the most-watched program of the night. Later in the summer, repeats of Reba were the most-viewed program on the CW network.

Season U.S. ratings Network Rank
1 2001–2002 4.2 million[9] The WB #129
2 2002–2003 4.5 million[10] The WB #127
3 2003–2004 4.0 million[11] The WB
4 2004–2005 4.3 million[12] The WB #117
5 2005–2006 3.4 million[13] The WB #133
6 2006–2007 3.6 million The CW

Syndication[edit]

Reba has aired in syndication on Lifetime, Ion Television, and Peachtree TV. It began airing on CMT on Wednesday August 1, 2012 in high definition, and also began airing on ABC Family on Monday August 6, 2012.

International success[edit]

Reba is broadcast worldwide in over 30 different countries. Worldwide, the series finale garnered 8.2 million viewers. It was extremely successful in the Czech Republic (under the name "The Diary of a Seasoned Mother") where the season premiere on September 29, 2007, garnered over 1 million viewers. It was also successful in Canada, Mexico, and Croatia. The show is extremely popular in the Caribbean giving McEntire an enormous fan base there.

Country / Region Channel Season Premiere
 United States (origin) WB - CW October 5, 2001
 United Kingdom (origin) Lifetime September 7, 2005
 Australia Seven Network, Fox8 2003
 Canada CMT (Canada), Joytv October 10, 2001
 South Africa M-Net Series (Season 1–6)

M-Net

November 29, 2007
 Barbados CBC TV 8 November 22, 2008
 Ireland RTÉ ONE June 13, 2005
 Trinidad and Tobago NCC 4 January 21, 2009

DVD releases[edit]

20th Century Fox has released the entire series run, seasons 1–6, of Reba on DVD in Region 1. All discs are double-sided in an effort to reduce the economics of producing the sets. In 2010, seasons 1-4 were re-released in standard, more compact DVD cases to match the fifth and sixth season releases.

Title Season One Season Two Season Three Season Four Season Five Season Six
Release date December 14, 2004 December 13, 2005 April 25, 2006 November 14, 2006 January 13, 2009 June 23, 2009
Ep# 22 Episodes 24 Episodes 22 Episodes 22 Episodes 22 Episodes 13 Episodes
Disc # 3 3 3 3 2 1
Format NTSC NTSC NTSC NTSC NTSC NTSC

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for Reba
Year Award Result Category Recipient
2001 People's Choice Awards Won Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series Reba McEntire
Young Artist Awards Nominated Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Supporting Young Actress Scarlett Pomers
Nominated Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Supporting Young Actor Mitch Holleman
Nominated Best Family TV Comedy Series Reba McIntire
Won Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Guest Starring Young Actor Shawn Pyfrom
2002 Nominated Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actor Mitch Holleman
Nominated Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Scarlett Pomers
2003 Nominated Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Scarlett Pomers
2004 Nominated Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Young Actor Age Ten or Younger Mitch Holleman
Nominated Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Scarlett Pomers
Won Best Family Television Series (Comedy) Mitch Holleman
2005 Nominated Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young Actor Mitch Holleman
2003 Golden Globe Award Nominated Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy Reba McEntire
2006 Emmy Award Nominated Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series Bryan Hays (For episode "Flowers For Van")
2007 Nominated Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series Bryan Hays (For episode "The Goodbye Guy")
2008 Teen Choice Awards Nominated Choice TV Actress: Comedy Joanna García

References[edit]

External links[edit]